The fraught fight over masking was revived Monday night when a New Gloucester selectwoman became the latest local official to propose an anti-mask resolution.
Linda Chase, the board’s vice chair, introduced a resolution that resembled word for word an earlier one that divided Androscoggin County commissioners in February, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal.
That resolution, proposed by Commissioner Isaiah Lary of Wales, sought to ban county employees, funds and equipment from being used to enforce a “pandemic order” and challenged the authority of Gov. Janet Mills, whom the Legislature granted emergency powers last March to counter the spread of the coronavirus.
After a weekslong controversy over the resolution, which saw the county sheriff prohibit staff from attending meetings unless mask wearing was enforced and the Maine attorney general telling commissioners to mask up, the body rejected it 6 to 1.
More than 70 residents attended the New Gloucester select board meeting on Monday, with a majority of those speaking coming out against the resolution. One resident called it “ignorant,” while another likened it to a “manifesto,” the newspaper reported.
Others spoke in favor, saying that people who wear masks are “giving up their individual rights.”
Chase, who did not elaborate on her decision to introduce the resolution, said she wasn’t against wearing masks, but that it should be a choice.
The select board tabled the resolution indefinitely, according to the Sun Journal.