MENOMONEE FALLS — The Menomonee Falls Village Board passed a resolution Monday night preventing village employees from being required to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
It passed 5-2.
The resolution states in part, "Village of Menomonee Falls employees will not be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Furthermore, no Village of Menomonee Falls employee will be threatened, coerced or advised in any manner into receiving or accepting the COVID-19 vaccination."
Village Trustees Paul Tadda and Steve Taggart introduced the resolution.
Taggart explained he is not against vaccines. Instead he says he is against a mandate.
"I'm a business owner myself, so I've heard from quite a bit of the business community, the health care community has reached out to me, and just expressed a lot of negative feedback towards vaccine mandates," Taggart said.
During public comment, some people expressed their support for the resolution, citing personal freedoms. Others spoke against it.
"All it’s doing is introducing confusion into the village and making people think they don’t have to get vaccinated, when really we want more people to get vaccinated," said Chris Byrnes, who helps lead the Menomonee Falls Action Team.
The resolution mentions President Joe Biden's order for private companies with more than 100 employees to require vaccines or weekly COVID-19 tests. Federal rules for this order have not been released.
The Menomonee Falls village attorney pointed out it's not yet clear if OSHA's rules about this order will apply to public employees.
"Whether this resolution is passed or not, the village manager, and if OSHA does issue the rule, and that rule is applicable to public employers in Wisconsin, the village manager will be required to comply with the rule as I understand this ordinance," said village attorney Adam Koenings.
Village President David Glasgow noted this as well. He also pointed out a part in the resolution which reads, "The Board of Trustees of the Village of Menomonee Falls strongly encourage all Village contractors and all Menomonee Falls employers to respect the constitutional rights and freedoms of their employees and not require COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of their employment."
"What message are we telling them by virtue of this resolution to ignore OSHA regulations, to ignore the mandate?" Glasgow said. "Again be respective of one’s personal position on this. Being a village board this is an area we should not be engaging into because number one, we're not qualified. Number two, we shouldn't be causing dissension and division. We should be fostering cooperation, especially in a serious health crisis."
Glasgow added he's gotten close to 70 emails and says a majority were against the resolution.
Menomonee Falls does not have its own health department. State data shows close to 58 percent of all people in Waukesha County are fully vaccinated.