E-mails to Iowa City City Council show most in favor of new mask mandate, but about 25% are not

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 3:15 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - On July 21, Iowa City required everyone in the city to wear face coverings, if they cannot socially distance. That includes activities like shopping or just walking around downtown.

In that time, people are giving plenty of opinions - not just on social media, but writing to the city council directly.

Based on just watching the walkers around the Pedestrian Mall and around the downtown area, the number of people wearing cloth face masks gives the impression that the majority of people are in favor, or at least compliant, with the new regulation.

But that does not mean everyone, as clearly indicated in e-mails sent to the Iowa City City Council over the last ten days.

“The sky is not falling this is a pure power grab,” said Tim Borchardt of Iowa City.

Any e-mail sent to the city council is public record, then published and made public record as part of the “Correspondence” portion of all Iowa City City Council formal meetings. TV9 went through the sixteen e-mails, finding that twelve of those messages were in favor of the new mandate, like the one Rick and Diane Lahr of Iowa City.

“You give us hope that someone cares about the welfare of their citizens,” the e-mail said.

“We are grateful to you for holding strong and being united in the policy,” the Lahrs continued.

While some e-mailed in support, they also recognized that it might not be a unanimous approval.

Pat Bowen of Iowa City said: “I’m sure you are getting unfavorable responses, too, so just wanted to let you know I appreciate what you have done!”

Bowen was exactly right.

”We will no longer be spending even a dollar to any business that has an Iowa City address,” said Mark Banowetz.

“I don’t want to see any stories in the news about the police being called on people, but that’s going to happen. I think you want it to happen,” said Marvin Dennis.

In total, about a quarter of those who wrote in to the city council were against the mask mandate, but a common theme emerged: many were thankful and appreciative of the move made by Mayor Bruce Teague on July 21.

But that full support has not caught on just yet.

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