LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – Brian Bagley, the mayor of Longmont, wants to restrict the city’s two hospitals from providing care to Weld County residents. Part of the city falls in Boulder County while another part is in Weld County. Longmont is a “home rule” municipality, which means the city can make their own laws outside of county rules.
Mayor Bagley has asked city leaders to prepare an ordinance in which it would be illegal for Longmont United Hospital and UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital to provide medical help to residents of Weld County.
The letter states that the ordinance shall state that “It shall be unlawful for any hospital (or healthcare provider) to provide medical services to any resident of a county or municipality wherein their elected officials have refused to comply with the governor’s emergency orders so long as there is a resident of a county or municipality that does comply with the governor’s emergency orders needing access to Longmont hospitals (or general healthcare services, medications, PPE equipment, etc.).”
Bagley emailed Longmont City Manager Harold Domingues and Longmont City Attorney Eugene Mai on Tuesday morning about the ordinance.
Last week, Weld County’s Board of County Commissioners issued a statement that Weld County plans to ignore the move to Level Red on the state’s COVID-19 dial. The level places a restriction on indoor dining at restaurants, among other health measures.
The following statement was made from the Weld County Commissioners regarding the Longmont mayor’s proposed ordinance:
This Longmont mayor has taken a page out of Gov. (Jared) Polis’ playbook by going after working families and compromising the mental wellbeing of the people who live in his community. The answer to this pandemic is not solely to close down small businesses the week of Thanksgiving; it is not to continually punish working-class families or the individuals who bag your groceries, wait on you in restaurants, deliver food to your home while you watch Netflix and chill; and it is certainly not to illegally deny healthcare to residents. But that is what this simple Mayor wants to do.
Weld County’s statement about promoting personal responsibility and not enforcing mandates has been woefully misunderstood by those living in fear and wishing to be governed by intimidation. Weld County is not an “anything goes” county, it is a “make the best decisions for yourself and your business” county, because we trust our residents to do what is best for themselves, their families, their businesses and their community. If the mandates put in place months ago worked, why are the numbers going up all along the Front Range?
Mayor Bagley is looking for someone/something to blame. Hear this: Weld County is not the problem.
It’s very easy for Mayor Bagley to sit in his office, still collecting a paycheck, and release an edict that denies equal protection of the law to the very people who shop and work in Longmont, and whose children attend Longmont schools.
Later on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the governor’s office shared the following statement:
You’re either on the side of the virus or on the side of Coloradans. Deadly COVID cases are spiraling out of control statewide and we must do better. There are only 3 ICU beds left open in the county. To undermine — with no real authority — the state’s efforts to save lives ultimately amounts to dangerous freeloading and jeopardizes lives, small businesses, and jobs.