Charleston City Council met on Daniel Island Tuesday| YouTube Screenshot

Charleston City Council voted against a measure that would mandate all people in the city of Charleston to wear face coverings in indoor facilities, including schools, during Tuesday’s council meeting on Daniel Island.

Appel

“We’re dealing with not only a rapidly evolving medical and scientific challenge, we are also dealing with a rapidly changing and evolving legal framework in this state over this issue,” Councilman Ross Appel said during the meeting. Last week, he said the legal fight may be worth having.

Vigorous public input at the meeting split between heated opposition to continued mask rules and those in favor of renewing the indoor mask mandate as case counts climb. At times, Mayor John Tecklenburg struggled to maintain order of the meeting, which served as the inauguration of a new gymnasium recently built in the affluent suburb.

After fielding multiple amendments to both the meeting’s agenda and to the proposed mask ordinance, the measure failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to pass. The original mask ordinance failed 10-3 with only Council members Dudley Gregorie and Keith Waring voting in support of it.

The amended ordinance as proposed by Appel also failed, but by a slimmer margin of 8-5.

Without the added mandate, the city falls back on a previously passed measure strongly encouraging all people to wear masks when indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Council did pass two measures to extend an emergency rule that suspends some meeting and public hearing requirements to allow for continued remote- and Zoom-accessible meetings.

During the course of the meeting, which lasted for more than five hours before the vote on masks, the S.C. Supreme Court struck down state Attorney General Alan Wilson’s interpretation of a budget proviso he said prohibited on mask mandates on college campuses. That opened the door for College of Charleston to mandate masks on campus, in addition to other state universities.

YouTube video

Charleston County School District also passed a mask mandate for students on campus during a special meeting Monday, which remains in effect.

The meeting was recorded and posted on the City of Charleston’s YouTube channel.


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