OROVILLE — As a constitutional republic the city of Oroville will not enforce “any executive orders issued by the state of California or by the United States federal government that are overreaching or clearly violate our constitutionally protected rights.”
The resolution, passed in a 6-1 vote at the Nov. 2 council meeting, was passed to “reaffirm to people what type of government we live under,” said Mayor Chuck Reynolds.
“With all of these emergencies and leaders declaring emergencies it puts one person in charge and they can do pretty much what they want even when the emergency is no longer an immediate threat, they were they are reluctant to give up that power,” said Reynolds.
Councilor Dave Pittman said there are “so many rules” state federal governments are attempting to impose that it infringes on both local control and personal rights. He cited ever changing Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules; the requirement that all vacant city property development has to be approved by the California state Housing and Community Development department before proceeding; and the state and federal mandates related to masks and COVID-19 vaccines.
“We stand by and believe in our constitution; our republic and we believe that many times others in state and federal government are exceeding their authority across the board in everything we do. Mandates eliminate personal right of choice – to get vaccinated or not, to vaccinate your kids or not — and violate basic constitutional choice we all have,” said Pittman.
The resolution also says that the city believes “in the separation of powers, individual rights, and the rule of law outlined in the United States Constitution, including the freedom for local government to have local control over issues related to the citizens who reside within the City’s jurisdictional boundaries.”
“It’s about local government taking care of its citizens period and that what we’re doing,” said Pittman.
In a constitutional republic, like the United States, there are three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The resolution passed by the council will not change the structure of current local government.
“We didn’t get that detailed (in the resolution) about changing structure. We didn’t assign any new powers to any position. The executive branch is the staff that carries out the city council, the legislative body’s mandates and wishes,” said Pittman.
Reynolds pointed out the city is not advocating breaking laws but also that “a mandate is not a law.”
“A mandate is an agreement between two people. If you want me to do something and I agree to it, we have a mandate. Some people don’t agree with the mandates,” he said.
In practicality Reynolds stated the resolution “doesn’t change anything.”
“Again, it’s simply reminding people what kind of government we live under and that they do have personal choices and freedoms,” said Reynolds.
Councilor Krysi Riggs said while she “respected the thought process” that went in to formulating the resolution she opposed the resolution because it “doesn’t have implications in the lives of citizens and that proper procedure in fighting what council believes are unconstitutional mandates is through the judicial system.”
Oroville Councilor Scott Thomson said not much will change in the city once the resolution goes into effect.
“Like many cities in California, we’ve already been filtering the direction and operation of how our officers should deal with these mandates locally. We value the safety of our families in Oroville while also weighing and respecting their rights. This action is primarily a statement or “declaration” that we value our citizens’ freedoms and one size doesn’t fit all. Many in power today have been radicalized by extremists in their party and are perverting the very fabric of our country. These politicians are unwilling to listen to input outside of their party and thus only see one side of the story,” Thomson said in an email.
Thomson also said in his email that Gov. Gavin Newsom has been unwilling to listen to people in the north part of the state and that he believes politicians are “drunk on power.”
“It is time we the people stand up against the overreach of these radicalized power hungry politicians. Just because something makes sense in big cities like (San Francisco), (Los Angeles) or Sacramento doesn’t mean it makes sense in rural Oroville. Sadly, our governor hasn’t been willing or open to listening to the north state. Even our assemblyman has been trying to get through to (Newsom) since the beginning of all this, and he has been unwilling to listen to our representative and others who understand our area. If he would simply listen to their input, we wouldn’t be here,” Thomson said.
Thomson said the financial impact on Oroville won’t be dire.
With the resolution having passed, the city can now monitor how local officers enforce mandates.
“This declaration states that we are refusing to blindly give direction to our officers to enforce every mandate that gets passed down. Every council member and officer have sworn oaths to defend both the U.S. and state constitutions which limit the power of government and protect the freedoms of the people. We can’t eliminate these mandates locally but we are in charge of how our local officers enforce them,” Thomson said.
Both Pittman and Reynolds said since the passage of the resolution they have been contacted by news media from around the country and have also heard from private citizens living elsewhere about the decision to make the city a Constitutional Republic.
Pittman said he received a voicemail via email from a woman in Seattle who called to give the city council “a big thank you” and to “share (her) support of the resolution.” The message went on to say that her family is planning a trip to California soon and have altered their plans to make a stop in Oroville where they will “spend as much money as we can to let you know how much we support you.”
“I never thought this resolution would be a recruiting tool for Oroville tourism,” said Pittman.
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