WILLIAMSVILLE N.Y. (WIVB) – It was another heated meeting for the Williamsville village board Monday night, with the mayor calling some of her fellow board members communists. At the center of the debate was a state health regulation.
The Williamsville village board has been divided over COVID-19 mandates in the past. During this board meeting, members argued over a state health regulation which could require the isolation and quarantine of people with “communicable diseases.”
Williamsville Mayor Deb Rogers says that legislation would be an overreach by government, but other board members argued that it is a way to keep the public safe.
“I’m just saying I’m embarrassed to be sitting up here with two trustees who, I will say, are nothing short of communists in their ability to vote ‘no’ on this opposition,” Rogers said. “Because this is exactly what we saw happening in communist China, where people were being taken from their homes against their will and placed into quarantine camps.”
“With all due respect, please stop referring to Eileen and I as communists. We are not,” said trustee Christine Hunt.
“This is nothing new. Things like this were put in place for tuberculous, Ebola, the measles outbreak… things have been put in place to protect the health and safety of the public,” Hunt added.
This isn’t the first time the board took a stand against health regulations. Earlier this year, the village board had to pay a $300 fine for mask violations at meetings, and were initially planning to hire attorneys and fight the fine.
The measure opposing the state health legislation passed three to two. Village leaders say this resolution will now be forwarded to the Erie County Department of Health, the State Department of Health and Governor Kathy Hochul’s office.
Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.