Towns and villages looking to Brown County for mask mandate

The Brown County Health and Human Services Committee will meet Thursday to take up a possible countywide mask mandate.
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 10:46 PM CDT
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BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -While the Green Bay City Council hashed out what its newly approved face mask ordinance would look like Tuesday night; board members in Allouez talked about what they could do to help stop the spread of the coronavirus in the village.

“I think it’s fair to say our mood is to support a mask mandate just like the city did last night. We’re hoping the county makes a stand on the issue as well,” said Jim Genrich, a trustee.

Village leaders talked about three ideas. Create an ordinance; create a resolution in support of responsible behavior, which includes wearing a face mask, and/or work with local businesses on challenges they might be facing to keep customers and employees safe.

“It seems to be a fairly simple approach to help get beyond this disease that’s bothering everybody,” said Grenrich.

The board only had a discussion on the topic and was not an action item.

A possible ordinance or resolution could be brought forward at the village’s next meeting in August.

Meanwhile, Hobart Village Administrator Aaron Kramer says he’s waiting to see if Brown County will put a mask mandate into place.

“I think it would just add to the level of confusion if there’s one ordinance here, there’s one ordinance there, there’s a different ordinance here. The county one could potentially cover all the municipalities,” said Kramer.

He says there’s already been confusion among village residents asking if Green Bay’s ordinance applied in Hobart, which it does not.

Kramer says the village made some adjustments to its operations during the pandemic, but hasn't shut its doors to the public or felt a need to order a mandate.

“I think a lot of it is enforcing that no single person is going to beat this thing, so it has to be a team effort,” said Kramer.

Village leaders in Suamico tell Action 2 News they are also waiting to see if a mandate is put into place by the county and have not discussed a possible mandate for its residents.

De Pere Mayor James Boyd says a mask ordinance similar to Green Bay’s is in the works. De Pere has its own health department, meaning the city would not be subject to a county-wide ordinance.

Leaders in the Town of Lawrence and Village of Ashwaubenon tell Action 2 News there has been no discussion at this point about a mask mandate for its residents.

The Brown County Health and Human Services Committee will meet Thursday to take up a possible county-wide mask mandate.

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