MONUMENT — In a 7-0 vote, the Town of Monument passed a resolution Monday night that condemns "the unconstitutional limitations" imposed by Gov. Jared Polis.
The passed resolution states it serves as a way of "reasserting the rights of the town" and will not support "COVID restrictions" that would shut down businesses.
The document cites that the governor "altered restrictions without regard to their purpose of health and safety" on Jan. 4, the day the state health department moved counties originally under Level Red to Level Orange after Polis made a request.
“This is a direct result of Coloradans stepping up and taking the steps to protect themselves and others,” Polis said in a prepared statement late on Dec. 30, while urging Coloradans to remain vigilant and act with prudence as the year comes to a close.
Since this change took place, the town has been operating under Level Orange restrictions under the state's COVID-19 dial that allows 25% capacity with indoor dining.
“When a society becomes fearful, they are doomed to be taken over by tyranny," Monument Town Trustee Ron Stephens said during the Board of Trustees' special meeting Monday night. “And I think we’re faced here with a pandemic, we’re not denying that. We are not, as a board, acting unconstitutionally, instead, we believe it’s the state of Colorado that is acting unconstitutionally.”
All community members who spoke during public comment Monday spoke in favor of passing the resolution.
“It is criminal that we are crippling an entire economy," one Monument resident said.
“I’m sorry, I refuse to live my life in fear. God knows the day of my death, and there’s nothing I can do to change that,” another Monument resident said.
But out and about in Monument Tuesday, News5 found a more mixed reaction from people.
“I’m very dismayed," Monument resident Lee Ann Harper said. “I think that’s just a very short-sighted view on what has turned out to be a very long-term issue.”
Others saw both sides of the issue.
“I am not certain how to feel," said Gary Miller, a shopper at a Monument grocery store. “On the one hand, I see the benefit of not having people close together, but on the other hand, it’s been a year now.”
But under the resolution, the town suggests business owners should not feel forced to comply with the restrictions, only doing so if they want to. However, the town acknowledged in the resolution it does not have the authority to stop the state from taking action against violators.
”The Board of Trustees understands that, notwithstanding their unconstitutional nature, State authorities may attempt to pressure businesses to comply and may threaten their livelihoods," the resolution says. "The town of Monument does not have the ability to preclude state enforcement actions.”
The resolution states it's intended to have businesses make their own decisions and "to be responsible in evaluating their own establishment" to "safely" allow however many customers they choose, while decided for themselves if it's worth to risk facing possible consequences from the state.