MAYVILLE – Multiple area residents spent time during Wednesday night’s Chautauqua County Legislative meeting voicing their concerns regarding what they say is an infringement on their Constitutional rights by Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration during the pandemic.
The residents, specifically, requested that the Legislature consider passing a resolution making Chautauqua County a sanctuary county in an effort to protect the residents rights.
Area Reverend Mel McGinnis was one of the residents who addressed the Legislature during the meeting. McGinnis says that a “triangle of power” regarding the relationship between the government and the people has changed in New York State throughout the pandemic.
“That triangle of power in the Constitution shows the ‘citizen C’ is HUGE,” McGinnis said. “‘Government G, small g,’ is small. The power resides in the citizens….but over the last year-and-a-half, things have been inverted.”
McGinnis says that the “government ‘g'” in the triangle has become a “capital ‘G'” over time, with the “big ‘C'” becoming a “small ‘s'” for “subject.” The Reverend furthers that he feels he has become a subject in regards to him being questioned about his COVID-19 vaccination status.
McGinnis is urging the county to tell the State that “we want our freedom back.”
WNY News Now spoke with County Executive P.J. Wendel following the meeting.
Wendel explains that he will continue to fight for his constituents during talks with various New York State Officials as the COVID-19 pandemic furthers.
“We fight, I fight for Chautauqua County within New York State Government,” Wendel said. “We’ve been very outspoken, I’ve been very outspoken, with the governmental mandates that came down from the Governor early on in COVID.”
“My voice is heard in Albany. My voice will continue to be heard making sure the rights and privileges of our residents are always upheld.”
Wendel says that he’s reached out to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul’s office in an effort to reconvene the control board that he was a part of earlier in the pandemic.
WNY News Now reached out to State Senator George Borrello Thursday morning. As a member of the State Senate, Borrello says that Cuomo has crossed the line during the pandemic.
“There’s no doubt this pandemic has been politicized, particularly by the governor,” Borrello said. “They’ve taken this pandemic, the governor and his allies, folks on the far left, and used this as an excuse to push agendas that whey were pushing long before the pandemic. But ultimately, yes, our Constitutional rights, our God-given rights, have been violated as a part of this process.”
Borrello says the “excuse” is because of public safety which he explains was only arguable during the beginning of the pandemic.
Cuomo, speaking on Wednesday, announced the state will soon mandate all government and hospital workers to be vaccinated against the virus.