Mayor’s Statement regarding Ordinance 1257:
August 22, 2020
Friday, August 21st the Decorah City Council approved the second reading and approved waiving the third reading of Ordinance 1257, placing it for adoption. While the council voted 6-1 to approve the ordinance it will not go into effect until it is signed by the Mayor and published.
The use of face coverings, washing hands frequently, and/or use of hand sanitizer, avoiding large crowds, staying home when sick, and enjoying the outdoors distancing as needed, are in the best interest of health, safety and economic recovery. Until a vaccine is in place, these initiatives are the only means for being proactive in attempting to flatten the curve and potentially reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
Decorah and surrounding areas are fortunate to be tourist and recreational destinations. Thousands of visitors come for enjoying recreational activities, the many shops and restaurants and breweries. We want these visitors to feel safe when they visit.
As area schools in the county open, and students return to Luther College and Northeast Iowa Community College, measures are needed to ensure safety for ongoing education. In addition, a proactive approach is necessary to insure continued economic return of local businesses. For these reasons, I am signing Ordinance 1257.
I understand that this is an extremely divisive issue and I will continue to reach out to community partners to develop promotional materials to ensure community awareness and encourages dialogue.
Moving forward, there needs to be guidelines, analysis, input, and conversation in order to determine the effectiveness of the ordinance.
In this unprecedented and challenging time, we have limited tools at our disposal and yet the stakes are higher than ever. Thank you for joining with your families, friends, and neighbors to support the health and well-being of our students, educators, local businesses, and our entire community by wearing face covering in public spaces.
/s/ Lorraine Borowski
Mayor, City of Decorah
The city council met on Friday, August 21 and approved Ordinance 1257, a face covering mandate for the City of Decorah. While the council voted 6-1 to approve the ordinance it will not go into effect until it is signed by the Mayor and published, this is anticipated to occur by the end of August. As of August 21, the mandate is not in effect.
City staff, including the Police Department are working through the ordinance to develop an administrative response and plan to support education and awareness of the ordinance as well as face covering and COVID personal protective measures.