As we reported yesterday, the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County have jointly reimposed mask mandates, effective today. Following news of the mandates, Missouri’s Attorney General, Eric Schmitt, announced almost immediately that he would be filing suit to attempt to enjoin them, and members of the St. Louis County Council called for the new order regarding the County to be added to the agenda for tomorrow night’s Council meeting.
But those aren’t the only elected officials pushing back against the mandates. Three St. Louis County municipalities — Wildwood, Eureka, and Chesterfield, all in western/southwestern St. Louis County — have declared they will not enforce the mandates. Per KMOV:
WILDWOOD, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Wildwood, Eureka and Chesterfield officials will not enforce the mask mandate going into effect in St. Louis County come Monday.
Wildwood Mayor Jim Bowlin tells News 4 the city’s resources will not be used to enforce St. Louis County’s mask mandate. He says businesses should still have the power to decide whether they require masks or not for patrons, but they will not be penalizing businesses that do not mask wearing a requirement.
“When we see a rule like this latest mask mandate that’s simply based on an uptick somewhere that we maybe want to get ahead of, and COVID is not going to go away, which means if this is going to be the standard, we’ll be doing this in perpetuity and that’s simply isn’t practical or workable,” said Bowlin.
Mayor Bowlin also put out a statement on his Facebook page:
Eureka Mayor Sean Flower issued his own statement regarding the mandates:
Further, per KMOV:
Chesterfield officials say they will not enforce the mask mandate saying they have no authority to do so. In December, Chesterfield police said they would not enforce COVID-19 restrictions that were in place at the time in St. Louis County. Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nations told News 4 he encourages mask wearing and vaccinations. Chesterfield’s City Attorney sent News 4 the following statement:
The City of Chesterfield has no legal authority to enforce the County Health order. Our first responders will certainly respond to any call in an effort to keep the peace, but we have no ability to enforce County health orders.
In a sense, these jurisdictions are taking a page from the state legislature in its recent passage of the Second Amendment Preservation Act. Basically, these jurisdictions are declaring that they won’t use their local/municipal resources to enforce a rule enacted by the County. That doesn’t mean the County won’t/can’t enforce the rule. Just that the County won’t have the assistance of Eureka, Chesterfield, or Wildwood in doing so.
Your move, Sam Page.