Face mask resolution pulled from meeting agenda

Parks and Rec updates approved

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 28, 2020


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — After consulting with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, it was decided to remove a resolution from a recent township meeting.

Prior to the Macomb Township Board of Trustees July 22 meeting, Trustee Nancy Nevers introduced a resolution regarding enforcement of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order requiring mask use in all indoor public spaces, and when in crowded outdoor spaces.

The resolution would’ve allowed the board to direct the township’s law enforcement agency — the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office — to not investigate or enforce the governor’s orders.

At the meeting Nevers said she was outraged with Whitmer’s “blatant power grab” and formalized a resolution.

After adding the resolution, she spoke with Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham.

“After speaking with him I no longer see a need for the resolution,” Nevers said.  

The proposed resolution stated, “The Macomb Township Board encourages citizens to be well-informed of the risks regarding COVID-19 and encourages citizens to seek advice from medical and scientific professionals to educate themselves on best practices to minimize the risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19.”

It continues that citizens are responsible capable of informing themselves and making common-sense decisions in the interest of the health of themselves, their families, and others.

“The Sheriff’s Office focus must be protecting citizens and respecting their constitutional rights and civil liberties,” the resolution states. “It will not pull valuable resources away from the high priorities of protecting citizens against crimes against persons and their homes/property.”

On July 10, Whitmer signed an executive order requiring mask use in all indoor public spaces and when in crowded outdoor spaces.

The order took effect at 12:01 a.m. July 13.

It notes that any business that is open to the public may refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering, with limited exceptions.

That was followed on July 17 when the governor increased the order to include that businesses may not assume that an unmasked customer cannot medically tolerate a face covering, though they can accept a customer’s verbal representation to that effect.

On July 13, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook, posting that it won’t issue citations to those not wearing a mask.

Nevers said Wickersham explained to her that if someone enters a restaurant without a face mask and was asked to put one on and the individual refused, they would be asked to leave.

“If that person refused to leave, then the sheriff would be called and a ticket would be given for trespassing and not a $500 fine,” Nevers said. “I am 100% against criminalizing the act of not wearing a mask. I believe that to be unconstitutional.”

Also at the meeting, the board approved for the township Parks and Recreation Department to paint the ceiling and walls at the recreation center’s natatorium for $107,114.

Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Director Sal DiCaro said this would be the first time ceilings and walls will be painted since the center opened in 2004.