The Ames City Council will discuss a staff report on the factors in considering implementing a citywide face covering mandate.
On July 15, following the unanimous vote of the Council, Ames Mayor John Haila sent a letter to Gov. Kim Reynolds asking her to delegate to Ames the authority to mandate face coverings in public settings such as out and about or within businesses.
Factors that go into this decision are Mary Greeley Intensive Care Unit reaching its capacity, the Story County positivity rate exceeding 10 percent, Iowa State and schools reverting to online-only instruction, businesses independently reducing their hours and direct orders from the governor.
The report also includes a roundup of other Iowa cities' recommendations and requirements for face coverings.
“In addition, our city attorney describes an 'alternative legal theory' being discussed among municipal attorneys in Iowa,” Ward 3 Rep. David Martin wrote in his City Council preview. “Under this theory, the Attorney General's analysis is mistaken, meaning that current law together with the public health disaster proclamation do not give the governor exclusive authority over face covering mandates. However, having considered this alternative theory, our city attorney stands by his advice that the city of Ames does not currently have authority to mandate face coverings in public settings.”
Additionally, the Council will also discuss the greenhouse gas inventory, Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Citywide Solar PV Energy Potentials Studies. Martin said in the preview establishing baseline data gathered from the studies is a prerequisite to developing a Climate Action Plan, which will investigate and recommend how Ames should respond to the climate crisis.
The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday on Zoom where the public will be allowed to provide input. In addition, the meeting will be able to be viewed live on the AmesChannel12 YouTube channel, as well as on the city of Ames' website or Mediacom’s channel 12.