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Hogansville reverses course, passes mask ordinance

The City of Hogansville voted Tuesday night to enact an emergency city ordinance pertaining to the wearing of masks.

The ordinance will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Wednesday Sept. 9 and remains into effect for the next 60 days.

The masks must cover the nose and mouth.

There are exceptions for eating and drinking, children under 10, voting/polling locations, medical issues, conflict with religious beliefs, and other activities, which may be found within the ordinance itself.

The ordinance states that any person who enters a covered establishment in the City of Hogansville shall wear a face covering while inside such establishment and while they are unable to maintain social distancing.

A covered establishment means that the enforcement can only take place at businesses that require masks and display a sign at its entrance saying so.

Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz had to break a tie for the vote because both council members, Mark Ayers and Toni Striblin voted no whereas Mandy Neese and Marichal

Price voted in favor.

The Hogansville ordinance states that after being warned once, a citation can be issued and cannot exceed $50.

“If there was an ordinance that I thought would make a difference, that is something that I would get behind,” Ayers said. “All this is passing an ordinance into law that anyone who wants to can legally not follow. Therefore, I really don’t see the purpose it serves. There are very few positive outcomes that will come from this I truly do not believe that this is the answer.”

Striblin said it should be up to each individual citizen to decide to wear a mask.

“We as citizens should be courteous to each other,” Striblin said. “You should be courteous and you should be thoughtful of other people’s opinions. We’re wearing a mask in here because we’re being coming courteous of each other’s health. I think that’s way we ought to be doing things. We don’t need to legislate respectability of each other.”

Stankiewicz said the council needed to vote based on scientific facts, not feelings.

“If you wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle, and you choose not to wear a helmet, you’re endangering yourself,” Stankiewicz said. “The difference with the mask is, when you choose not to wear a mask you’re endangering other people.”