(TNS) - The city of Leesburg on Monday evening became the second Lake County municipality with a mask requirement resolution.
The commission passed the resolution, which asks residents to comply with CDC guidelines by wearing masks and social distancing in "any public place," with a 3-1 vote. Commissioner Jay Hurley cast the lone no vote and Mike Pederson was not at the meeting.
The resolution is a "regulation intended as a measure to seek voluntary compliance," according to city documents.
"Individuals are encouraged to reserve medical and surgical face masks, such as 'N95' masks or similar medical or surgical masks for health care personnel and other first responders with the greatest need for such personal protective equipment," the resolution says.
There are no specified penalties in the resolution for not wearing a mask.
The resolution will be in effect throughout the local state of emergency, which was declared March 18.
Leesburg's resolution, using the CDC's face mask and social distancing guidelines, strongly encourages social distancing.
It also says that face masks are not needed outdoors or for children under 2. People with medical conditions who would be negatively affected by face coverings also don't have to comply. Same with people working in a setting who may be able to maintain social distancing and people exercising while maintaining social distancing.
The resolution is modeled of Mount Dora's resolution, which was passed earlier this month.
At Leesburg's meeting, there was no public comment, though most of the crowd attendees wore masks.
However, the commission engaged in some debate.
Commissioner Dan Robuck III spoke first, explaining that his support comes from the science that backs mask-wearing.
"While it's not perfect, it doesn't eliminate it, it probably slows the spread," he said.
Robuck continued by saying he was reluctant to support any mandate, but Leesburg's resolution simply encourages voluntary compliance.
"It's 'we really, really want you to do this' seeing that compliance around town is really low," he said. "I would never be OK with arresting someone for not wearing a mask."
Hurley, who said he doesn't wear a mask out unless a business specifically requires it, called the resolution "a waste of paper."
"And I don't agree with it," he said.
"I think that this is one of these things that every person has to make for themselves and their families," Hurley said.
He took specific issue with the words "required" and "must" in the resolution, which come after the line saying the measure is intended to seek "voluntary compliance."
"Every person working, living, visiting or doing business in the City of Leesburg is required to wear a Face Covering, consistent with the current CDC Guidelines while inside any public place," the resolution says.
"Every person working, living, visiting, or doing business in the City of Leesburg must practice social distancing by staying at least six (6) feet apart while in a public place," it continues.
"We can't enforce using this kind of verbiage," Hurley said. "I just don't support this at all."
City Manager Al Minner said he had not heard of any issues with Mount Dora's new order, which is worded similarly.
Mayor Elise Dennison countered Hurley by saying the order will empower local businesses to enforce their own mask requirements by pointing to the city resolution.
She added that the resolution will, hopefully, make mask-wearing contagious.
"They're not the only people putting themselves at risk," Dennison said. "There are other people."
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