Maine Republican's 'utterly embarrassing' anti-mask resolution overwhelmingly shot down by county council

A Republican Androscoggin County Commissioner's resolution aimed at undermining Maine Gov. Janet Mills's mask mandate got overwhelmingly shot down this week by his fellow commissioners.

Maine Public Radio reports that Androscoggin County Commissioner Isaiah Lary had proposed a resolution that would have barred the county from enforcing Mills's order that mandated residents wear face masks in certain public places during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Sally Christner, a Republican who chairs the Commission, was among the commissioners to vote down Lary's plan and she said it was wrong for Lary to falsely claim that the commission somehow had the power to override the governor's orders on this issue.

"I understand that many will not like this, I think that some in my own party will be angry with me for taking this stand," she said. "The situation has raised the anxiety in your life, it's created a lot of unrest, and frankly it's created a lot of chaos in our community. And it's over a motion that frankly we had no authority to begin with."

Lary was undeterred, however, and regularly interrupted commissioners who spoke out against his proposal.

Lewiston planning board member and former school board chairwoman Linda Scott told NPR that Lary's behavior during the meeting was an humiliation for all involved.

"I find this utterly embarrassing," she said. "And I think there are some commissioners that should be absolutely ashamed of themselves for trying to push a personal agenda."

In the end, Lary was the only commissioner who voted in support of his proposals.