City Administrator Justin Weiland said, “The city had been approached by many members of the community, businesses, as well as council members that thought we needed to have this discussion this evening,” in his opening remarks on the ordinance discussion. He also noted that the suggested ordinance did not have an enforcement attached to it and was very similar to the mandate Sioux Falls passed.
“Overall I think the people in this community are smart enough to social distance the best they can. They have a choice to go into a business that is enforcing the rules or not enforcing the rules. You have a choice to not go into a business if you don’t like the way the are running it. I just look at this as dividing our community,” said councilman Mark Crisp. He also said, “The educational part of this, Justin that you have recommended, that’s what I believe we need to do more of. We get more things done in this community when working together.”
Councilman Chad Ronshaugen said, “In general I’m not for putting in laws that are not enforceable. That’s a really tough thing for me. I’ve thought a lot about this as well, and I’ve viewed it more as an act of leadership, along the lines of the education to say that as leaders of our community, here’s the best practice and here’s how we would lay it out.”
After a discussion among the council members, the topic was open for public input. Dan Ahlers, President of the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce, shared information on a recent survey the chamber conducted about the mask ordinance that indicated 72% of those who responded to the survey would be in favor of the mask ordinance along with the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce. Several community members spoke in opposition of the ordinance, however, a few of those opposed to the ordinance were in favor of the council supporting more educational options.
The council members took no action on the ordinance after hearing the public’s input on the matter.
The full video archive of the meeting can be found in the embedded page, along with full meeting minutes.