Anti-mandate resolution unanimously passes
Bonner County Commission Chairman Dan McDonald, left, talks on the phone with the county’s legal counsel Bill Wilson as he asks legal details about a question posed on the county’s anti-mandate resolution on Friday. Also pictured are commissioners Jeff Connolly, center, and Steven Bradshaw.
(Photo by ANNISA KEITH)
An anti-mandate resolution drew a packed audience Friday as Bonner County Commissioners voted to approve the measure.
Staff Writer | October 23, 2021 1:00 AM
SANDPOINT – Bonner County commissioners approved an anti-mandate resolution in front of a packed audience on Friday. Originally proposed by Commissioner Steve Bradshaw, the resolution declares that the county will do everything in its legal power to reject any kind of mandate.
“It’s taking a stand,” said Bradshaw. “It sends a message as to where the commissioners in Bonner County stand on things, and that we are working for the people.”
When asked about the members of his constituents that do not agree with the resolution, he said the commission was speaking for them as well.
“We did it for them, too,” Bradshaw said. “We understand their position. They believe the mask is good, they believe the vaccine is good. We believe they have the right to believe that, and we’re going to support them in that. But we will not support anything that takes that right away from them.”
In part, the resolution reads, “Therefore be it resolved: any attempt to alter the individual rights and freedoms by the implementation of a mask mandate, the Bonner County Board of County Commissioners will refuse to approve said mask mandates under Idaho Statute 39-414 (2), claiming our authority under the law to do so.”
“Therefore be it further resolved: any attempt to mandate any medication or procedure by the use of governmental force, will also be opposed to the level of our authority under the law.”
“We believe in individual liberties and the right for individuals to make their own choices when it comes to their health.”
In plain English, the Idaho Code referenced in the resolution states that the district board of health can and shall preserve and protect public health and take preventive measures to protect their health. An order given by that board goes into effect immediately. However, if an order applies to all people within an area, county commissioners can meet with the health board and then pass a resolution on what they plan to do about the order within the county within seven days.
If the commission approves the order, then the order will take effect immediately, or within 30 days. After that, the order can be extended or changed on a month-to-month basis if the commissioners see fit.
Even though the resolution is not a law, it is a legal document showing other governmental agencies what is to be expected from Bonner County officials.
The resolution only has effect over areas under county jurisdiction. The resolution does not apply to any place within the borders of a city, incorporated municipality, health district, fire district, or private businesses. The reason for this is because the county does not have authority over privately owned establishments or areas that have local governance.
“It’s pretty much all-encompassing within the limit of our authority. What this type of resolution is, is us expressing our own opinion to those we send this resolution to.” Commission Chairman Dan McDonald said.
An audience that overflowed into the hallway was eager to provide comment and ask questions about the resolution. Twenty-five people spoke at the hour-long meeting, all except one expressing the same stance — that any forced actions imposed by the government are in direct violation of their individual rights under the Constitution.
“I want to commend you for taking on this task of putting this resolution together and standing up for our rights,” said Robert Holetown, before submitting a 17-page excerpt from Sparticus for the record. Holetown cited that the text details the narrative in today’s current events.
There was one statement opposing the resolution that was submitted in writing.
“As far as I’m concerned, anything that causes more people to get vaccinated and/or wear a mask in public is a good thing,” resident Donald Lawman said.
“Unlike other parts of the country where more people are vaccinated and wear a mask, COVID is still raging in Bonner County,” he added. “If we want to put this pandemic behind us, banning mandates for vaccination and mask wearing is not the way to go.”
Lawman said he did not physically attend the meeting because of concerns about others not being vaccinated or wearing masks. The audience balked after the reading.
“It’s not really appropriate for us to discuss his letter,” Jessi Webster told the room.
Many who attended the meeting questioned the science surrounding COVID-19.
“The wheels have fallen off the science,” said Merlin Glass. ”The jabs that people are getting today, might not work tomorrow”
Some question the existence of the virus at all.
“COVID-19 is still yet to be isolated. There have been numerous Freedom of Information Act requests, requesting to see isolates of the virus and no country and no lab in the world have been able to produce one.”
Many indicated they do not believe in the effectiveness of wearing masks or of the vaccine.
“They’re going to mandate mRNA injections, because that’s what they are,” said Michael Bondor-Samuels. “And by the classic definition, they are not vaccines because, according to the CDC, they don't provide immunity and they don’t prevent transmission – which raises the question as to why we’re doing it.”
Even though those who oppose the mandates don’t hold the same views, the general perspective is that this is not a health issue, it’s a rights issue.
“And even though a lot of people think [the resolution] it’s a small thing, any right you give up you will not get back without shedding blood. History has shown that once you give a little, they will take a lot. If we don’t stop this at the state capitol, we’re going to end up stopping it on our porch. And nobody will win when it gets to that point.”
The signed resolution will be published on the Bonner County website, it will also be entered into the county records. The resolution will remain in effect unless a future commission chooses to rescind it.