In a campaign promise in 2022, Dave Stepp said he would work to make sure that Talbot County citizens would NEVER be subjected to the devastating lockdowns and mask and vaccine mandates of 2020. During Tuesday night's County Council meeting, he presented a resolution that would fulfill that promise.
It was an Administrative Resolution regarding facial coverings and vaccinations in Talbot County. First it recognized all businesses, churches, and schools in the county as essential. It then recognized parental rights over the medical care decisions for their children and the rights of the individual to determine his/her own health care.
It went on:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the County Council of Talbot County, Maryland, that,
in furtherance of the foregoing, the County Council shall not require citizens, employees, worshippers, students, or visitors in the County to wear a face mask or facial covering in any indoor or outdoor setting or produce any form of vaccination record or “passport” to be employed, conduct business, practice their religious beliefs, or go about their daily activities.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, to the extent required under State law and regulations, including but
not limited to COMAR 10.34.32.06, whenever the Talbot County Department of Health administers a
vaccination, it should provide a current Vaccine Information Statement (a “VIS”) to the patient for future
reference as well as a consent form disclosing the credentials of the pharmacist administering the vaccination. The VIS and consent form should be provided to the patient prior to administering the vaccination so that the patient can make an informed decision.
In other words, the next time the State decides to lockdown businesses, churches, schools, etc. and require citizens to wear masks, get vaccinations and show evidence of vaccination in order to conduct their daily lives, Talbot County could just say "no." The County would support the citizens' rights under the Constitution of the United States.
This is nothing new, Wicomico County on the lower Shore refused to follow Governor Larry Hogan's mandates in 2020. They didn't make a big deal out of it, they just did it.
One would think the Council would have no problem is passing this resolution. First, it is a resolution which means it would be more of a statement than law. The County lawyer who drafted the resolution said it was not inconsistent with legal practices. He called the Resolution a "statement of policy, not law."
In other words, it would be a statement to the Governor and the State that Talbot disagreed with any mandates like the ones foisted on the counties in 2020. It might keep any Governor who wanted to mimic the tyrannical actions of Larry Hogan from doing so. It might encourage a Governor to think twice before making mandates.
The first council member to come out against the Resolution was Republican(?) Lynn Mielke who worried that this was against Maryland law. Even when the County lawyer told her it was legal and wasn't inconsistent with regulations, Mielke wasn't convinced. She feared being out of compliance.
Council person Haythe also questioned if state law would supersede local resolutions. Then, Vice President of the Council Pete Lesher stated that it didn't seem there was any imminent danger of lockdowns and mandates returning so he didn't see the point of it.
Stepp reminded the council that Constitutional Rights should never be suspended not even for an emergency.
This Resolution would send a message to the State of Maryland that our citizens' Constitutional rights are paramount.
Unfortunately, when it came to a vote, it was 3-2 against the Resolution. It was 3-2 for compliance. It was 3-2 against the Constitution.
Yes, the Constitution lost in Talbot County on Tuesday night. Let's hope the citizens of Talbot County are never forced to see the consequences of that action.