Some Gwinnett County cities are considering mandating masks
After dropping his lawsuit with the City of Atlanta over a mask mandate, Gov. Brian Kemp has turned over the decision on whether or not to mandate masks while on government property to the local jurisdictions. He did this on Aug. 15 when he extended the emergency restrictions until the end of the month. However, he also put in limitations on penalties as well as restrictions to ensure that the decision rests with business owners as it relates to private property.
“While I support local control, it must be properly balanced with property rights and personal freedoms,” Kemp said. “As always, we encourage citizens to wear masks, watch their distance, wash hands, and continue to follow the guidance provided in the Executive Order. Together, we will protect the lives, livelihoods, and personal freedoms of all Georgians.”
This week, local cities in Gwinnett and Walton County took a look at how the governor’s position on this impacts them and whether or not to consider mandating masks in either county or any of the cities. Loganville Mayor Rey Martinez attended discussions in both Walton and Gwinnett as the city of Loganville straddles both counties. He said that both Walton and Gwinnett counties did not feel the the need to officially mandate mask wearing while on government property and nor did any of the cities in Walton County – at least not at this time. However, there were a few Gwinnett County cities that were considering it.
“Most of the cities in Gwinnett are against mandating mask because of lack of enforcement. Suwanee and Norcross are considering it but need to communicate with their Council. Peachtree Corners have passed a resolution mandating masks,” Martinez said. “I mentioned that Loganville is against any mandates in our city and city hall because of enforcing, we don’t have the cases to justify it and the fact that we are also in Walton County.”
Martinez said in discussions with Walton County Board of Commission Chair Kevin Little as well as the mayors of Between, Monroe, Social Circle and Good Hope, decided not to mandate masks in Walton County.
“We did discuss the mask issue and at this time no one is interested in making masks mandatory throughout the county or cities,” Little said.