Broken Arrow City Council Fails Both Mask Ordinance, Resolution

Tuesday, January 19th 2021, 9:14 pm
By: Amy Kauffman


The Broken Arrow City Council failed both a mask ordinance and proposal after discussion Tuesday night. The vote on the resolution failed with a vote of 2-2.

Broken Arrow City Councilors ultimately decided a mask mandate would be difficult to enforce. There was no motion on the table to pass it, therefore the mandate failed.

This is the second time councilors have discussed a mask ordinance since the pandemic began.

Tuesday night, the Broken Arrow City Council listened to its citizens on why they believe a mask mandate will or will not work in Broken Arrow.

At least 200 people showed up to the Stoney Creek Hotel and Convention Center when the meeting started at 6. Masks were not required at Stoney Creek. Several more people showed up to speak at city hall, where masks were required to speak.

Broken Arrow City Councilors considered both a mask resolution and mask ordinance.  

The ordinance would require masks in areas where social distancing can’t be attained. The mandate would allow Broken Arrow Police to write tickets for those not wearing masks.

The resolution would help support business owners who are requiring masks in stores, but the resolution wouldn’t enforce people to wear masks.

Broken Arrow Community Relations Liaison Mackenzie Jones presented data from the state health department, saying last week from the 10th to the 16th of January, there were 802 new cases in Broken Arrow. She also said 104 residents in Broken Arrow have died since the pandemic began.

Jones presented data from the state health department saying cities with a mask mandate are seeing less cases than those without one. She referenced the OSDH State Epidemiology report published on January 14. The report says cities that have had mask mandates prior to October had 8% less cases for a 7 day average number of new cases for the most recently tracked period.

Several people showed up to speak about the mandate, saying masks are ineffective and some said masks could hinder people’s health. Some people even said that most people in BA are already wearing masks, and it should be up to the individual if they want to wear a mask or not.

“Not only is it a violation of our rights. It’s also a waste of time and effort,” said Broken Arrow resident, Kelly Williams.

Others say people need to step up and do something to help stop the spread.

“I don’t have statistical studies or anything like that. I just know that I feel safer wearing the mask knowing that I’m not spewing germs out,” said Marla Taylor.

The ordinance was based on Tulsa and Jenks’ mask mandates. They say people who have trouble breathing would’ve been exempt under the mandate.