‘I applaud them’: Florence councilwoman approves of mayor’s face mask proclamation

Florence councilwoman, restaurant manager react to Mayor Wukela’s mask proclamation

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela decided to issue a proclamation on Thursday requiring masks in restaurants and retail stores.

Instead of waiting for the next city council meeting, Wukela went ahead with the proclamation which will begin at midnight on July 6.

Florence District 2 Councilwoman Pat Gibson-Hye Moore believes Wukela and city manager Randy Osterman made the right decision.

“I applaud them because they are showing good positive leadership to try and protect everyone as much as possible,” said Gibson-Hye Moore.

Gibson Hye-Moore said Wukela called every city councilmember individually to inform them of the decision to issue the proclamation. She said this is a tough time to be a leader, but sometimes you have to make the decisions you feel are in the public’s best interest.

”You just have to do it, no matter what you do, not everyone is going to like it, not everyone is going to be receptive to it, but you have to do it because you know it’s what’s needed,” said Gibson-Hye Moore.

Assistant Manager of Wholly Smokin Barbecue, Jennifer King, said they’ve been very serious about protecting their customers since restaurants were allowed to reopen, and she feels they’re prepared for the new guidelines.

To get her employees into the habit, King is already asking customers if they have a mask available when they walk in the door.

“We want our customers and diners to feel comfortable, that’s number one because we know that’s the key to staying open and doing business,” said King.

Due to costs, Wholly Smokin can’t provide masks to customers, so King said they’ll have to bring their own.

King made it very clear if people choose not to follow the mask guidelines, they’ll be asked to leave.

“Unfortunately, if they aren’t willing to cooperate we will have to ask them to leave the restaurant because we’re not going to take that chance. As you can see we have been sealing all of our containers, all of our to-go containers have the seal. We space people out per the governor’s orders. We are fully in compliance and we aren’t going to change that.”

Failure to comply with the proclamation could result in a fine of up to $25.

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