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Fresno City Council Makes Face Masks Mandatory for Everyone Entering City Hall



Photo of Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld in his office
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The Fresno City Council voted Thursday afternoon to make masks a prerequisite to enter City Hall.

Under the rule, anyone not wearing a mask will be turned away by security. This includes city councilmembers, city employees and members of the public.

Councilman Mike Karbassi made a motion to amend an earlier version of the item that would have prevented councilmembers from serving on committees or in leadership positions if they don’t wear a mask. Karbassi’s motion took away that part, and simply made it mandatory for everyone entering the building to wear a mask. The motion passed 6-1 with Councilman Garry Bredefeld opposed.

The motion takes effect immediately.

This is an update. The original story continues below.

The Fresno City Council will vote on a resolution on Thursday requiring city employees to wear face coverings while at work.

“I support washing your hands, I support the distancing, but I’m not going to wear a mask, I don’t feel it’s important for me to do it.” — councilmember Garry Bredefeld

Included in the resolution is language directed at councilmember Garry Bredefeld: “For willful and persistent violations by a Councilmember, that Councilmember shall forfeit the opportunity to serve on any Council committee or leadership position.”

Item Added to Agenda Wednesday

Fresno City Council Member Miguel Arias filed the item for today’s meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Bredefeld said this is a direct shot at him.

“No matter what Arias does in terms of his bullying tactics, it might have worked with some people. (It) will never work with me. Ever,” Bredefeld said at a Thursday morning news conference. “So with that, I hope the council does the right thing (and) rejects this absolutely idiotic stupid proposal.”

City of Fresno Mask Policy (Text)

Bredefeld Won’t Wear Mask

“I support washing your hands, I support the distancing, but I’m not going to wear a mask, I don’t feel it’s important for me to do it,” Bredefeld said. “I don’t feel comfortable wearing the mask. I don’t want to breathe in my own carbon dioxide, but I also respect people who want to wear a mask.”

“He (Miguel Arias) wants to remove me from committee assignments and leadership positions if I don’t adhere to his edict to wear a mask.”

City Employees Already Required

If the council adopts the order, it would extend a previous June 1st order directed at City employees.

The proposal states: “Emergency order No. 2020-18 shall be applicable to all City Departments and officials, including the Mayor, Manager, Councilmembers, Council Offices, City Clerk’s Office, and City Attorney’s Office. For officials and employees other than Councilmembers, the failure to comply with the order may result in discipline, similar to violations of other City policies.”

Today’s vote would extend that order to include City Councilmembers.