The Douglas County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution today that’s as confusing as it is valueless.
“‘Today the Board of Douglas County Commissioners approved a resolution to petition the State of Colorado ‘to safely and fully reopen our County and economy without delay thus allowing our residents and business community to exercise personal responsibility to determine how to best protect their health and financial interests.’ All COVID-19 safety regulations remain in place and Douglas County businesses must continue to follow state guidelines.”
What does that mean? Nothing.
The resolution declares that the residents and business owners of DougCo should be free from COVID-19 mandates and able to make decisions about their own health and safety. But unlike the town of Monument and Custer County, DougCo Commissioners did not declare that their constituents could return to normal life. They asked Polis and CDPHE for a plan to do so.
“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Douglas County is requesting that the State immediately issue a full reopening plan so that the public is fully aware of when and how normal activity can occur without further Government restrictions…”
The Commissioners asked the state for a reopening plan, which is nothing short of the compliance seen from most counties across Colorado. It’s not the type of compliance that constituents, who elected the allegedly freedom-driven board, would have expected from the group.
Then, in backwards fashion, the commissioners, via Thomas, made it clear that the county will abide by all existing COVID-19 safety measures.
Commissioner Lora Thomas is wrong; the county does have permission to open whenever it wants. Plenty of towns and counties across Colorado have already done so, and while CDPHE makes idle threats, it has no ability to shut down entire counties. And it won’t.
Governor Polis has no authority to extend executive orders beyond the initial thirty days. And any mandates born out of his continued irrational one year state of emergency are just that…mandates.
Mandates are not laws, so enforcing them is unconstitutional. County commissioners, like all local officials, have a duty to uphold the constitution and protect their constituents from infringement. Sadly, even conservative DougCo commissioners failed to do so today.
Instead of standing up to the Governor and CDPHE like other jurisdictions, DougCo bowed down to both and attempted to create a mere signal of non-compliance and freedom for its constituents. Reopening must happen more quickly, and the people need help from their local governments to do so.