ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Following an outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases at SUNY Oneonta the city of Oneonta’s common council passed an ordinance requiring the use of face masks and face coverings on private and public property in the city.
The ordinance mirrored a state mandate issued by Gov. Cuomo in April.
A public hearing regarding the mask ordinance was held at the start of Tuesday’s common council meeting.
Participants were able to participate via Zoom, or they could mail or email comments directly to the city prior to the hearing.
Some voiced their support for the ordinance while others felt the city was overreaching in their authority to enact it.
Following the public hearing, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig announced that he was exercising his right to veto the ordinance.
"I believe the council's intent on adopting this ordinance, was to make local law enforcement of the current state law more effective. I do not believe however that this ordinance will achieve that purpose. I want it to be known that I support a mask ordinance which keeps us safe. I do not believe that this one will. I am therefore exercising my right to veto this ordinance," he said.
The mayor also said that he believes wearing a mask in the city's business districts is what's needed most, and if the council can move forward and come up with an ordinance that targets these areas of risk in an enforceable manner, then he would fully support that ordinance.