TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Board of Supervisors passed a mask policy on May 19, 2020, requiring everyone in the board chambers to wear a mask, including the supervisors themselves.
However, District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller has refused to wear a mask.
Other supervisors have complained to county administration which issued this memorandum stating the policy but also saying if a supervisor refused to wear a mask, a sheet of plexiglass would be used to separate them from the rest.
The county inserted a tall piece of plexiglass between Miller and District 5 Supervisor Betty Villegas.
Villegas complained to the board and administration and was told “that Ally didn’t have to wear it because she’s an elected official and we can’t force her to.”
But she added even with the plexiglass she “felt uncomfortable” but added “I was glad for it, I mean I’ll take any prevention I can get.”
It is causing a rift among the supervisors who say they passed the mask policy to protect everyone’s health.
“I’m not happy that Supervisor Miller is not following the rules,” said District 3 Supervisor Sharon Bronson. “I think in this time of a pandemic we need to follow the rules to protect not only ourselves but others.”
Miller did nor return our calls for response.
During the meeting, one man was arrested for breaking the rules and another said loudly as he stormed out of the meeting, “why am I required to wear a mask and she’s doesn’t”, referring to Miller.
“I did say under my mask, not very loudly, why don’t you ask her,” Villegas said. “But I don’t think he heard me.”
Bronson suggested Board Chair Ramone Valadez take a vote on whether Miller should be allowed to remain but he never called for it although he reminded Miller of the mask policy and the fact she should be wearing one.
“If there was a vote, I would have voted to remove her from the meeting,” Bronson said. Again, she could be “engaged in her office unless she decided she would wear a mask.”
“I think that it is your responsibility to protect the community that your represent and as an elected official you should set that example,” Villegas said. “If you’re not willing to do that, stay and home, stay in your office.”