Bellevue City Council passes mask resolution

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 11:01 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Tuesday the Bellevue City Council passed what is essentially a formal “please” and “thank you“ when it comes to mask wearing to protect others from COVID-19 but no ordinance.

Mayor Rusty Hike presented council members a resolution over an ordinance because it gets the conversation started on mask enforcement.  

Another reason they’re starting with a resolution is, like many other communities, they have major concerns about enforcing an ordinance if they had one.  Just a few weeks out from a major tragedy for Bellevue Mayor Hike said he does not want to pull police resources for mask enforcement when there are so many excuses and legal arguments people can make.   

Hike wants to start small but said conversations with a health board to consider a possible ordinance could still happen.

“There’s going to be a lot of people that think we should make an ordinance for that which we potentially could be doing here in the future subject to what the council is going to want to do,” Hike said.

The city has prepared signs to distribute to businesses that say the city heavily suggests people wear masks inside.  This will hopefully take some of the weight off businesses to enforce and make the rules.

 Bellevue is one of the few metro communities without a mask ordinance.  Those typically opposed to mask rules say they’re in favor of a suggestion of an enforceable rule.

But with Bellevue being one of the largest metro areas some are displeased they are starting so lax.

“The state of Iowa has a mask mandate and we can’t even convene the Board of Health. We have a resolution in front of us that says why we need to have a mask mandate but we feel to do anything about it. I think if we vote in favor of this resolution it’s an active cowardice,” Council member Thomas Burns said.

It passed 5-1.

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