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Marilla passes resolution rejecting Erie County mask mandate

Posted at 11:35 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 23:35:11-05

MARILLA, N.Y. (WKBW) — The town of Marilla made their stance official on Tuesday night. A stance similar to the one made on Grand Island the night before.

"We'll use the resources of the town of Marilla to help protect our businesses and our business's rights. We will not back down," said Earl Gingerich Jr, the Town Supervisor of the Town of Marilla.

At a special meeting, before the town board's work session, people from around Western New York came to cheer on the resolution rejecting Erie County's mask mandate.

"I just hope and pray that some of these other towns jump on board," said one man during the public comment.

Very few in the crowd were from Marilla. When asked to raise their hands to show who was from the town, about five raised their hands in a crowd of around 40.

"I need to get this going in my town. So what's my first step?" asked one woman from Tonawanda.

Earlier in the day, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz defended his decision to utilize a mask mandate in public places.

"Elected officials, public, you're entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts, masks work," said Poloncarz.

"Masks unequivocally work, if properly used," said Dr. Thomas Russo, an infectious disease expert at the University at Buffalo.

The Marilla Town Supervisor said his town's stance isn't about the effectiveness of masks, but rather protecting the choice of the businesses and people of his town.

"The money that was provided to us, whether right or wrong, by the federal government, for the relief money that the Town of Marilla got, which was well over half a million dollars, we will use that money to fight back," said Gingerich, to a thunderous ovation.

The board will meet for the scheduled town board meeting on Thursday.