Ocala Mayor Vetoes Mask Ordinance Passed By City Council

Aug 11, 2020

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn has vetoed a mask ordinance passed by the city council.

The council approved the mask ordinance 4-1 as a measure to combat the coronavirus. The same four votes would be needed to override the veto.

The ordinance would have applied to businesses, churches and government offices.

In a letter, Guinn says the ordinance violates religious freedom and puts an unfair burden on business owners. He says the government cannot mandate that medical devices be worn.

The ordinance would have required workers to wear face coverings indoors, and business owners to post signs, make announcements and make reasonable requests to visitors who were not wearing a mask.

Business owners could be fined $25 per violation after a couple of warnings.

Councilman Matt Wardell had offered the ordinance as a compromise after a broader mandate failed to get four votes.

More than 500 medical professionals had signed a petition asking the council for a mask mandate.