At their public hearing on Monday, July 12, 2021, the Republican Mesa County Commissioners voted to officially request Governor Jared Polis end the supplemental unemployment benefits that have been helping keep unemployed and low income County residents and their families afloat during the pandemic.
Why? Because they want to force people to go back to work to fill mostly low paying, often difficult and dangerous front line jobs, often where people are likely to be exposed to the virus and would risk exposing their families to it as well.
15.8% of Mesa County’s population lives below the federal poverty line, more than the poverty rate for the state as a whole, at 11.5%. The 2018 Federal Poverty Level for annual income is $16,147 for an individual and $33,383 for a family of four.
To be sure, the Mesa County Commissioners aren’t living on wages like that. They make around $90,000/year when perks like health insurance are included.
Commissioners create dangerous conditions, then want to force people to work under them
What doesn’t fit is that the commissioners are making this request after ending the Coronavirus protections in the county that protected workers, like crowd limitations, mandatory masking and physical distancing inside indoor establishments. Under this County Commission, the County also has a shamefully low vaccination rate — among the lowest in the country. The vaccine was supposed to be the thing that would save us, end the pandemic and protect workers, but only about 37% of Mesa County residents are vaccinated and many Republicans are refusing to get it, which will assure we keep living in permanent pandemic state. Mesa County is also currently the epicenter of the spread of the “hyper-transmissible” Delta variant, earning the area even more negative attention.
So the bottom line is this:
The Commissioners want to force the least fortunate and least well off Mesa County residents to go back to work under dangerous conditions that they themselves created and that are arguably more dangerous than at any time during the pandemic, because they think it’s a great move for the economy.
None of the commissioners have degrees in public health or economics. They just think it’s a great idea to do this to people.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Cody Davis’ company (Chronos Builders) is also challenging the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program that was passed last year. Detecting a theme here?
These people would rather satisfy their base than come up with productive alternatives to address major issues like inequality and the pandemic.
Hmmmm, let’s see…does Chronos build houses for the working poor in our community? Hardly! So, Cody Davis doesn’t want to give paid State Family Leave to his staff who get cancer, have a child, survive a heart attack? If we don’t take care of our workers, who, by the way, make businesses successful, how will Chronos continue to be successful. Turnover costs way more than paying a living wage and mandated benefits. The reason the federal and state governments have to pass mandated benefit rules like the Family Medical Leave Act is because companies like Chronos are greedy and do not believe in sharing the wealth, so that our community is better for everyone. The rich get richer and the rest of us struggle to buy groceries.
Seriously-this extra money was important during the height of the covid infections- but now it is being used as an excuse for many to not go back to work-I have asked numerous employers in the valley and they all say they have encouraged employees to come back to work but they routinely say “well I am doing fine with UI” UI is for emergencies was not and should not be used as a way not to work- this will not last and as more and more employers cut hours for service IE restaurants – services will decrease.
So you can argue employers should pay more- but 1200/mo raise is pretty damn substantial ya think- I have had to make payroll for 20 employees – its not just the hourly that the employer pays- remember there is UI, SDI, WC, that must be factored in-
Already we are seeing services decreased- or maybe Ann you don’t go out to eat? Combine paying people to stay home with vaccine shaming, regardless of health status, and the ones that will suffer the most are consumers.
You might do a little research and find out the seriousness surrounding vaccinations- more and more evidence is coming out especially in younger people- – have you heard of pericarditis, or now Gullione Barre Syndrome associated with the vaccine? Ignorance is not an excuse-
I applaud the commissioners for sending the request, but I am confident that our governor will ignore it. He is of the same mindset- give away free money- but at some point the government will run out of other people money-
A rare increase in the risk of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) has been noted — but not causally associated – with the J&J vaccine only, but such a risk also exists with seasonal flu and shingles vaccines, so this isn’t anything new. People can also choose to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead.
People who don’t get vaccinated are endangering children and businesses and keeping our economy from coming back to where we were pre-pandemic.
If you want more complete information on the vaccine and GBS, consult the FDA’s web page on it at https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-july-13-2021
Karen, Perhaps you are unaware of Anne’s extensive background in health care. She, more than anyone who provides feedback on this forum, knows the seriousness around vaccinations, and the incredible risks to the vulnerable in our community because of the uninformed who refuse to get vaccinated in order to protect people. As a healthcare worker to the elderly and disabled, I looked at the very low risk of taking vaccines and was first in line when I finally got the opportunity to become vaccinated, because I am part of a global community who knows the only way out of a pandemic is to get as many people as possible vaccinated. GBS is a very small risk of many vaccines, as are many other side affects, but since something like 6 million people world wide have died from COVID, in my opinion, that is unacceptable.
As for the commissioners wanting to end the extra unemployment benefits, many of those people who are receiving the extra benefit amount will probably end up on welfare when the benefit ends so…if the employers in this community would pay a living wage and would treat their help better, perhaps the working poor in this community would be in a better position to be able to have choices in their lives and not have to return to employers who do not value the people who make their business successful. How many business owners that you asked about this, pay a living wage and actually value their employees?
Do you pay your hourly employees a living wage? Do you treat them well? Just sayin’!
Oh hi Karen R.
Oh my god you literally just made me almost yawn to death.
In your case, Karen R, it just sounds like your employees don’t like you.
This is rich considering how long 2 of the commissioners been suckling the government teat. One plagiarist in particular has spent most of his life drawing a government dole in addition to the fat freebies spilling out of DC into his pocket every month.
Don’t forget the other plagiarist on the County Commission. She’s on her third term as a Mesa County Commissioner. She was previously term limited out after 2 terms.
The climate crisis will take out everyone who is working, and also everyone who is not working.
But, keep shopping, manufacturing, and breeding. More, more, more.
All the “woke holes” will cease to exist, as well as all the two dimensional tithers. The final selfies will prove it was ever real. Go, amazon. Go, billionaires blasting into space.