Opinion | Kim McGahey: It’s time for local leaders to stand up to the state
Conservative Common Sense
The issue of heavy-handed state regulations hurting Summit County workers and business owners is a very important grassroots concern to local conservatives. The governor’s arbitrary dial of repression imposed from on high vacillating between colors of the rainbow is making it impossible for local businesses to stay afloat.
Hooray for Summit Daily News reporter Jenna deJong for finally shedding light on the severe problems caused by Gov. Jared Polis’ restrictions. There has been an inordinate emphasis on the number of COVID-19 cases rather than the more accurate and useful focus on hospitalizations and fatalities — both of which are low. For example, there has been only three fatalities from COVID-19 in Summit County in the past year. But the fixation on cases has allowed the state-imposed restrictions to go on way too long, and deJong’s accurate reporting has made the resulting unnecessary local suffering very obvious.
Her exposure of local business owners who have been victimized by state-imposed restrictions has finally aroused the attention of our cowardly Summit County commissioners, who are at long last expressing discontent and frustration with the state guidelines. Those commissioners have been hiding under Polis’ skirts for over a year, and it’s high time for them to come out with their own Summit County plan on how to get local businesses open 100% and back to prosperity and freedom.
Katelyn Huston, who was interviewed in the article, should be the poster child for thousands of Summit County workers, business owners, parents with kids in school and churchgoers who are fed up with distant bureaucrats in Washington and Denver telling us how to live our lives down to the minutest detail.
Some emergency orders that were drafted to flatten the curve a year ago — when we knew little about COVID-19 and had legitimate concerns about hospitals and health care personnel being overwhelmed by a surge of patients — remain in effect today even though we now have knowledge that is more accurate and hospitalization levels that are more manageable. We really don’t need far away, ill-informed bureaucrats telling us how and when we can use a hot tub or who we can meet for a beer or an exercise class or a church service.
Summit County workers, business owners and residents are looking for leaders who will let them make their own decisions to lead normal lives again. We are tired of having our First Amendment civil liberties sacrificed on the altar of politicians’ quest for continued wealth, status and power.
If Summit County public officials on the county commission and town councils meekly follow orders from their masters in Washington and Denver, who know nothing about the people and concerns unique to Summit County, then we the people should, can and will replace them with leaders who respect and respond to local residents.
The restrictions on personal gatherings of 10 people from two households, 6-foot social distancing, limiting restaurant occupancy to less than 100% and other unfounded power grabs have accomplished nothing but to crush local businesses, alienate visitors and impose economic and social hardships on local workers and residents.
There are other Colorado counties (like Douglas County) that have told Polis to shove it and are not caving in to his extended pronouncements. Summit County leaders need to show some backbone and do the same. It’s time for Summit County and all of Colorado to say “no“ to the fear and loathing being used to control us.
Kim McGahey’s column “Conservative Common Sense” publishes Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. McGahey is a real estate broker, tea party activist and former Republican candidate. He has lived in Breckenridge since 1978. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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