City Council Special Call Meeting 7-21-2020



Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 6:00PM

Officials Present by Teleconference

Vice- Mayor:               Awet Eyasu    
Council:                       YT Bell,
Jamie Carroll, Laura Hopkins, Debra Johnson, Ahmed Hassan
City Manager:             Robin I. Gomez
City Clerk:                  Tracy Ashby
City Attorney:             Stephen Quinn


Vice Mayor Awet Eyasu called the meeting to order at 6:02p.

Awet Eyasu, YT Bell, Jamie Carroll, Ahmed Hassan, Debra Johnson,

Laura Hopkins,


D1) Consider adopting a Resolution Requiring face masks in public places in Clarkston
The City Attorney provided an update that the Governor asserting an authority to prevent local governments to mandate masks and has filed a suit against the City of Atlanta.  The GMA has filed a brief in the case with compelling arguments that the Governor does not have that authority.

Public Comments
The Vice-Mayor opened public comments

Dean Moore spoke in support of the mask mandate and commented a lockdown might be in order due to increasing cases. 

Brian Medford spoke in support of the mask mandate.

Chris Busing questioned the mask mandate and thought research on precedent should be considered going back to the Spanish Flu (1918).

The Vice-Mayor closed the public comments.

Jamie Carroll discussion on the need for a mask mandate due to increasing covid case positive numbers and that science has shown that masks reduces transmission of covid.  The proposed resolution closely mirrors DeKalb County’s adopted mask mandate.

The mandate would provide that anyone not wearing a mask would be given a warning and would be asked to put one on, and a mask would be provided by the Police if they did not have one.  The only way someone would receive a ticket is if they refused to comply with the Officer’s request.

Council discussion of the diversity of Clarkston and that residents and outside visitors may not understand the mask mandate and then receiving a $100 fine. Questions on the religious exception and children and general difficulty to enforce.

Chief Hudson stated her preference for the Police Department to come from an educational standpoint and not a punitive one. They would approach violators and request compliance and offer masks if required.

The City Attorney clarified that the City’s Charter is State Law that permits the City to make orders for the benefit of the public health.

Council discussion on lowering or removing the fine amount, lowering the age of children compliance to 5 years and removing the religious exemption.   Due to the life or death nature of covid, the fine would be kept in the resolution but would be reduced and would only be levied if violators blatantly refuse to comply or to leave the public location.

 Jamie Carroll made a motion to approve the Resolution requiring face masks in public places in Clarkston and amend to remove the religious reference, reducing the child age to 5 and change the fine from $100 to $25.00. YT Bell seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (4-Yes: Bell, Carroll, Hopkins, Johnson, 2- No- Eyasu, Hassan).

Debra Johnson made a motion to adjourn the special call meeting. Laura Hopkins seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (6, 0).  Meeting adjourned 6: 50p.