Augusta leaders to debate requiring masks in buildings


AUGUSTA,Ga. (WJBF) – We’ve all seen the sign in the convenience store that says no shirt no shoes no service, now commissioners are debating when the public comes into the Municipal Building will they be required to wear a mask to be served.

Right now, the Marshal’s Office is asking those coming into the Municipal Building if they want a mask to wear but next week it could be required.

“I will do what ever the commission votes to do what ever they want for coming into the Municipal Building then I will carry it out,” said Marshal Ramone Lamkin.

At his Friday press conference Mayor Davis left no question as to what the policy needs to be when it comes to the public wearing masks entering government buildings

“We’re going to require folks to wear a mask,” said Davis.

The mayor, going on to say the commission will need to “codify” the requirement.

“That’s a reasonable expectation that we have and we’re going to codify and have the expectation when you come, put on a mask,” said Davis.

Commissioners are scheduled to debate requiring masks in government buildings at their meeting Tuesday.

Commissioner Dennis Williams supports the idea but says its easier said then done.

“We have to look at what’s the legal response, would it be violating a person’s rights to require them to wear a mask in the building,” said Commissioner Williams.

Commissioner John Clarke says he will not support any move to require masks.

“I think you are infringing on people’s individual rights I think you can suggest that they wear a mask but I don’t think legally you can make them wear a mask,” said Commissioner Clarke.

But if commissioners approve the Marshal would no longer be in a position of recommending a mask, instead would have to enforce the requirement and not let people in.

“If the commission approves this measure Tuesday if they vote to do it that is what we will enforce,” said Marshal Lamkin.

Commissioners will also be taking up at their special called meeting Tuesday the small business loan program now that was voted on last week however the commission did not have a quorum so the issues has to be taken up again.

In Augusta, George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel six.

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