KAYSVILLE, Utah (AP) — A Utah-based watchdog group has asked Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt to resign over her support of a concert planned for late May that could attract hundreds of people.
Witt expressed her support for the May 30 concert featuring country artist Collin Raye in a statement last week asking residents to come “be a pioneer and patriot with us.”
The progressive Alliance for a Better Utah group, argued that the concert could put residents' health and lives at risk. Organizers expect up to 800 people to attend.
“Mayor Witt should resign for moving forward with this dangerous political stunt," Better Utah executive director Chase Thomas said, referencing her current Republican run for Congress. "Mayor Witt is sacrificing public health in her community to further her own political ambitions. Mayor Witt’s flagrant disregard for public health is a disqualifier for public service.”
Witt said she has a responsibility to give people back individual freedoms she says they lost during the pandemic.
“If the government always gets to decide when it’s safe enough for you to have constitutional freedoms, then you don’t have constitutional freedoms," she said.
Witt acknowledged public health concerns and added that residents are encouraged to use good judgment and make the best call for themselves and family.
Witt also said the event is legal and “can exceed 50 individuals if organizational oversight can be provided to ensure the guidelines are followed.”
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
A mass gathering permit is required for any county event that could draw more than 1,000 people. A public meeting about the permit is scheduled electronically on Thursday.
The Davis County Health Department is disappointed that the concert is being considered, department spokesperson Isa Perry said.