Citizens' Right to Speak

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This is a recording of the April 27 City Council meeting.

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Online comments closed at 12:30 PM MDT 4/27/20.
I have lived at this location in Wheat Ridge for nearly 27 years, and a nearly 57 in the immediate area. My oldest daughter lives with me as does her partner for 3-4 days a week. He is a nurse and currently is residing with and caring for his parents who are suffering health issues related to ageing and the current health safety restrictions. The 3 of us are all at risk citizens for assorted health and aging reasons. We fully support the actions taken by the City in regard to the wearing of masks, distancing and regulations related to the conduct of business and social activities in the City, and would not under any circumstances deviate from compliance at this time. All of us fully understand and sympathize with the financial impact closures or restrictions have on businesses and employees as, I am also affected by the closure of Found, where I have a small booth. In addition, my son in a different state was a long time upper manager at a national business that sold & closed his divisions and as the area's only major corporation he was unable to find other employment at that level. After a year, he found permanent employment at far less than half his original salary and took two part-time jobs to make ends meet, pay his mortgage and substantial medical care for 3 family members. Now all those incomes have gone away & they depend on me for much of their support. People who are carping and charging the Federal, State and local City Government with infringement on their civil liberties, etc. appear to have little understanding of the responsibilities of government, which is to provide, among other things, for the health, happiness and welfare of the people of our country. I know it is hard, but is much harder to lose friends or family members to this disease. Complaints about restricting the activities of social activities, distancing, wearing masks, etc. are selfish and in many cases ludicrous and I fully support the current decisions of the City in the recently passed Resolution 2020. Your job as Council members is to do what is best for the many, not just the few. Thank you.
April 27, 2020, 12:03 PM
Betty J. Crist
I just wanted to take a moment to thank our City Manager, Mayor and City Council for making cloth masks mandatory in public places through May. The lives of the workers and all of us who want to safely go out once in a (great!) while are literally at stake. THANK YOU so much for keeping us safe and implementing this order. I'm proud to be a 19-year citizen of Wheat Ridge! Melanie
April 27, 2020, 11:59 AM
Melanie Mayner
Comments made here should be read out loud during the City Council Meeting to ensure that all City Council members know them. These comments are the same as someone getting up to speak at City Council meetings.
April 27, 2020, 11:57 AM
Ihor Figlus
Thank you Wheat Ridge City Council for following CDC guidelines and doing your part to keep the public safe through the recent mask order. It's unfortunate that some are interpreting simple, public health practices as infringement of personal freedoms during this very difficult time. The decisions you are making are not easy and won't make everyone happy. However, telling people to wear masks in public during a pandemic where people present asymptomatic with a potentially deadly virus is not out of line. The serious health risks associated with COVID-19, especially for our most vulnerable neighbors, should far outweigh the slight discomfort of temporarily wearing a mask. You are doing the right thing and I thank you for your leadership.
April 27, 2020, 11:45 AM
Amy DeKnikker
Thank you, Patrick Goff for requiring our community to wear masks. I wholly support this action because in the health of our community is more important than individual desires. This is one way, along with social distancing that we can slow the curve.
April 27, 2020, 11:44 AM
Milly Nadler
With regards to the Face Covering Order, some of the business owners here in Wheat Ridge have questions. We appreciate the clarification in these. Question 1: Is this order aimed at the right party? - The order is not very clear whether this order was directed to the business owners or their customers (general consumers) - This order addresses the instance of all persons entering “critical business” – and yet these are sent to all businesses in Wheat Ridge. Is this sent to those businesses as “general consumer” or to those businesses to post this information so they need to enforce it? Question 2: What is the role of the business owner in this? If the liability on customer or on business owner? Is the order is not enforced, does the business owner become liable? - Mayor said that the business owners are not expected to enforce this, but since the businesses are to post this on the door or at the location where people can see before they enter the premises, what if they refused to post this information? Will they be punished in any way? - In my opinion, requiring the face coverings should be requested and enforced by each business at the business’ own discretion as their customers are entering the business’ private property. Question 3: Does the city manager have authority for the order with the power to charge violator with misdemeanor? I was told that misdemeanor is usually tried by County District Attorney or State attorney, and not by city attorney? - Mayor said that the council didn’t know that the section of the “Persons violating the terms of this order are subject to enforcement as a misdemeanor offense…” was added to the order as it was added by the city attorney after the fact. Question 4: Why was this order placed with only consensus of the council members and the business owners did not have opportunity to give their feedback? - As you see, just my conversation with a few business owners brought up these questions. We would've appreciated opportunity to ask questions and provide our feedback before the order was put in place. Question 5: If this order is not intended to be enforced, why is it the order? - In my opinion, placing the “Recommendation/Encouragement/Plea” is more favorable language. As having this order go out as a public health order wrongly encourages people to behave in unkind manner promoting “tattling”, “snitching” and publicly shaming others as many people have been witnessing these days. People are stressed and very afraid, they act in paranoia instead of kindness. - Furthermore, by stating that offense may be charged as a misdemeanor suggests people call the police and exhaust our law enforcement resources by taking their time for those phone calls, even though the city manager clearly stated that they will not be dispatching officers. It would also cause additional frustrations to those people who choose to call in. - Another comment/question was whether this order causes people to not do business in Wheat Ridge. In the long run, despite the effort to protect the public, is this order killing the very businesses we are trying to protect? Thank you.
