A proposed city-wide mask mandate failed to pass at the Chickasha City Council meeting on Monday night.
The motion failed 8 to 1 with R.P. Ashanti-Alexander being the only council member to vote in favor of the mandate.
Initially, council member Jim Hopkins made the first motion with Ashanti-Alexander seconding the motion.
However, the mandate failed to pass after discussion of a proposed penalty.
Council member Oscar Nelson said there were not enough resources to enforce a penalty, a point which other council members agreed with.
Hopkins said he is a proponent of wearing facial coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19. He said he wears one when he is among the public at stores or events.
“I don’t do it because politicians tell me to do it, I do it because science tells me it works.”
However, he agreed there were not enough resources to enforce the mandate with a penalty. Moreover he said that while wearing a mask should not be politicized, in the current political climate, a mask mandate may be “like poking a hornets nest.”
Ashanti-Alexander said he was not concerned about having a penalty related to the mandate. He said his desire for a mask mandate came from a place of “concern for safety, not politics.”
He noted that two Chickasha High School football games were recently canceled due to COVID-19 exposure.