Independence City Council votes down mask mandate

4-2 vote with mayor, Dan Hobart for mandate
independence mask meeting.jpeg
Posted at 3:02 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 23:15:35-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In front of a capacity crowd, the Independence City Council on Monday voted down a resolution allowing the mayor and health director to issue a health order that would make masks mandatory indoors and outdoors at “large community events."

If approved, masks would have been required “in all indoor spaces” when people from separate households are in the same room. Outdoor events with more than 100 people in attendance also would have required mask usage.

Businesses would have been responsible for monitoring patrons and ensuring compliance, according to the health order. Those who violated the order could face suspension or revocation of their business licenses, face charges or have utilities disconnected.

That didn't sit well with some business owners.

"It would cut my business down," said John Buckley, owner of Pappy's Den. "I mean, especially with the city health department coming in."

Several attendees arrived to the council chambers with signs in tow, hoping the council wouldn't adopt a mandate. The majority of residents who spoke in person Monday night were opposed to a mandate, citing freedoms and personal choice.

However, a handful of residents, some in favor of a mandate, joined the meeting virtually.

The order failed 4-2 with Mayor Eileen Weir and Councilman Dan Hobart voting for this mandate.

"I am surprised," said Independence resident Cherly Bell. "Whether you’re for or against it, you need to have a choice, that’s what America is all about."

With this vote, the city will still be under a public health advisory with masks recommended but not required.