CLAYTON, Mo. – A scheduled vote on a mask mandate for St. Louis County did not occur during the St. Louis County Council meeting Tuesday night.
A heated debate ensued between Councilman Tim Fitch and Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, who said a vote is needed as the pandemic continues.
“The Missouri Attorney General’s Office did tell judge Roberto here in St. Louis County that if the county wants to reimplement a face-covering order and reissue it, they need to go back to the County Council and get them to reconsider it,” said Clancy. “That is the legislative process we have, and that is what’s before us tonight.”
Fitch said voting on a mandate is illegal.
“Ms. Clancy’s agenda request clearly violates the state’s separations of power clause, judge Greene’s ruling, as well as the charter of ordinances of St. Louis County,” said Fitch. “Even if the law can be made by acting like it’s an order, the order of law can not be in unlimited duration as the Department of Public Health is requesting.”
In the end, no vote occurred. The mandate proposed is the same as the one recommended by the St. Louis County Health Department. This means it would require anyone five and older to wear a mask while in indoor public spaces in the county as well as on public transportation.
Those in favor of a mandate said another order issued by the council would bolster support even though it’s not being enforced.
Fitch said calling for a vote this way does not go through the normal channels. Meanwhile, Clancy said the councilman had plenty of time to read documents before the meeting to go forward with a vote.
Ultimately, Chairwoman Rita Heard Days decided more time is needed before a vote can proceed.
On Thursday, a court hearing is scheduled.
On Tuesday, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt told school districts across the state if they don’t remove their COVID-19 health measures, he’ll sue them.