April 27, 2020, 11:43 AM
Maki DeLaet
I am so proud of my City Representatives. I agree with the order which was unanimously voted on by the City Council. Wearing a mask along with social distancing is the right thing to do and will go a long way to help to stop this terrible Pandemic, and it is what we know we can do NOW! So little to ask of us all, we can do it. Thank you so much.
April 27, 2020, 11:40 AM
Carolyn Herman
I support the City of Wheat Ridge's policy requiring masks in public. As a worker in an essential business, I would support more stringent measures. Throughout this crisis, I've observed the public's lack of rigor, even when attempting to follow guidelines. It is very concerning. I live in Wheat Ridge and would stay home if I could, but I work in an essential business just east of town. I wear a mask for a significant fraction of the day. Thankfully, most of my job is performed alone, driving deliveries to their destinations. Sometimes, though, I have to be on the sales floor, picking orders. This is where I see people shopping aimlessly, picking their noses, touching things unnecessarily, generally acting less than mindful of the threat posed by the novel coronavirus. Please, if you are going shopping, make a list, don't touch things you are not buying, get in & get out & go home. I don't understand why people not properly wearing a facial covering are granted admission to shop at all. This whole situation is inconvenient: glasses fog up, ears hurt from mask straps, it just feels weird. I've also learned to open doors & operate elevators with my knees. I carry a stylus for buttons. It's a necessary pain -- and an opportunity to learn new ways to navigate the world -- if you have to go out into it. If you don't, please STAY HOME. It's necessary. There are many things we don't know about this novel coronavirus, and new information emerges daily. Three things we know we can do: (1) Stay home and aggregate shopping/errand lists; (2) Wash your hands; (3) If you must go out, wear a mask & pretend that everything unnecessary is lava. Do it for your neighbors, and your neighbors' neighbors.
April 27, 2020, 11:22 AM
Justin Soffer
Hello Mayor Starker and council members, Each of the citizens you serve is faced with unique challenges as we navigate our way in this time of COVID-19. Some have businesses and employees that are suffering, some are out of work, some have kids who are trying to learn at home, some have been or are ill with the coronavirus, some have lost family members to the virus and some are on the front lines as medical providers and first responders. And each of you are facing some of these same challenges even as you continue to serve the community in this difficult and frightening time. It cannot be easy to know how best to serve and protect our community in this time, and as always there will be disagreement in our community about the direction of your leadership. That is why I want to express my appreciation for your unanimous decision to require that face coverings be worn by employees and patrons of essential businesses. Your decision helps protect the people who are working to provide the essential services that each of us has a right and need to access, and helps protect us when to do. Thank you for demonstrating your sincere desire to protect the community even knowing that some will criticize you. You've done the right thing and I believe our community will be safer for it. My best regards and sincere hope that you and your families remain safe and healthy. Kim Calomino
April 27, 2020, 9:39 AM
Kim Calomino
Until we discover a vaccine for the virus I think it is only common sense for all of us to protect ourselves by wearing masks in public places and support the city’s order to do so.
