Monterey County Board of Supervisors 8-31-21

A Monterey County Board of Supervisors meeting in a screenshot from Aug. 31, 2021.

They didn't succeed at first with a mask mandate on Sept. 8, but a three-member majority of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors is willing to try again.

The first try was with an urgency ordinance which, had it passed, would have immediately made masks required indoors in public spaces throughout all of Monterey County, including cities, for all people above the age of 2. Urgency ordinances require a four/fifths vote instead of a simple majority, as is the case for regular ordinances.

Heading into the meeting on Sept. 8, it appeared the board had at least four votes. That shifted after Supervisor John Phillips announced he had changed his mind from a week before. After an emotional couple of hours with members of the public testifying on both sides of the issue, the vote was only 3-2.

The issue is back on Tuesday's board agenda, as a discussion of whether to consider a mask mandate ordinance on Sept. 21. That would mean Chair Wendy Root Askew and supervisors Mary Adams and Luis Alejo, who voted in favor of the urgency ordinance, could approve an ordinance, should the majority hold.

If approved it would go into effect on Oct. 22. The ordinance would terminate after 60 days, unless renewed or extended. 

The item is last on the agenda for the 1:30pm session. The meeting takes place inside the chambers at 168 W. Alisal St., Salinas. Participation via Zoom is available by clicking here. The meeting is also viewable on YouTube.

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