Mount Pleasant passes first reading of new mask ordinance

Updated: Sep. 8, 2020 at 11:20 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - The Mount Pleasant Town Council has passed the first reading of an ordinance requiring face masks in public.

On Tuesday night, the council approved the ordinance by on a 5-4 vote. A similar measure failed last week.

The council members voting in support of the ordinance presented on Tuesday were: Hyatt, Rambo, Whitley, Chapman, and Mayor Haynie. Santos, Landing, O’Rourke, and Corley voted against the measure.

People on both sides of the issue spoke out at the meeting. One of those people is Carmen Nash who said the mask ordinance puts people at risk.

“Requiring masks to gain entrance to businesses, grocery stores, schools and public service buildings is not only irresponsible, but it is dangerous and discriminatory,” Nash said. “People are being denied entrance into stores that sell essential items because they cannot wear a mask.”

Another speaker, Adam Leray, owns a business and says he normally buys a lot of his supplies from other businesses in Mount Pleasant.

“The second you vote to force masks on us, that money is walking out that door, and I have six other business friends who make a lot more than I do who are going to do the exact same thing,” Leray said.

However, with or without the ordinance, mask rules are not going away anytime soon. Many businesses say they will continue to require staff and customers to mask up while on the premises.

They are able to do so as a requirement for entering the premise.

“We are definitively going to continue wearing our masks until there is more of a general consensus medically that we don’t need to wear them anymore,” said Glenn Ruth, owner of Bayside Salon and Bayside Gifts and Boutique. “At the minimum, we are being considerate of others, and at the maximum we are saving lives.”

Regardless of city action, the emergency order by the governor still requires certain businesses to continue to mandating masks.

Daniel Brownstein has two children and says he is willing to do just about anything to get life back to normal.

“It’s a small price to pay to keep our businesses open, to get our kids back in school and to really save lives,” Brownstein said. “If my children can wear masks for several hours at a time, then I think most people in our community can as well.”

It will need another reading before final approval.

The full ordinance can be read below:

The ordinance last week failed to pass with a 5-4 vote because at least six members, making up a super-majority, would have had to vote for its passage.

On his Twitter account, Haynie said he had “already heard concerns” from both Mount Pleasant hospitals, physicians and residents as well as “a local global health consultant and research fellow at Oxford.”

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