UPDATE: the City of Sapulpa has responded to this story, clarifying that residential properties will not be shut off. Read that story here.
Two items on Monday’s Sapulpa City Council meeting dealt with clarifications or even tighter restrictions on the orders following the April 2nd Emergency City Council meeting, which led to a shelter-in-place order from Mayor Pro Tem Louis Martin, Jr.
The first item was to handle the specification and clarification that a violation of the Mayor’s orders are enforceable under a specific penalty provision in the city’s emergency management stipulations. Under this specification, the fine, which was previously a maximum of $200.00 could be raised to a maximum of $500.00. City Attorney David Widdoes said although some other cities have enacted a maximum fine of $1000.00, he recommended that the council restrict it to $500.00 in order to prevent triggering a trial jury, which he says the court system is unable to handle right now.
The ordinance says that each day’s continuation of a violation would be considered a separate offense, and may eventually lead to the city cutting off the utilities of recidivist violators. The motion passed unanimously.
City Council considers requiring masks, “customers per square feet” rule
Later in the meeting, another item related to the Mayor’s third proclamation came up for consideration, where the City Council was asked about the possibility of further amending the proclamation to include requiring businesses that deal with the public to wear masks while doing so or enforcing Walmart’s new “customers per square feet” policy on other businesses of a similar nature, such as Dollar General.
On Saturday, Walmart officially began counting customers, allowing no more than five customers for every 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity.
City Councilor John Suggs encouraged the others to consider these restrictions, citing the CDC guidelines. The CDC was initially recommending that only those who tested positive for coronavirus needed to wear masks. They’ve since expanded that suggestion to say that they now recommend the use of cloth face coverings “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” The expanded suggestion comes at the realization that many of those with coronavirus are asymptomatic (lacking symptoms).
Wes Galloway expressed some concern that they as a governing body couldn’t “tell people what to wear to work at a private business.” Ultimately, a motion was made to hold to the proclamation as is, with no changes. All but Suggs voted to approve.
Look for other stories regarding tonight’s City Council meeting this week.