Bochenski still opposes mask mandate

Bochenski still opposes mask mandate Click to Enlarge

Now that Fargo and Minot have issued mask mandates that carry no penalties… could Grand Forks be next?

Mayor Brandon Bochenski on Tuesday morning reiterated his opposition to moving masks from “recommended use” to a mandate.

The first-term mayor has urged people to wear masks, but said, enforcing such an order would be difficult.

"If someone's going to get prosecuted for not wearing a mask -- they're probably going to show up to fight it in court, you've got to imagine, too -- now I have the city prosecutor involved, the bailiff, court staff, the judge, possibly a lawyer or public defender. Now, because of this one thing, you've got 12 people, not to mention our P-SAP is going to be overwhelmed with calls from people saying, 'Larry at the corner Valley Dairy didn't have a mask on. Come get him,'" Bochenski said.

He added: "I've had long discussions with the Sheriff's Department and the Police Chief and it's a difficult one. At least in the Police Department, they've said, 'Mayor, we will do what you request us to do but it's a monumental task,' and it's something definitely new to them."

Bochenski says, while COVID cases are up, Grand Forks is managing things as well as it can, adding the city is doing well economically and schools are open.

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