Fresno city council votes to ban anyone without masks, even mayor and council members, from City Hall

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno City Council members and the mayor could lose some of their clout if they don't follow a new order from the city manager requiring masks inside City Hall.

The city council chambers is a lonely place on most days since the coronavirus pandemic, even a day like Thursday when city council held a meeting.

Only Garry Bredefeld came to the meeting place, and he was alone in voting against a resolution allowing discipline if the mayor, council members, or other city employees disregard an order to wear masks in the building.

Bredefeld, without a mask, blamed it on council President Miguel Arias.

"Absolutely. Miguel Arias brought this forward. Miguel Arias is a bully," said Bredefeld.

Bredefeld said the council is complicit in enacting 'stupid policies' from Arias.

He said he supports a business owner's right to make masks mandatory, but said he shouldn't have to do it at City Hall.

"For me in my own personal decision, I just don't feel the need to wear a mask. But I support the CDC guidelines. I support washing your hands. I support distancing. But I'm not going to wear a mask. I don't feel it's important for me to do it," he said.

The CDC changed its mask recommendation in April after learning about sick people spreading coronavirus while they had no symptoms.

As council member Mike Karbassi pointed out, the CDC now says we should wear masks any time social distancing is difficult.

And the county's health officer also says we should wear masks when indoors at work or at a business - not to protect the person wearing the mask, but the people in their vicinity.

Six city council members and several public speakers supported the requirement inside City Hall.

Councilmember Paul Caprioglio, at 74 years old, said he's at risk if people come to work without masks.

But Bredefeld aimed his anger at Arias.

And it's the same line of attack he's used against Arias since the current council president joined the council, as he did when they disagreed about where to spend state road funding in April 2019.

"This is par for the course unfortunately with Councilman Arias. He's been there three months and already established a reputation as a bully," Bredefeld said.

Arias hasn't responded to the latest Bredefeld bullying accusations, but he did last year.

"I think those kind of personal attacks are unnecessary and silly and they're just simply inaccurate," he had said.

The mask resolution takes effect immediately.

Bredefeld said he won't wear a mask no matter what, so he'll force the council to decide whether they want to try to impose discipline.
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