, May 23, 2022

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Vallejo City Council to decide future of mask mandate Tuesday


  •   2 min reads
Vallejo City Council to decide future of mask mandate Tuesday
Vallejo City Hall.

VALLEJO – The Vallejo City Council is expected to decide on Tuesday what to do with the city’s mask mandate, making the city one of the last local municipalities to review the issue.

The council has the choice of ordering that the general public continue to wear face coverings while inside enclosed public spaces or adopt a resolution rescinding the order.

Just this week, the Benicia City Council voted to lift that city's mask mandate, joining 11 other regional counties, including Solano, which lifted similar restrictions. The state allowed its mask mandate to expire on Feb. 15.

The Vallejo council voted earlier this month to move its meetings back to in-person starting in March. At that meeting, there was speculation from some of the council that it would keep the mask mandate to help slow the transmission of COVID-19.

According to data from Solano County Public Health dashboard, Vallejo had 31% of all Solano County COVID cases as of Wednesday. Benicia had 4% of cases.

The decision to return to in-person meetings came as Interim City Manager Mike Malone revealed that as of Feb. 8, at least 70 city employees had been infected with COVID this year. Malone said previously that the city had a total of 60 employees infected during 2021.

City spokesperson Christina Lee didn’t return a request for comment on Wednesday when asked if any more city employees have been infected with COVID-19 since Malone last provided an update to the council.

Council asked to oppose proposed ballot measure

Also on the agenda, the city council will be asked to take action regarding the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act, which, if approved, would amend the California Constitution “to change the rules for how the state and local governments can impose taxes, fees and other charges,” according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

All tax measures, put on the ballot by electors or local governments, would be subject to a two-thirds majority vote by voters under the act.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office concluded that the Act would “lower annual state and local revenues, potentially substantially lower, depending on future actions of the Legislature, local governing bodies, voters, and the courts.”

The proposed council resolution, which would have no impact on whether the ballot measure becomes law, said the “measure creates new constitutional loopholes that allow corporations to pay far less than their fair share for the impacts they have on our communities, including local infrastructure, our environment, water quality, air quality, and natural resources.”

The resolution goes on to say that the measure would also interfere with funding for streets, public transportation, new schools, sanitation, utilities, and drinking water.

“The City’s 2022 legislative platform affirms that the City opposes legislation that has negative impacts on services, revenues, and costs, attempts to restrict, reduce, or eliminate the City's revenue base, and limits or interferes with City Council authority over local municipal affairs,” Interim City Manager Mike Malone wrote in a staff report to the council.

The Vallejo City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday via teleconference.

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