At the February 8, 2022 Board of Trustees regular meeting, the Board voted unanimously to repeal the municipal mask mandate that had previously extended the Boulder County Health mask order to the Weld County side of Erie. Here are the comments I made as we considered the resolution:
Disappointment with the Lack of Weld County Representation
First of all, I’m very disappointed that the residents on the Weld County side of Erie didn’t get representation this evening from the public health department, or any other county elected officials. That to me is a failure of representative government. For those residents that spoke tonight, I really would like for their voice to have been supported by some empirical data from Weld County; it is very disappointing to me that those folks didn’t get that representation here in all the comments that we received either by email and by oral testimony today.
I’m also frustrated by assertions that were made in absolute terms:
- That we are the only municipality that has an emergency declaration. That’s not true.
- That masks are not effective. That’s not true.
- That no one wears masks anyway. That’s not true.
No Mask, No Service?
If three years ago somebody had walked into Walgreens without a shirt, given that there’s a “shirt and shoes are required for service” sign posted … if they had come into that business and refused to put on a shirt, and that police involvement was necessary to negotiate with that individual, and for them to be either escorted out of the establishment, or to be arrested — we would have looked upon that situation in horror, all of us.
What we see now are instances where people are coming into businesses where masks are required, either by local statute or by request of the business, refusing to mask up and requiring police involvement for them to be removed from the situation. That is incredibly unfair, not only to the business owners, their employees, and the patrons of that establishment, but also to our police department. Their resources need to be spent in areas where we require their assistance, such as the increased vehicular trespass issues we’ve seen not only in Erie, but all around Colorado.
In a world where you can be anything, be kind
We’ve been dealing with this for a very long time. What I would really like for everybody that’s listening tonight and watches the video later on, is something that I mentioned, almost exactly two years ago, as we were coming into the throes of Covid 19.
And really what I want to impress upon you, is to be kind. I’ve seen a dramatic reduction in kindness in the last weeks and months, and it is so sad to me that when our children look at our actions in our homes and in the public sphere, they learn how to act in this way.
We’re raising a generation of children that don’t know how to act in the public sphere anymore, with dignity and respect and kindness, and I really want everybody that sent an email, that spoke tonight, to look back on what words were sent to others.
Are those the words that you will hold up with pride to your children today, tomorrow, or 10 years from now, when hopefully, we put all of this behind us? That really is my overwhelming message today: please, please consider how your personal actions affect others. Thank you.