Niagara Falls, New York, November 25, 2021: On Monday, November 22, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, under emergency powers that he has renewed every thirty days for the past twenty-one months, implemented a mask requirement for public spaces, while threatening further capacity restrictions and vaccination directives for businesses. In response, Niagara County Legislature Chairman Becky Wydysh clarified that Niagara County will not be implementing any mandates at this time. In a statement released to the press, county officials explained “(w)e believe businesses, employers and other institutions across Niagara County should implement the safety protocols that make sense for their particular operations.”
The Libertarian Party of New York applauded this message, citing the stance taken by Niagara County to respect individual choice over government edict. Cody Anderson, chair of the Libertarian Party of New York, explained the party’s position.
“Western New York has been hit particularly hard by restrictive and scattershot COVID-19 mandates,” Anderson stated. ”To see Niagara County let individuals and businesses arbitrate risk as they see fit, and respect personal liberty and free-market choices, is refreshing. People are clearly not out to harm others or themselves, and arbitrary rules won’t stop the spread. The seasonal and endemic nature of COVID-19 has been established, despite vaccination rates in Erie and Niagara Counties being high. We call on Erie County Executive Poloncarz to follow Niagara County Chair Wydysh’s example by eschewing meaningless mandates, and to relinquish his emergency powers permanently. We further implore all of New York State’s counties to follow the lead of Niagara County, and allow organizations and individuals to assess their own risk and make decisions accordingly.”
1st Vice Chair
Libertarian Party of New York