On Tuesday morning while the fog was still sleeping in the valley, citizens in Gallatin County were gathering to attend a public meeting regarding the covid-Lockdown.
The meeting was scheduled for 7am in one of the largest facilities offside the college campus. In the Commons facility, seating of up to 100 was in line with Governor Bullock’s lockdown order.
As the citizens gathered it was quickly noted that there were not near enough seats spread out for social distancing to accommodate all who were there. The temperature of the citizens began to rise.
The officials with the Health Board including County Commissioner Joe Skinner asked the citizens to comply with the rules set for the meeting.
The citizens refused to comply stating their rights were paramount to any rule that was imposed by the unelected body.
Sheriff Gootkin also at the meeting spoke to the citizens seeking a compromise so that the citizens could have the meeting and present their comments.
Wanting to be heard, many citizens continued to call on the officials to open the meeting and hear from everyone.
The citizens were not prepared to compromise their rights so the meeting was postponed until later that afternoon. Citizens at that point came very upset pointing out that the board could not make that change as it is a violation of the Open Meeting Laws of Montana and the Constitution.
Sheriff Gootkin agreed to have the Gallatin County attorney look into the proposed postponement.
Later that afternoon a board announced that due to the meeting law requirements of 48 hour notice, the meeting was rescheduled for 7:00am on Friday July 17th 2020 @ 7:00am.
To add more heat to the already boiling point of the citizens, the meeting for Friday was scheduled to be 100% virtual removing the chance for the citizens to directly engage in the process.
The meeting to determine the official status of Gallatin County position on covid-19 lockdown and the requirement for everyone to wear masks. It was not stated if that requirement includes bank robbers but is purported to be all inclusive.
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