I am preparing a longer statement with my thoughts regarding the pandemic, masks and the Covid vaccine. In the meantime, I want to make a couple points clear about my position on the recent order issued by Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague:
• This is a community health crisis and I fully support requiring face coverings (masks) to mitigate the effects. Elected officials of both parties across the country (including the Governor of Iowa), in consultation with public health experts, have issued such mandates at various times and in various forms throughout this pandemic.
• I support local officials’ (county, city, and school) authority to issue such requirements for their respective jurisdictions. Whether referred to as “local control” or “home rule”, I believe that government typically operates best when decisions are made at the lowest level. This typically leads to greater accountability of elected officials and greater responsiveness to their constituents and local conditions.
• I’m disappointed that local officials’ ability to make such decisions is restricted by state law. Though I’ve read accounts that the Mayor's order does not violate state law as written, I support challenges to the state law, which this order will hopefully trigger.
As such, I support Mayor Teague’s order. I would do so if I were a member of the City Council and join those currently serving, who have all expressed support.
I truly hope that more of our fellow Iowans and Americans choose to get vaccinated and take the other necessary steps to end this pandemic. In the meantime, we must all continue to be persistent in our actions and kind to each other.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and discussion.
Jason Glass Candidate for the Iowa City Council- At-Large