UPDATE: Aurora Sentinel editor Dave Perry laments:
If you’ve been envious of the political spectacle that Republican Congressperson Lauren Boebert has inflicted on Colorado’s Western Slope and the U.S. House of Representatives, you’re gonna love the new show at A-Town’s City Hall…
I can imagine that if I were a city staffer or lawmaker forced into a room with people who think Douglas County is going in the right direction when it comes to this pandemic thing, and they refused to wear a mask, I’d be pretty pissed that my job depended on my pretending to smile at them behind my own mask.
If this is an indication of the same kind of science and politics the A-Town GOP caucus wants to use to solve other serious problems like gun violence, homelessness, mental health, struggling schools, serviceless elder people, immigration and police reform, you can expect plenty of time watching the Lauren Boebert spinoff A-town: Code Red.
As the Aurora Sentinel’s Kara Mason reports, the new overtly Republican majority on the nominally nonpartisan Aurora City Council was sworn in this week–and as you might have expected, they took office with a flourish of COVIDiot “civil disobedience” that portends great, and by that we mean really awful, things from the state’s newest conservative municipal stronghold in the coming years:
In the second in-person meeting in 20 months and before a crowd of friends and family — about half of which was abiding by a mask mandate — five new Aurora City Council members were sworn in Monday evening, officially giving an edge to conservatives.
At large members Danielle Jurinsky and Dustin Zvonek and Ward II member Steve Sundberg join a conservative faction of the technically non-partisan lawmaking body, who most recently penned a letter urging the city to opt out of a mask mandate from the Tri-County Health Department. None sported masks despite the city building being under the health department’s health order. [Pols emphasis]
“The city of Aurora follows the Tri-County Health Department’s public health order that requires all individuals two years of age and older to wear face coverings inside all publicly accessible spaces,” city spokesperson Michael Brannen said in response to comment from the Sentinel on Republicans disregarding mask rules. “As the city does not have its own health department, the city relies on TCHD for public health guidance and to enforce public health orders.”
Just before the long Thanksgiving weekend, readers will recall, Republican incumbents and newly-elected members of the Aurora City Council wrote a letter requesting that because conservative anti-mask Douglas County has jurisdiction over a tiny sliver of the city of Aurora–literally .6% of the population with no public businesses that would be affected–that none of the city should be required to follow the Tri-County Health Department’s mask mandate covering 99.4% of Aurora residents. We haven’t seen anything to suggest this advice was taken, which makes sense because it’s totally ridiculous.
But who are we kidding? This is 2021, folks. If Republicans don’t get their way on public health orders, they just disregard the orders–and if that doesn’t work, make like their heroes in Douglas County and fire the health department! The letter Republican council members sent to the City Manager “strongly encouraged” the city to only accept health orders from the state, which strongly suggests that the new GOP majority plans to defy the Tri-County Health Department still responsible for the overwhelming majority of the city.
Here is where your new Republican Aurora City Council majority has decided to plant its flag.
Be proud–or if you’re among the majority who still believe in science, not so much.