Pensacola mandates masks

Effective Friday, 5 p.m. Mayor Grover Robinson has requiring all citizens “Mask up, Pensacola” when inside businesses within the city limits.

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3 thoughts on “Pensacola mandates masks

  1. It’s funny how some people automatically jump to the, “What are ya gonna do, arrest me?” position. Well, no, nobody’s going to be arrested. Mayor Robinson is issuing the order in the hopes that people will simply use common sense and do it without having to be arrested…do it for the common good. And maybe they’ll wear their masks in the areas of “Pensacola” that are outside of the admittedly small city limits. As the mayor said, it’s not about protecting *you*. We know that masks don’t do that. But they *do* have at least some value in protecting you giving the virus to someone else. And *that* is the point. It’s just not that big a deal.

  2. Because this order applies only in 23 square miles of the two-county Pensacola Bay Area, most places with a “Pensacola” mailing address not actually in the boundaries of the City of Pensacola, it will have little meaningful effect even as a public health matter other than to discourage people from coming into the city to shop or eat. Shoppers vote with their feet and if they object to Mayor Robinson’s order they can just as easily shop at Home Depot (outside of city limits) as in Lowe’s (inside city limits) or eat at George’s (outside of city limits) as at the Fish House (inside city limits).

    As for the wisdom of what Mayor Robinson has done, this is what City Attorney Susan Woolf wrote on Monday:

    “Second, if an emergency order were entered requiring mask wearing, as a practical matter, it would be impossible to enforce. The law makes violation of an emergency order (state or City) a second degree misdemeanor. However, there’s not enough police power to constantly police and enforce an order mandating masks. Further, if someone is violating a mask wearing order, then the police would issue a notice to appear and not make an arrest because the jail and the judges do not want persons with low-level charges incarcerated. Finally, a private business can make mask wearing a requirement and refuse access or service to a customer or client that refuses to wear a mask. A community-minded campaign strongly encouraging mask wearing (wear masks to protect others) hopefully could achieve better results.”

    The most chilling thing said by the City Attorney in the longer e-mail is that in her view the City Council has no authority with respect to the mask issue and by implication no emergency powers at all supposedly having given them all away to Mayor Robinson, “Thus, while the Mayor has the power to issue an emergency order requiring persons to wear masks, the City Council does not have that power.” Councilwoman Myers and I remain the only ones who do not believe that in 2005 the City Council intended to give away all of its emergency powers, then to the City Manager (2005-2011) and now to the Mayor (2011-Present). People who were on the City Council in 2005, and some of them are still alive and living in the city, need to come out of hiding and speak up.

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