South Coast County Wavers On Applying Fines For Failure To Wear Masks

Aug 26, 2020

A plan to issue fines for those who refuse to wear masks as required has been delayed by Santa Barbara County.

The Board of Supervisors heard a proposal at their meeting Tuesday that outlined different levels of penalties.

"$100 for a first offense maximum, $200 for a second offense, $500 for a third offense, and again those are maximum numbers, not mandated numbers," said Barney Malekian, the Assistant County Executive Officer Over Public Safety.

Had the votes been in place, an urgency ordinance would have gone into effect, which could have been implemented immediately. County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino is not a supporter of the enhanced enforcement, preferrring instead to focus on messaging.

"Once we found the right message and we started speaking a language that people here understand and met them where they are, I think we saw a lot more compliance," Lavagnino said.

The possibilty of fines for mask misuse still exists, but it would be taken up at a later date.