The Mankato City Council has set a public hearing for a possible emergency ordinance that would make face masks a requirement in public places.
The council listened to three options presented by City Manager Pat Hentges at the start of Monday’s special meeting.
The first option was to schedule a public hearing to pass an emergency ordinance. The second option was to schedule a public hearing for a regular ordinance, which requires public notice in the media, and a 30-day waiting period for the ordinance to become effective. The final option was a city campaign to encourage face mask use and education.
The council voted 4-3 on a motion by council member Jenn Melby-Kelley to schedule a public hearing to vote on an emergency mask ordinance. Voting the affirmative was Melby-Kelley, and council members Mike Laven, Karen Foreman, and Mayor Najwa Massad. Opposed were Jessica Hatanpa, Dennis Dieken, and Mark Frost.
An emergency ordinance in Mankato requires five council votes because there is no 30-day waiting period for the ordinance to go into effect. An emergency ordinance can last no more than 60 days before another vote is required.
A public hearing will be held on July 6, and comment from the community is welcome.