ODESSA, TX — After Odessa Mayor David Turner introduced an order that would make face coverings a requirement last week, the Odessa City Council voted 6-1 against the measure.
According to MRT.com, only District 5 Councilwoman Mari Willis voted in favor of making masks mandatory. The proposed mandate garnered significant criticism from the public.
One citizen allegedly threatened to “take up arms against the city” if the order was approved. Most critics argued that wearing a mask should be a choice. They alleged a mask mandate “took away their freedoms and/or that they promised to vote out of office council members who supported the mandate.”
During the meeting, all council members wore masks and told citizens they believed to it was important to discuss the safety of their constituents.
Even though he introduced the ordinance, Mayor Turner voted against it in the meeting. He said, “something must be done to bring down the number of coronavirus cases in Ector County.”
According to Turner, Odessa’s unemployment rate has reached 16.5 percent, and the “inability to protect the community is impacting the community economically.”