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Whitefish residents voice approval, concerns over city's mask mandate

Posted at 4:29 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 15:40:50-04

WHITEFISH — Starting Wednesday, it is required by the city of Whitefish that people wear masks in indoor public settings.

Many Whitefish residents were in attendance at a public meeting on Tuesday and spoke out against and were for the mask requirement.

One resident who was opposed said making this ordinance mandatory won't yield results.

"But you can't force your health decisions on someone else and ever get positive results. It never works," she said.

Several business owners like Chris Schustrom, who is the owner and operator of the Garden Wall Inn, was for the ordinance, saying wearing a mask is a common courtesy.

"Our guests from Montana, from Florida, from Texas, from Philadelphia, from Pennsylvania, from California, they've all been shocked at the number of people not wearing masks just for a common courtesy," said Schustrom.

Another business owner who was against the mandate expressed concern over potential profit loss, saying he saw what quarantine did to his business.

"I lost 98% of my profit in the month that you closed and required. Ninety-eight percent of my sales were lost because of quarantine," he said.

Emotions were high as another resident spoke in favor of the ordinance.

"I was going to take my shirt and pants off because those are required things,' she said. "I had to come down today because I was hearing ridiculous things over the microphone. Wear a mask people. The CDC now recommends it."

Frank Sweeney, Deputy Mayor of Whitefish, said that this ordinance is meant to protect the public and Whitefish businesses.

"I'm comfortable on what we did and I hope people can get on board and understand this is really about protecting this community as a whole," said Sweeney.