MONUMENT, Colo. — The Board of Trustees for the Town of Monument voted unanimously on a resolution that said the town “will no abide by any executive orders” related to the pandemic set forth by Governor Jared Polis.
Monday’s vote carried 7-0 support.
“We’re looking for a more uniform structure across the board,” said Mayor Don Wilson. “The consistency is a big issue for these businesses. They’re pouring money into meeting restrictions and guidelines.”
The conversations for this resolution started before Gov. Polis announced via social media earlier this month that many Front Range counties would move from Level Red to Level Orange on the state’s COVID-19 dial. The Red Level restrictions meant a close to indoor dining and many restaurants in the town had bought tents, heaters, and other things to make outdoor dining viable.
“These extraordinary steps have saved the lives of thousands of Coloradans and we have sought from the beginning to balance the need for economic activity, the need for socio-emotional fulfillment with the need to save lives,” Gov. Polis said in his update on Wednesday.
Part of the Town’s resolution claims the Governor doesn’t have the right to restrict speech, limit people’s movements, declare what is an essential business and what is not and that “a state of emergency that operates in perpetuity becomes a state of tyranny.”
Nearly all challenges to the Governor’s executive orders have held up in court versus legal challenges and, while Wilson says he’s confident in the case law the Board cites, it’s more about a message to the Governor.
“I would love to have further conversations with our Governor and I would like to see a broader guideline that doesn’t pick and choose different industries and different people for their businesses,” said Mayor Wilson.
Wilson says it doesn’t make sense to him why a small shop in Monument needs to be limited to less than 20 people based on capacity while, at the same time, the In-N-Out chain down the interstate has stayed open through a COVID-19 outbreak of over 80 people.
Wilson says, through this resolution, the board is not pressuring businesses to go against state guidelines and risk their license to operate and the resolution says “the citizens of Monument are aware of their own underlying health and risk factors” but is advocating for business owners’ need for consistency.
“The board is not advocating for not wearing masks, not social distancing. We want to make sure that our businesses have enough of an equal opportunity, through a hard time for everybody, to do what they need to do,” Mayor Wilson said.