Moratoriums and Mandates

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks here at the Chamber.  I’ve been invited to join several conversations related to moratoriums and mandates and wanted to share a few perspectives with our membership.

What is a mandate and how do we feel about that here at the Chamber? Our good friend Merriam-Webster (the dictionary folks) defines mandate as “to officially require (something): make (something) mandatory.”  Separately, a moratorium is defined as “a waiting period set by an authority.”

Context and details are incredibly important to any conversation or policy and especially as it relates to both of these concepts.  As a community leader, I’m very hesitant to use the phrases always and never – but in the context of this conversation your Chamber has historically and more recently been reluctant to endorse mandates or moratoriums.

Your Chamber is part of the community, advocating for the ability for business to be successful and create opportunity for our citizens.  The Chamber Board and I believe that much of that success can be directly tied to business making the decisions that they need to in order to support their employees and their organization.

So, how does that play out here in Fort Collins?  At a national level, our organization is working with the US Chamber to understand the impact of possible Emergency Temporary Standards, issued by OSHA, on businesses with 100 or more employees that would require vaccination of employees.  In that work to understand, we are also advocating for no mandates.  We stand firm on the belief that businesses should make their own decisions on this issue.

At a local level, the Fort Collins City Council is considering the adoption of “1041 Powers.”  These 1041 powers allow local governments to identify, designate, and regulate areas and activities of state interest through a local permitting process.

While the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce is a strong advocate for local control of local matters, we believe it is an abuse of power when local decision-making excludes the voices of those most impacted by these decisions. At this time, we do not support the adoption of 1041 powers and are strongly opposed to any moratorium placed on projects while 1041 powers are explored.

The economic wellbeing of our entire region depends upon the successful completion of many regional projects like NISP and the expansion of North I-25 without further and unnecessary delay. We are strongly encouraging this Council to send a clear message to the community and to others outside our jurisdictional boundary:  We believe in cooperation to achieve shared prosperity; we deserve your trust and respect because our judgment is not clouded by parochial imperatives; we value the health of our environment and the economic vibrancy necessary to achieve that objective; and we believe in the equitable stewardship of our finite resources.

We invite our members to weigh-in on this incredibly important topic.  We simply can’t afford to have moratoriums put in place on key projects that have already gone through demanding governmental processes.  Water, housing and business opportunity will pay the price of a moratorium.

I’m curious to know your own thoughts on mandates and moratoriums.  I depend on the sage counsel of our Local Legislative Affairs Committee, our Board of Directors and our Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance in offering a business perspective on challenging topics like these – but would love to hear from our community members as well.  Shoot me an email or grab me at the next Chamber event.  Your ideas and reactions are important to our advocacy work and positions.  I look forward to the conversation.


Written by Ann Hutchison, President & CEO

October 12, 2021
For comments and questions about this blog, please email Ann at ahutchison@fcchamber.org.