Rolla City Council Passes Controversial Mandate

Immediately following a public hearing Monday, 11-23-2020, Rolla City Council passed an order requiring persons and businesses in the community to wear masks, social distance, and abide by strict limitations on gatherings, including gatherings for weddings, funerals and worship services.

The city council voted 9-3 in favor of the order, in spite of significant community pushback. The hearing was moved to RTC to accommodate the anticipated large crowds. The parking lot was packed and there was a substantial showing of Christians hosting a praise and prayer service in the parking lot. Outside of the building some folks who preferred not to wear masks congregated. Persons inside the building were required to wear masks, and mostly stood in the crammed halls watching the proceedings on screen, since the capacity had been reached inside the meeting room. The public hearing proceedings went late into the night, yet allowed each speaker only 2 minutes to state their case.

Many Residents, representing a substantial portion of our business sector, articulated reasonable concern with the content, legality and enforcement of the order. Below is the entire streamed event on youtube. The actual public hearing was from about the 1:32:00 mark through the 3:19:00 mark. The video shows inside the meeting room where speakers were brought as they were called. The remainder of the constituents are in the hall and outside the building. You can hear through closed doors the cheers of those outside the room with a several second delay. The ordinance, which took effect Friday, November 27, is expected to precipitate similar measures in surrounding communities.

Councilpersons who voted YES were Rachel Schneider, Matthew Crowell, Ann Murphy, Dave Schott, John Meusch, Jody Eberly, Marie Allen, Christine Ruder, and Deanne Lyons.

Councilpersons who voted NO were Terry Higgins, Lister Florence and Carrolyn Bolin.