The possibility of a resolution requiring face coverings inside the city limits was discussed by the Schulenburg City Council at its regular meeting Monday, Aug. 3 but the aldermen agreed that they wouldn’t pursue one.
City Administrator Tami Walker said she brought the issue up after talking with Mayor Elaine Kocian and since some area communities have enacted such requirements.
“I think it’s important for citizens to know we want them to thrive and be successful ... but, at the same time, we have to follow the governor’s order,” Police Chief Troy Brenek said.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-29 on July 2 requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases but it did include exceptions. Fines for non-compliance were also part of the order.
Alderman Wendy Fietsam said he didn’t think a City resolution was needed with the governor’s order and Alderman Ben Herzik commented that he thought local businesses were doing a good job. In response to a question from Alderman Larry Veselka, Brenek said a resolution wouldn’t make his job any easier. Brenek said the PD only received two complaints for non-enforcement since the governor’s order was enacted.
“I feel that the community has really been on board with it,” Brenek said. “They’ve pretty much followed it. If a business owner has an issue with somebody who walks in ... without a mask, they have the right to refuse service. If they choose to do so and that individual gets unruly about it, I’d implore them to call us and we’ll remove (the individual).”
Another issue with the pandemic has been large gatherings, Walker said, and the City recently was advised by Fayette County Emergency Management Chief Craig Moreau that the mayor had to approve get-togethers of more than 10. Brenek said that those putting on such events were required to bring written plans for the mayor’s approval. Basically, they had to follow CDC guidelines, he said, and any future gatherings need to do the same.
“There’s going to be some ... that won’t be (in compliance) so we’re going to have to assist ... and I don’t mind doing that,” Brenek said.