Editor's Note: This letter was sent to State Representative Chad Christensen and the Teton Valley News.
Rep. Christensen, I hope you enjoyed a peaceful weekend and enjoyable Independence Day.
You know that you and I will differ on many things, but on the most important matters of government, I believe as firmly in the constitutional and appropriate operation of government as you profess to. Despite your protestations to the contrary, this order is absolutely not in violation of those inviolable principles which we both took an oath to uphold. It is possible that if you took the time to read the order and understand its basis, that you might not disagree.
I respectfully acknowledge your right to have different opinions from me, and your right to arrive at those opinions with, or without any measure of information gathering or effort. My belief system accepts that others beliefs may differ from my own, and that differences are okay. (Unfortunately, it appears to me that your belief system seems to demand that everyone comply with your opinion, however poorly informed it may be. You seem content, as an outsider (non-Driggs resident) to impose your beliefs on us here, rather than allowing the constitutional execution of our government processes, and the implementation of the will of the community.)
I welcome the input of my constituents (especially when it does not match my own inclinations) and encourage you to forward any comments you received from Driggs residents to me - or suggest to those folks that they contact me directly. This order was implemented following tremendous encouragement and support from our community, as they witnessed the rising danger to our health and local economy as tourists flock here to escape their coronavirus woes elsewhere. The order is firmly rooted in Idaho Statutes established to preserve the Health, Safety, and Welfare (and, by extension, economy) of our community. Furthermore, our Governor recently indicated that he'd prefer that this outbreak be managed at the local level going forward, since Idaho is a place with diverse needs.
The needs, and economy of Driggs are uniquely different than most of your District and this state. Thus far, I've received many comments, the overwhelming majority of which have been in favor. It is my understanding that every comment against the order originated outside the city, and probably outside our county. Yes, there are surely some in Driggs who don't agree, and I'd like to hear from them, and have the opportunity to engage with them to understand their concerns and voice my own.
I respectfully suggest that you refrain from your standard knee-jerk reaction of labeling anything unconstitutional which you don't like. That only discredits your own judgement and knowledge, and doesn't change the facts. It also shuts down effective dialogue - something all elected officials should be encouraging.
Again, please forward comments received from Driggs residents, or suggest to them that they reach out to me directly. I would like to hear from them.
Take care, be well, and stay healthy!