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Midland Repeatedly Votes Down Mask Mandate While Odessa Considers Publicizing Violators

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Members of the city council in Midland have once again voted down a variety of proposed ordinances manding the wearing of masks in public, including a mandate requiring private businesses to enforce the mandate within their stores. 

The proposals came at the request of certain medical personal who said the mandates would help curb the rise in COVID-19 virus cases which are on the rise. 

Each time, however, the proposals have been met with strong opposition, with residents protesting and speaking out against the mask mandate.

Ultimately, the latest proposals to authorize the Midland Police Department to enforce Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order mask mandate, as well as an ordinance to require businesses to enforce mask mandates failed by a narrow margin. 

Meanwhile, City leaders in nearby Odessa are looking to begin enforcing a mandatory mask ordinance against private businesses, as well as reducing building occupancy levels.

During an online press conference last week to discuss the plans for both the mask mandate and occupancy limitations, Mayor David Turner also discussed the idea of issuing press releases to the media containing the information of every business the city issues citations to for violating the mask mandate. 

The idea was brought about by the news director for a local TV news affiliate, who pressed the Mayor on the idea as a way to send a “shock effect” throughout the city to get more businesses to comply with the mandate. 

Turner responded agreeing with the idea, and that “you have to continue to put information out there. Good, bad, and the ugly.” 

Publicizing or listing mask violators in so called “snitch” or “shame” lists is a strategy that several progressive states have been implementing to force compliance with a myriad of executive orders stemming from the response to the COVID-19 virus – namely mask mandates.   

The City of Odessa intends to begin enforcing their mask mandate operating under an existing executive order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this year. 

Under the provisions of Abbott’s order, citations can be issued for up to $250 for violating the mask mandate. 

The City of Odessa plans to issue those citations against businesses, rather than individuals.

The Mayor also stated that once COVID-19 cases maintain a certain level for 7 days, Abbott’s order allows him to issue a local order reducing business occupancy levels to 50 percent, which the Mayor says he will do as soon as the required time passes. 

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