Garfield County ‘not in the business of ‘censorship,’ commissioners say

Westley Crouch
For the Post Independent
A person speaks during the Garfield County Commission meeting on Monday.
Westley Crouch/Post Independent

Garfield County commissioners released a statement on Monday, saying it legally must leave the decision of proposed graphic novel restrictions to the Garfield County Libraries Board of Trustees.

“The BOCC recognizes the importance of the services provided by the Garfield County Library Board of Trustees to the community and acknowledges the freedom that it is afforded to have books and other materials available to the public that express and support diverse points of view,” commissioners said in the prepared statement. “The BOCC is not in the business of censorship, and they desire to protect the Constitutional civil rights of individuals in Garfield County. The BOCC recognizes that parents play a critical role in determining what material is appropriate for their child. The BOCC recognizes its legal authority over the independent Garfield County Library is limited.”

The BOCC states that its final resolution in Japanese manga book matters is the culmination of a myriad of hearings that have taken place since the beginning of September. The hearings stem from a local effort to restrict access to the graphic novels at Garfield County Public Libraries. 

In addition to the commissioners’ statement, however, the commission on Monday denied Hanna Aruaza’s appointment to the library’s board of trustees.

She was originally appointed by the board of trustees, and traditionally, as far as board appointments go, the BOCC approves those recommended to the board. 

Commissioners stated concerns that Aruaza did not represent the people of Rifle — the district she would represent.