California city enforcing face masks with fines up to $500

West

BURBANK, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — Officials in a California city plan to start cracking down on anyone not wearing a face mask, whether they live there or not.

Burbank issued a mask mandate back in April, but enforcement has been fairly loose up to now leading to a number of citizen complaints.

So as of this week, people not in a mask could face a stiff fine.

“I don’t think it’s gonna fix everything. And I say good luck collecting fines because there’s a lot of people out of work. I don’t know that the fines are effective,” said Melissa Wilson who supports the mask mandate.

The warnings have been up for well over a week and the City of Burbank has hired an outside firm to begin issuing citations.

Those caught without a face covering could face a fine of $100. A second citation would cost $200 and anyone caught yet again would be on the hook for $500 every time thereafter.

“I think fines are the answer. But how steep can the fines be before someone starts to listen,” said Burbank visitor Mark Wilson. “I think we should start at $500. No one’s gonna listen with $100.”

Burbank police said in this initial period through the end of the month, offenders will only be issued warnings. Since the crackdown started on Friday, 585 people have already been warned.

“We are against the mandate,” said Lucas Lepejian.

Lepejian and his family own Tinhorn Flats. It’s closed Monday and they adhere to the mandate, but don’t support it.

“The mandate is not enforced by Burbank PD, it’s enforced by some kind of third party which is really the odd part of it. Burbank PD enforcing is one thing but a third party is another,” Lepejian said.

Back on the streets, Christian Morales could’ve been cited on Monday.

“I guess I should start wearing my mask then,” he said.

Burbank resident Glenn Newland thinks the mandate is good.

“I think if it’s got teeth, it’s a good idea because as much as I think people should have the right to do what they want, in this particular instance, the right thing to do is to wear a mask,” he said.

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