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Jenks cancels mask mandate meeting due to COVID-19 safety concerns

jenks masks.jpg
Posted at 10:27 PM, Jan 27, 2021

JENKS, Okla. — A potential renewal of the Jenks mask ordinance is on hold after the city canceled its City Council meeting Wednesday night.

The council planned to vote to possibly renew its mask ordinance, which expires Sunday at midnight.

The city council meeting moved from city hall to The Hive, which houses the Jenks Chamber of Commerce, to allow more room for people to attend. The Hive said it can hold about 30 to 40 people when social distancing measures are in place.

The city said it believed this space would be big enough for the meeting until it began receiving many phone calls from citizens, saying they planned to attend. The city said many of those calling said they did not want to wear a mask at the meeting despite the mandate. The city reached out to the Jenks police chief, who decided it would be safest to cancel the meeting.

Jenks City Councilor Dawn Dyke, who previously voted in favor of the mask ordinance, said she was disappointed the meeting was canceled because of safety reasons.

“The City Council shouldn’t be subject to this level of intimidation to where our police chief advises us to cancel a meeting because he could not secure the safety of those in attendance," she said.

Councilor Dyke said this cancellation will not stop the council from voting to renew the mask ordinance at another meeting.

The city also released the following statement:

Due to the logistics and projected in-person turnout of the meeting, we cancelled to re-evaluate where and under what procedures this public meeting should take place with a goal to follow COVID-19 guidelines to keep attendees and participants safe, but still allow optimal public participation.

City Leadership and City Council are working towards a solution and will announce the next scheduled meeting on our social media channels and city website calendar.

We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to keep our citizens and staff as safe as possible during this time.
City of Jenks

The city's next regular city council meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 2. It's unknown if the mask ordinance will be on the agenda.

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