‘Chronic disobedience’ over wearing a face mask outside could lead to $250 fine in Hoboken

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“Chronic disobedience” over wearing a face mask outside could lead to a $250 fine in Hoboken, pending approval from the city council later this month.

Last week, the council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would amend the city’s health and sanitation code regarding COVID-19 regulations.

The measure would allow a $250 fine to be imposed for anyone who does not adhere to city and state regulations that call for patrons and employees to wear a facial covering outside unless they are seated at a food establishment.

“It’s something that will hopefully be in the city’s tool kit to contain the virus. Right now, we have formed an ad hoc COVID special unit … various departments within the City of Hoboken to enforce the governor’s mandate in a way that is not heavy handed, that really emphasizes public education,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla told HCV at an unrelated presser today.

“So we’ve tasked out regulatory officers, our code enforcement officers, in a situation where you see someone not complying with the face mask mandate to give people a mask instead of a ticket.”

On July 8th, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) issued a directive requiring residents across the state to wear face masks outdoors, Executive Order 163, though he admitted at the time that enforcement would be difficult – if possible at all.

According to a copy of Hoboken’s ordinance, the police department, office of emergency management, code enforcement officers, the zoning department, construction official, and any other members of the COVID-19 task force would have the ability to issue fines.

While the mayor said sanctions were certainly in play if the ordinance is approved, which is currently expected since first reading passed unanimously (9-0), they would only be issued in the most dire circumstances.

“The mechanism of an ordinance which creates a local fine is intended to be utilized only in those extreme measures where you have chronic disobedience or disorderly conduct associated with that type of a situation,” he explained.

He added that the COVID-19 task force has largely been well received when telling residents to “mask up.”

The measure was largely overshadowed at last week’s council meeting by Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante receiving a new contract and the new Western Edge Redevelopment Plan being approved.

The first reading of the ordinance was also the last item on the agenda for the nearly three-hour meeting.

15 COMMENTS

  1. So Mayor Ravi Bhalla wants to impose some draconian fine on people to make the Karens in Hoboken happy.
    Well, first of all, it doesn’t match Gov. Murphy’s detailed order and that wasn’t even approved by the legislature.

    This is going to lead to hell and over what? There’s what, three active cases in Hoboken and how many hospitalizations and deaths here?

    You’re going to put in some illegal Nazi control order over a nursing home disease?

    ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR DAMN MIND?!!!!

    This thing blew through NJ already. See the Netherlands and how they are ordering citizens NOT TO WEAR MASKS. Take a look at Sweden and what just happened in Germany as thousands fed up with lockdown stupidity hit the streets hard.

    If this is even attempted to be made into a regulation in Hoboken, the “peaceful” protests need to start right outside the door to the home.

    And I mean right outside the door.

    • Thank you I couldn’t have said it better myself. Wearing facemaks is remarkably unhealthy. People need to breathe in frash air not their own Co2. Nonetheless it seems everyone and their mother can dole out tickets under Ravi’s rules but really are you surprised by Ravi’s duplicity installing such draconian measures while he calls himself a social justice warrior oh wait that’s right they’re the ones rioting, I mean “peacefully protesting” in Portland, Seattle, NYC. What the hell happened to people’s right to decide their own health?? The left is out of control on every level and mayors and governors like ours are promoting this insanity

    • No, grandpa. No one is listening. But the day time nursing shift hears your dog whistle loud and clear. You are blowing so hard. Very good! Someone will be getting an extra helping of strained peas after his nap today.

    • Hi Roman, your slip is showing… why do you hate Karens so much… a man can be a Karen too. Celebrate Pride Roman, the community welcomes you. Come out and get some sunshine… and rainbows

  2. What an illegal effort at harming civil liberties as this pandemic has well past done its worst here.
    That’s what a virus does. It goes through. It dissipates and then is gone. This is a power grab.

    You want a WAR?

  3. Disobedience? So now it’s not even flimsy science anymore.
    How the curve in Hoboken? Is it flattened yet?

    Ravi Bhalla couldn’t be more clear here.
    It’s about obedience.

    Does he think the Ravi Terror Flier trick will work again too?

  4. Does Ravi Bhalla know something more than the Netherlands? The European nation’s scientists say its citizens should not wear masks as its detrimental.

    Show us the science Ravi Bhalla. Surely, you’re insisting on this imposition on civil liberties based on something besides your massive ego, right? Show the Hoboken public the science for you to push an insane penalty to impose on their basic civil liberties with the pandemic practically nil in Hoboken.

    Holland says wearing face masks in public outdoor spaces goes against science.

    Christian Hoebe, a professor of infectious diseases in Maastricht the nation’s advisory team, said of face masks:
    “The evidence for them is contradictory. In general, we think you must be careful with face masks because they can give a false sense of security. People think they’re immune from disease or stop social distancing. That is very negative.”

  5. I’m not sure this proposed legislation is the best idea, but the lunatic response to it from Hoboken’s chief doofus is certainly entertaining.

  6. Ravi is empowering city employees who aren’t the police to write summonses. Can’t wait to see, say, the building inspector go on a ticket blitz. That’ll surely go over well!

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