CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Mo.- On Tuesday, both mayors from Ozark and Nixa passed executive order masking ordinances.
Businesses in both towns are mixed about having to follow the new rules starting Wednesday.
A new business owner in Nixa, Barney Matherly, is two weeks away from opening a new game store. Matherly is worried that the masking ordinance might destroy what he has put into the store.
His business is called Nixa Games and has a gaming area where customers can play board games at various tables; Matherly thinks the mandate might encourage people not to visit.
“It’s a game store for tabletop games. Board games, roleplaying games, war games. All things intended for people to interact in a personal way,” says Matherly.
He says he will try to keep the tables socially distant but is nervous about how the other rules will play out.
“As I understand the mask mandate, these people have to be six feet from each other to take their masks off, and that’s not gonna work,” says Matherly.
Matherly has shifted his frustration towards Nixa Mayor Brian Steele. Steele declined to interview with Ozarks First by the time this story was published.
“He thinks we’ll forget about this. We’re not going to forget about it. And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure he doesn’t get reelected. Unless he does something to back off of this,” he says.
Dixie Dannenberg, though, feels the polar opposite about the mandate.
“I’m for it. If I can protect myself and somebody else, I’m all for the masks,” says Dannenberg.
Just east of Nixa on Highway 14 in Ozark, Valerie Archer feels the same about the masks.
“I don’t want to wear a mask. I don’t want my customers to wear a mask or to have to, but it is probably the right thing to do. We’re just trying to take a care of each other. There’s not a sale worth the customer’s safety. If that’s what we’ve got to do, that’s what we’ve got to do,” says Archer, Co-Owner of Enchanted Parlor.
When it comes to voting in Christian County in two weeks, Christian County Clerk Kay Brown says if you don’t want to wear a mask, there are options. Below are some of those voting options Brown suggests.