The Dane County, Wisconsin, Board of Supervisors saw dozens of residents line up to get into their meeting last Thursday to speak out on a resolution to stop the county health director’s endless stream of mask mandates. The public generally demanded that the mandate edicts be halted until the county had heard their input to “achieve the consent of the governed.”
The board voted to reject the resolution by a vote of 29-4 after a lengthy comment and debate session. Health Director Janel Heinrich participated by audio call and declined to grant public transparency into the mandates. One supervisor voting against the resolution bizarrely called the resolution “government overreach.”
The masking order was issued by the unelected health director last August and has been renewed at least monthly, with its current term running into next month.
The resolution directly called the mandate’s constitutionality into question and said that the scientific data the health director reviewed is unknown to the public. It declares that no public input was sought, and any such mandate should include its factual basis and reasoning so the public can appropriately comment.
Over 500 Dane County residents, the home of liberal Madison and the University of Wisconsin, registered in opposition to the resolution, while around 125 registered in support at the meeting.
One resident who registered in opposition to the resolution said that enforcing the mask mandate is easier when there is “cover” from the county government. A resident in favor of the resolution said that there are significant differences of opinion about whether masks are effective or if they are symbolic attempts to “assuage people’s anxiety.”
Even though the county board has upheld the mandate, citizens who have had enough bureaucratic edicts issued without any scientific basis are also fighting in court. Last month, the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed to take up a direct challenge to the mandates filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, bypassing the logjam encountered in the lower courts.