Letter to the editor: County commissioners are not required to uphold ‘arbitrary’ laws
Summit County Commissioner Thomas Davidson called the state’s COVID-19 restrictions “arbitrary” and “capricious.”
As a matter of law, arbitrary and capricious orders are not enforceable. County commissioners are perfectly within the law if they refuse to follow arbitrary and capricious state mandates, like Gov. Jared Polis’s COVID-19 coloring book of “milestones.” They should allow our hospitality businesses to open and put people back to work now, in time for the busy Christmas season.
Their job is to do what is best for the county, not to meekly obey unenforceable state mandates. Our county is dependent on the hospitality industry to serve people who come to enjoy our beautiful community, its recreational and entertainment facilities, its lodging facilities, and even its bars and restaurants.
Our elected commissioners must decide what businesses can open, who can work and what gatherings are appropriate by balancing the COVID-19 risk mitigation benefits of opening against the cost of shutdowns on the economy and their social and emotional cost on residents, workers and visitors. They cannot meekly follow arbitrary and capricious state mandates that harm Summit County workers, businesses, students, property owners and families. Nor can they rely on opinions of “experts” that are not based on Summit County facts.
Reports from New York, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Denver indicate the percentage of COVID-19 cases coming from bars and restaurants is less than 5%. In Summit County, the reported outbreaks arose mainly within workplaces and private social gatherings. Few or zero outbreaks are traced to bar and restaurant customers. There is no scientific basis for an assumption that shutting down our bars and restaurants will reduce Summit County cases.
All of Summit County should support a commission decision to reopen our facilities.
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