April 26, 2020, 8:19 PM
Martin Calomino
I’m a RN at SCLHS LMC. I’m thrilled that WR has taken this step to protect the public. I’m 57 and have severe asthma, so when I’m off work, I’m staying home. We as a nation have asked people to wear masks for prevention off and on for a century. People don’t seem to understand that the masks aren’t protecting them, they protect everyone else. I’d like signs up-No Shirt, No Shoes, No masks, No entry! Period.
April 26, 2020, 12:02 PM
Linda Brunot
Thank you so much for requiring masks. Evidence shows that mask wearing us effective in reducing infection. My 13 year old son is vulnerable due to recent infections, and the new information about stroke risk for young people has put us in a heightened state of awareness. We are raising him to believe that part of good citizenship is caring for and supporting more vulnerable members of your community. Now, suddenly and unexpectedly, we are those vulnerable ones. We are so grateful to live in a city that operates with compassion and science in mind.
April 26, 2020, 8:18 AM
Rhiannon Gallagher
Why should we support the Wheat Ridge plan for requiring masks in public? Imagine yourself as a bubble machine. The droplets you produce when you cough, sneeze, talk, or breathe are bubbles floating on the air, possibly infected with the virus. How do you prevent these bubbles from reaching other people? By placing a physical barrier between you, the bubble machine, and other people. Your mask is the barrier that protects others from your bubbles. Another person’s face mask protects you from their bubbles. But I feel fine, you say, so I shouldn’t have to wear a mask. You might feel fine, but you might be asymptomatic—spreading virus-droplets even when you feel well. Wearing a mask can especially as we start to relax our social distancing. We’ll gradually be able to return to work, and businesses will gradually begin to reopen. We’ll be in contact with each other once more, which makes it important for us to prevent a second wave of the epidemic and to show we’re all in this together. Wearing a mask can be used as an additional measure. But wearing a mask feels awkward, you say. It’s uncomfortable and fogs my glasses. Lame excuses, now. There are hundreds of mask variations to make or buy. Different styles and fabrics. Some are utilitarian, some funny, some downright attractive. New fastener methods help with comfort. And tips and tricks are all over the internet to help with the dreaded fogging issue. But, you say, they told us cloth masks don’t help. That was early days, friends. I’ve read the research. It seems confusing, but it’s really not. Wearing a cloth mask helps keep your bubbles—er, germs—from spreading to someone else. And vice versa. The percentages aren’t important. When someone wears a mask, I’m thankful. I appreciate their consideration for me. And I wear one to show them I am looking out for them, too. If a store employee wears a mask, I know they are following best practices and care about their customers. If we all wear masks, maybe we can slow this insidious virus down. It’s not a hardship, and it’s not difficult. Even if it helps just a little, isn’t it worth it? Doesn’t possibly preventing even one person from becoming infected outweigh foggy glasses? WEAR YOUR MASK, PLEASE. Support your friends, family, and neighbors in Wheat Ridge.
April 26, 2020, 7:56 AM
Deborah Rich
Patriotism is fueled, for me, by being raised by two people who served our country during WWII. While growing up, they participated in local government, volunteered for anything I was involved in, and always told me to do the right thing. They were selfless, and looked out for others.They shared these values with others from their generation. During WWII, there was never a question that citizens would pitch in and do the right thing for others. We come to the our current World War, fighting the invisible enemy, Covid-19. And all we are being asked is to stay home, wash our hands, don't touch our face and if we have to go somewhere, wear a mask. That last part, wearing a mask, is an act of caring for others. By wearing a mask, we reduce, not eliminate, the chances of contracting this horrible virus. We increase the possibility that on the other side of this, we have more people alive; more friends, parents, grandparents and children alive to contribute to society, and love. This isn't about me, it's about WE. I have no problem wearing a mask in public. I could give two hoots about how I look, I want to be safe! Screw appearances. And it is beyond my comprehension why a small, but lethal minority, see this as an act of personal liberty infringement. Seriously? In the face of almost certain illness, and possible demise, you choose this hill to die on? A mask in public? Pull up your poopy diaper and grow up. I applaud our city council, all 8 of them, for taking a stand to protect our citizenry. Thank you for your service to our community. The whiners and complainers? Take a long look in the mirror at the face staring back at you and ask yourself if you want to be remembered for putting other's lives in danger or winning a temper tantrum. Take all the time you need, I can wait. Kristine Disney
April 25, 2020, 11:39 AM
Kristine Disney
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