GRAND ISLAND N.Y. (WIVB) – The Grand Island town board is saying enough is enough with the COVID-19 mandates. Board members are set to vote on a resolution demanding Erie County and the state to out of the town if its enforcing the mask mandate.
Councilmembers Mike Madigan and Jennifer Baney say they want to stand in solidarity with Grand Island Town Supervisor John Whitney and leaders from Marilla, West Seneca and Williamsville, who’ve made similar requests to stop the mask mandate.
“There’s a point where we have to say stop, this has been going on for 21 months,” Grand Island Town Councilman Mike Madigan said. “We can’t be going from crisis to crisis and shutting down businesses, destroying businesses, etc.”
“This is a consensus that is growing on Grand Island. We do have significant concerns related to many elements of the mandate,” Baney said.
Baney tells News 4, that businesses and institutions on Grand Island should decide for themselves what protocols they want to put in place, and should not be forced. She argues the mask mandate is not in the best interest of the community.
“They’re short sighted, they’re concerning and the state of emergency which has been happening in our county for close to 21 months now has no end in sight,” she said. “We need direction, guidance and a long term plan. “
“We have a very unique situation of many of the residents now choosing to travel to Niagara County to do their shopping where restrictions are simply more reasonable to meet their family’s needs and that’s concerning to us,” Baney added.
On Thursday, Town Supervisor John Whitney released a statement rejecting the mandates and requested that agencies from outside Grand Island should not enforce the mandate.
At the board’s next meeting on Monday Dec. 6th, several council members intend on standing with Supervisor Whitney by voting yes on a resolution to prevent Erie County and the state from enforcing the mask mandate on Grand Island.
“I do expect this out cry is gonna get louder. I would hope that [Erie County Executive] Mark Poloncarz doesn’t double down,” Madigan said.
In a statement to News 4, Erie county officials said, “Reducing the COVID-19 disease burden in our county is going to depend on the individual and community actions we take to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Masks protect you and those around you. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Stay home when sick. Seek a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms or know of an exposure. We are all in this together and need to look out for each other. That isn’t just a public health message; it’s a common sense message.”