A Portland city councilor said he’s received threats after his vote to impose an indoor mask mandate in Maine’s largest city.
Andrew Zarro, who also owns the coffee shop Little Woodfords, told the Portland Press Herald that he’s received threats over social media, voicemail and email, as well as fake reviews targeting his business.
That comes after Zarro and the others on the City Council voted unanimously Monday to require people to wear masks at indoor public spaces. That mandate took effect Wednesday, and businesses have until Monday to post signage requiring masks.
One public health official has been tasked with enforcing the mandate and issuing tickets up to $500 for each violation. That likely leaves enforcement to the city’s businesses.
While Zarro attributed the threats to his vote on the mandate, others suggested stickers sold at his shop reading “Abort Republicans” and “Defund God” spurred the backlash, according to the Press Herald.
Zarro called the stickers “satirical commentary” and said that he received no complaints until after Monday night’s vote. The stickers were being sold to raise money for reproductive rights, the Portland newspaper reported.
“This has put my business at very high risk and has put me at high risk. We need to stop discussing stickers and get back to what is actually happening, an attempt to undermine, threaten and bully elected officials from extreme points of view when a vote does not pan out a certain way,” he told the Press Herald.
His colleagues on the City Council condemned the attacks against Zarro.
Zarro has contacted the Portland Police Department, which is looking into the threats.
Following Portland’s decision to impose an indoor mask mandate, the Brunswick Town Council passed a similar measure Thursday night. There are currently no plans to impose an indoor mask mandate in Bangor, City Council Chair Rick Fournier told the Bangor Daily News.