TOWANDA — During a meeting on Thursday, the Bradford County Commissioners passed a resolution in defiance of Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to prosecute non-essential businesses that open prematurely — declaring it unconstitutional.
The resolution states that “the Bradford County Commissioners will not use public resources in defense or prosecution of unconstitutional laws or mandates.”
“To have to read this, is to me, unbelievable that we have to restate the obvious — that we have a collective contract that we’ve all agreed to live by, and that is our Constitution of the United States,” said Commissioner Daryl Miller.
Bradford County District Attorney Chad Salsman announced earlier this week that he would not prosecute businesses that choose to open.
“I know Chad stands behind our Constitution, and I’m very proud of the position he took,” Commissioner Doug McLinko said.
Sheriff C.J. Walters also endorsed the resolution.
Bradford County is currently in the “yellow phase” of Gov. Wolf’s reopening plan, meaning certain businesses are allowed to resume in-person operations with some restrictions.
McLinko blasted Gov. Wolf and the restrictions put in place, declaring them a violation of civil liberties.
“Our Constitution is getting shredded. What’s going in our state particularly, as well as many states throughout the country, is ripping our liberties away,” he said. “I just want to remind people what the word tyranny means. That is when you fear your government, when you fear your neighbors being told to call the police on you for doing something that is not a law.”
“We do have a civil responsibility to protect our neighbors and stuff during these times of this disease,” he added. “But the carnage and stuff that goes along with that — it is unconstitutional — where no legislator has ever passed any laws to support what is being done. It just does not go to that Constitution.”
McLinko said he has heard from multiple businesses, and expressed his support for them.
“Please hang in there, and hopefully we’ll get this resolved, and we’ll never ever give up our liberties again the way that we just did,” he said.
The commissioners also took time to urge residents to fill out the census, in order to accurately measure the population and demographics of Bradford County.
“It is very important,” Miller said. “It means thousands and thousands of dollars to the communities and the counties of state funding through various funding streams, depending on the census numbers that we have. It is extremely important that we’re accurately counted.”