December 2, 2020

Council Votes Down Mask Mandate

Naperville will not enforce a mask mandate after city council voted against a proposed ordinance at last night’s meeting.

More than 100 public speakers signed up to comment with the overwhelming majority opposed to a face covering requirement.

“No government – state, federal, or local – should order you to cover your face, absent a very compelling reason to do so, and that reason should be rooted in sound science,” said Naperville resident Brian Krause.

Many speakers questioned the effectiveness of masks, though Councilwoman Theresa Sullivan pointed out that the Centers for Disease Control does advocate for mask-wearing when around others.

Overregulation Concerns

Those opposed also said a mandate would be government stepping on the rights of citizens.

“I know folks are concerned about being overregulated, but let’s be honest. We can’t go into stores without having shoes on our feet or shirts on our back. You can’t do that,” said Councilman Benny White. “There’s speed limits wherever we go. [Councilwoman] Judy [Brodhead] mentioned about smoking in public. And all three of those protect the individual, but maybe more importantly, it protects everyone else.”

Mayor Chirico Called Out

Several speakers also called out Mayor Steve Chirico for a recent trip to Florida for his daughter’s wedding. Chirico defended the trip, saying they followed all recommended safety precautions. He also said the trip had an influence on his vote.

“Having just visited a state with an open economy and no mask mandate, I have witnessed firsthand that less regulation can be just as safe and lead to better results,” he said. “For that reason, I don’t believe a mask mandate is a wise public policy that should be instituted in Naperville at this time.”

Resolution Passes Instead

The mandate failed with only four council members in support, requiring six to pass. Council members White, Brodhead, Patrick Kelly, and Sullivan voted in favor of a mask requirement. Chirico and council members John Krummen, Kevin Coyne, Patty Gustin, and Paul Hinterlong opposed.

Council did pass a resolution in place of that ordinance that affirmed and encouraged the use of face coverings while in public.

“Care about your fellow person, and if that person would not get sick because you wore a mask, and it’s such an easy ask, then I have trouble understanding why somebody wouldn’t do that who could do that,” said Krummen.

That measure passed 8-1, with Councilman Coyne as the lone vote against.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

 

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