by: Scott McCaulley, additional Reporting by Jacob Blount, Ozarks First
It was another night of very passionate and at times heated discussion at Tuesday Night’s Branson Board of Alderman Meeting which did result in the Alderman deciding to extend the Mandate requiring Face Coverings or Masks in the City to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.
Once again, the majority of people in the City Hall Chambers along with people that were watching via video feed from the Branson Courtroom were against extending the mandate siting everything from the impact on the economy to personal freedom while a few people as well as officials from both Cox and Mercy Medical as well as the Taney County Health Department urged the council to extend the mandate.
Some of the most heated exchanges of the night occurred between Mayor Edd Akers and Ward 2 Alderman Larry Milton. Milton, who has been the lone descending vote since the mandate first went in July, tried to add a couple of amendments that died for lack of second and later took Akers to task for cutting discussion short on the second reading of the ordinance. Milton refused to vote on the second reading before the vote was closed with the other five aldermen continuing to vote in favor of the mandate.
There is no end date for the extension of the mandate. A release from the City after the passage of the ordinance states that the Board of Aldermen and City Staff will continue to monitor and assess the COVID-19 situation and will bring this issue before the board at an appropriate time in the future.