An emergency ordinance offered by Palmer City Council Deputy Mayor Sabrena Combs for a face mask mandate is going to its third meeting on Friday, Dec. 4 at 5 pm.
The first meeting to consider the emergency ordinance, Nov. 18, generated over 500 email comments on the topic, and each one of those is being read into the record.
The council had heard about 300 of them read by the end of the second meeting on the matter, held Nov. 25. In addition, in-person testimony is not completed. The testimony so far has been more than 2-to-1 against the ordinance, but the remaining testimony appears to be weighted heavily against a mask mandate.
Because it is an emergency ordinance, the mask mandate would require six of the seven-member council to vote in favor of it.
Palmer has an estimated population of 7,658. Mask mandates are in effect in Anchorage and Juneau, which have much larger populations, but most other communities’ elected leaders have voted against such mandates and the governor has said he will not enact a statewide mask mandate, because such rules are best left to local communities.