PALMDALE — The City Council, on Wednesday, will once again take up a prohibition on COVID-19 vaccine mandates within the city, by considering an ordinance proposed by a local anti-mandate organization.
Late last year, the Palmdale Freedom Coalition presented the Council with a proposed ordinance that would prohibit the establishment or enforcement of vaccine mandates within the city.
On Dec. 2, the Council, after hearing from an angry crowd that accused them of cowardice for not standing up to county, state and federal officials, rejected a resolution stating opposition to such mandates in favor of considering the Coalition’s proposed ordinance.
That proposed ordinance, up for consideration, Wednesday, states that the city may not issue any type of COVID-19 vaccination documentation, such as a so-called vaccine passport, and that any business within Palmdale may not require proof of vaccination for service.
In addition, the proposed ordinance states that neither the city itself nor any business or employer within it may require COVID-19 vaccination or regular COVID-19 testing as a requirement for employment.
According to the city attorney’s analysis in the staff report, the latter of these two provisions in the proposed ordinance could leave local businesses and employers at odds with either the city’s ordinance or county, state and/or federal mandates. This, in turn, could leave the city open to potentially costly lawsuits.
The proposed ordinance also stipulates that “all businesses must comply with this order to be eligible for permits, grants or contracts issued or funded through the City of Palmdale.”
This last provision would likely conflict with the city’s existing Municipal Code, which establishes the Los Angeles County Health Code as the city’s health code and county officials as the public health officers, according to the staff report.
This additional requirement to receive funding from other sources, such as the federal American Rescue Plan Act, may also be illegal, and could jeopardize access to current and future funding, according to the staff report.
The staff report does not include a recommendation for action, other than to “receive public testimony and consider the Ordinance.”
Wednesday’s regular Council meeting begins, at 7 p.m., in the Council Chambers, 38300 Sierra Highway. Public attendance in person is permitted, although masks are required and social distancing is encouraged.
The meeting is also available for participation via Zoom at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88125417461? pwd=eStDTnNQUE5XTy91aHJzbXZhcW84UT09.
To provide verbal comments remotely, call ZOOM Number: 346-248-7799, Webinar ID: 881 2541 7461 Passcode: 517332.
The meeting is also available for viewing at Spectrum Channel 27 and the city’s website, www.cityofpalmdale.org