Victor City Attorney addresses legality of mask mandate

VICTOR, IDAHO. — The face-covering order issued on Aug. 30 by Victor City Mayor Will Frohlich is lawful and Teton County School District #401 must comply, according to a recent memo by Victor City Attorney Herb Heimerl.

Last week, Teton County School District 401 Superintendent Monte Woolstenhulme, Ed.S., informed Mayor Frohlich that the District was “not bound by the Mayor’s Order, nor by the City Ordinance requiring the wearing of masks indoor.”

The City of Victor released a press release addressing the controversy, sharing portions of the memorandum from Heimerl, sent to the Mayor and the City Council.

“As the Victor City Attorney, I respectfully disagree with the assertion that the City of Victor does not have jurisdiction to impose a health or quarantine ordinance on a public school within the corporate limits of the City of Victor,” Heimerl said.

“While Teton School District 401 is a body corporate of the State of Idaho, no statute exists, and no provision of the State constitution suggests that a school is sovereign and therefore exempt from the rule of law vested in the City in which such school is located,” stated a press release from the City of Victor.”

“In fact, Idaho Code 50-606 states, in part: “The mayor shall have such jurisdiction as may be vested in him by ordinance over all places within the corporate limits of the city, for the enforcement of any health or quarantine ordinance and regulation thereof…” The statute is clear, and there are no exceptions to the power it authorizes,” Heimerl wrote in his memorandum.

The Mayor’s Order requires individuals to wear a mask or face covering when indoors, the CDC requires passengers two years of age and older, as well as the driver of a bus or van operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/childcare programs, to wear a mask or face covering subject only to the exclusions and exemptions in CDC’s Order.

“The Teton County School District in Wyoming is compliant with this Order and has been since its implementation. I believe Teton County School District 401 is also subject to this Order and should require children on public school buses and the drivers of those buses to wear a mask to be compliant with the CDC’s Order,” Heimerl wrote.

Mayor Frohlich’s Order went into effect at 12:01 am, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, and remains valid for 30-days unless extended or terminated earlier.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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