Can Bibb County enforce a mask mandate?

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    MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– Businesses may not be the only ones requiring masks in Bibb County now.

    In a meeting last night, Bibb County commissioners proposed making masks mandatory. The proposed mandate was approved in a 7-2 vote.

    Sheriff David Davis says a mask mandate would be unenforceable.

    “Due to the lineation of authority from the Governor down to the Sheriff would make it hard for me to enforce a contradictory local ordinance, that goes against what the Governor has already ordered,” Davis said.

    The Mayor’s office has been working closely with the sheriff to find a way to enforce masks in public.

    The proposed mandate asks that anyone in public not wearing a mask be find $25 for their first offense, $50 the second time, and $100 for the third.

    Sheriff Davis says his officers will not be patrolling to look for people without masks but will educate the community when necessary.

    “From a public safety and a public health standpoint, we’ll certainly advocate for people to wear a mask,” Davis stated, ” We’ll encourage people to wear a mask when they’re out interacting with each other in public.”

    Mayor Robert Reichart will have 10 days to pass or veto the proposal.

    If passed, it will go into effect immediately. If the proposal is vetoed, the commissioners can vote again and overrule the mayor.

    Bibb County Public Affairs representative, Chris Floore says Mayor Reichart is watching the Fulton County Superior Court closely.

    “The mayor has been talking with the Sheriff about how this could potentially be enforced,” Floore said, “He is also for guidance from the courts in regards to the Governor getting involved with the city of Atlanta, to determine if this order would even stand, should the courts side with Governor Kemp.”

    Floore says the Mayor has not hinted as to when his decision will be made. Mayor Reichart is trying to do as much research as possible before he makes a final decision.

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    Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.