July 2, 2020
The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met in special session by teleconference for the purpose of discussing Governor Kelly’s Executive Order #20-05 mandating Kansans to cover their mouth and nose with a mask or other face covering when in certain situations. Those present for the teleconference were the Commissioners: John Ruder, Corky Hagan, and Greg Balthazor. Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk, was present to write the minutes. Others present were: Virgi Laska, with the Stockton Sentinel; Lori Eichman, Rooks County’s Health Department Administrator, Danielle Muir, Rooks County Attorney; and Dr. Jen Brull, Rooks County Health Officer.
Ruder brought the meeting to order. Eichman explained the teleconference as the Board of Commissioners wished to opt-out of the Governor’s executive order mandating the use of face masks. Dr. Brull spoke about the County residents feeling of political frustration versus health frustrations. She had presented, through email, COVID-19 statistics and graphs. Dr. Brull’s stated her goal was to have as many people as possible wearing masks. Brull agreed to their decision to opt-out of the mandate, but strongly encouraged the public to wear masks.
The Board agreed with Brull’s speech, but were adamant about opting out of the mandate, not wishing to order the use of masks, but asking the county residents to use masks when needed.
Ruder made a motion to opt out of the Governor’s executive order #20-52 mandating the wearing of face masks in public; but, strongly recommending the residents of Rooks County to continue practicing safety measures of social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks when needed. Hagan seconded this motion, and Balthazor agreed.
Resolution 2020-R6 wording was agreed upon and signed as follows:
RESOLUTION # 2020 -R 6
A RESOLUTION REGARDING THE USE OF FACE MASKS
WHEREAS, on July 2, 2020, Laura Kelly, Governor of the State of Kansas, issued Executive Order No. 2020-52, which requires the wearing of facemasks in most indoor and many outdoor public places in an attempt to impede the spread of COVID-19; and,
WHEREAS, violations of such mandate are civil violations, subject to civil penalties or injunctive relief, and are not subject to criminal penalties; and,
WHEREAS, Section 33 of House Bill 2016, codified at K.S.A. 48-925(h), authorizes each county commission, pursuant to a statutorily established procedure, to issue an order relating to public health that includes provisions that are less stringent than the provisions of an executive order effective statewide issued by the governor, if the commission, after consultation with the local health official, finds that implementation of the full scope of the provisions in the governor’s executive order are not necessary to protect the public health and safety of the county.; and,
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of Rooks County has consulted with the local health officer concerning the Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-52. Following such consultation, the Board of Commissioners of Rooks County finds that implementation of the full scope of the provisions in the Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-52 are not necessary to protect the public health and safety of Rooks County;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of Rooks County, sitting both as the Board of Commissioners and as the Board of Health of the County, find that the mandate of face masks, subject to civil penalties, pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-52, shall not be adopted, implemented, or enforced within Rooks County, Kansas; and further
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Commissioners of Rooks County, acting as the Board of Health of the County, and the Rooks County Health Officer, strongly recommend and encourage the use of face masks in all public indoor settings and when unable to maintain social distancing in outdoor spaces as precautions to protect the public health and safety of Rooks County.
Adopted on this 2nd day of July, 2020.
BOARD OF ROOKS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
John Ruder (signature)
John Ruder, Chairman Ruthmary Muir (signature)
Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk
Corky Hagan (signature)
Corky Hagan, Member
Gregory A. Balthazor (signature)
Gregory A. Balthazor, Member
With no further business to transact, Ruder made a motion to adjourn the teleconference. Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed.
Adopted this 7th day of July, 2020
ROOKS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
John Ruder, Chairman _______________________________
Greg Balthazor, Member____________________________________
Corky Hagan, Member_____________________________________
____________________________________ ATTEST: Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk