Sapulpa City Council votes to extend mask mandate by 120 days

Sapulpa City Council voted 5-4 to extend the mask mandate for an additional 120 days after hearing from several residents who were in favor of ending the mandate, and at least one who supported extending it.

The original item on the agenda related to the mask mandate was stated that the City Council would be “discussing and possibly acting on regarding a Sixth Proclamation of the City of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, Renewing the City’s Fifth Proclamation Declaring A Continued State of Emergency Due to COVID:19 through March 1, 2021.”

Sapulpa’s mask mandate had been in effect since November 18th, 2020 and passed in a 6-4 vote.

At least two people in the room were approached by Sapulpa police for their refusal to wear a mask. One of whom, Devon May, chose to wait outside until he could be called on to speak at the public comments. The other, Tori Williams, refused to wear a mask, and refused to leave, citing that she was exempt from the mask mandate.

Tori Williams, who opposed the mask mandate, speaks with the City Council on Monday, January 3rd. Micah Choquette photo.

During public comments related to this agenda item, Williams presented the City Council with reports from the World Health Organization and Nature Communications that backed up her statements on why she believed the mask mandate should expire. “It’s not your job to take care of our health,” she said, “and if you’re going to, do your research.”

Angie Goins, owner of Dick’s On 66 at 219 E. Dewey Ave., spoke out against renewing the mask mandate, implying that it’s led to reduced traffic in her restaurant. “[We’ve had] a lot of issues with people refusing to come to the area because of the mandate,” she said.

Christy Harris, disagreed with the others and said so. “Masks do work,” she said. “I ask that you please continue the mask mandate.”

When the matter came up for discussion among the councilors, John Suggs made a motion that they extend the mask mandate for another 120 days. Someone shouted from the audience “120 days?!?” City Attorney David Widdoes advised that the City Council could make a change or even cancel the proclamation if circumstances changed regarding the Coronavirus.

See the proclamation here.

Ultimately, the motion narrowly passed. Here’s how they voted:

Voted yes:

  • Carla Gunn
  • Craig Henderson
  • Hugo Naifeh
  • John Suggs
  • Brian Stephens

Voted no:

  • Bruce Bledsoe
  • Marty Cummins
  • Lou Martin
  • Vickie Beyer

The mask mandate will last until May 3rd, 2021, unless the City Council makes a motion to change the proclamation.

Elizabeth Thompson contributed to this story.

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Micah Choquette

Micah Choquette

Micah is the owner/Editor-In-Chief of Sapulpa Times and passionate about telling the everyday stories in the town that we love. You can find him on Twitter at @meetmicah or email him at news@sapulpatimes.com.