The City Council will likely vote to end Decatur's mandatory mask ordinance if Gov. Kay Ivey sticks with her plan to let a statewide mask requirement expire April 9.

A spokeswoman for Ivey said Monday the governor is sticking with that date despite President Joe Biden's request for states to reinstate, or maintain, restrictions meant to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

"As Governor Ivey has previously stated, Alabama's mask mandate ends April 9. We have made progress, and we are moving toward personal responsibility and common sense, not endless government mandates," Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola said in a statement reported by The Associated Press.

Decatur’s mandatory mask order began at 5 p.m. July 13. The council voted to 4-1 to require masks in public, with then-Councilwoman Kristi Hill casting the lone no vote.

Two days after the Decatur ordinance went into effect, Ivey announced the statewide emergency order that superseded than city’s.

Decatur police spokeswoman Irene Martinez said Monday the department has not issued any citations for violating the city's mandatory mask ordinance or the state order.

City Attorney Herman Marks told the council that it reviews the city ordinance every 30 days and it could end it if the governor ends her order or extend the local requirement.

Council President Jacob Ladner and Councilman Kyle Pike said they want to vote at the April 5 meeting to follow the governor’s decision.

Teenage Councilman Hunter Pepper said the council should end the mask mandate.

“This is the most government overreach in my 19 years on this earth,” Pepper said.

Councilman Billy Jackson, one of four councilmen last summer who voted for the mandatory mask ordinance, said the council should consider keeping the city ordinance in effect even of Ivey stops her emergency order.

“This shouldn’t be about politics,” Jackson said. “Our job is to protect the health and safety of our residents.”

The governor has urged Alabamians to keep wearing masks after her order ends as a matter of personal responsibility.

"After April 9, masks will no longer be a mandate, but they remain one of the most successful tools we have to keep folks safe from COVID-19," Ivey said last week. Her office released sign templates that businesses could use to request their patrons wear masks.

City clerk's job

Human Resources Director Richelle Sandlin told the council it will need a vote at its April 5 meeting to waive posting of the city clerk’s job and promote Assistant City Clerk Stephanie Simon to city clerk, at the $84,223 annual salary she has agreed to.

Simon, who has been with the city since 1997, would fill the position left vacant when City Clerk Stacy Gilley informed the city on Feb. 24 that she plans to retire April 1. Simon has been filling in as city clerk since Gilley went on medical leave in December.

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bayne.hughes@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2432. Twitter @DD_BayneHughes.

(3) comments

Hughes Staff
Liz Hughes

I believe Billy Jackson is correct on this one. By doing away with the mask ordinance Covid-19 is never going away. I understand no one likes it but until we get it under full control we need to continue the measures that are helping to reduce the virus. I believe that those council members that are going to do away with it are not taking the interest of Decatur Citizens health very serious.

Stacy Patterson

does billy vote against everyone every time?

Sam Cat

Not all the time . . . but very close to 99.99% of the time

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