St. Augustine Beach Rejects Mask Mandate - 'Strongly Recommends Face Coverings'
After hours of discussion, Commissioners Maggie Kostka and Commissioner Dylan Rumrell could not be swayed to vote for something that, "Could not be enforced," as agreed on by every expert that was asked, beach police, and even all commissioners.
Rumrell pointed out that people will always have medical exemptions, as they do in the city, and that asking a person for their medical history is illegal. Any person, anywhere can just claim a medical exemption, and there is no way to verify, or ask them to leave after that.
Kostka read a long list of legal, health, and enforcement conflicts that would also render the "mandate" nothing more than a strong recommendation.
The two commissioners added that without enforcement capabilities from police or code enforcement, a mask requirement would be absolutely meaningless.
The commission decided to completely scrap enforcement, and strike all language of "Mandates," replacing mandate language with "Strongly Recommends."
This makes... Whatever this is that they passed... As useless as doing nothing, and equally as useless as passing the mask mandate that they Mayor was hoping for.
Nothing changed, or would have with this vote, no matter which direction it went in.
Commissioner George seems to be working to get around this vote by discussing another similar ordinance in the near future.