Las Vegas Sun

January 23, 2022

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Clark County:

McCurdy still eyes input on stimulus allocations despite town hall fiasco

Boisterous anti-maskers confront commissioner, derail meeting

William McCurdy town hall

Jason Karsh / Special to the Sun

Clark County Commissioner William McCurdy II tries to make a point during a town hall meeting Thusday, July 29, 2021, at the Pearson Community Center in North Las Vegas. McCurdy was seeking public input on how the county should spend its portion of federal stimulus money. Instead, he had to call the meeting off when a group became raucous about mask requirements and COVID-19 vaccinations.

Clark County Commissioner William McCurdy II is steadfast in his belief that residents of the north Las Vegas Valley district he represents need to have their voices heard in determining how to allocate federal coronavirus aid.

And while a community town hall last week to discuss the needs was interrupted and ultimately canceled after a cluster of anti-masking, Trump-supporting residents infiltrated the event at the Pearson Community Center, McCurdy intends to reschedule the important talks.

The meeting Thursday was disrupted by residents upset over a statewide mandate to again require residents to wear masks in indoor public places regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

The meeting turned rowdy, protesters confronted McCurdy — getting directly in the commissioner’s face — and Metro Police was called.

McCurdy said members of the group rushed to the microphone after the meeting started, pronouncing COVID-19 and the vaccine as hoaxes, as well as stating that the county shouldn’t be allowed to mask their children.

No arrests were made.

“At the top of the meeting, I noticed that there was an overabundance of community members who were not looking to contribute to the meeting in any positive way,” McCurdy said Monday. “They compared having to wear a mask to slavery, in a room filled with impacted folks (who had) ancestors who were slaves.”

It’s just the town hall was not meant for feedback on the mask mandate. Instead, the goal was to encourage a conversation about how funds from the American Rescue Act, a $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package to accelerate states’ recovery from COVID-19 pandemic, should be spent.

With an Aug. 31 deadline for an outline on spending, community input is key, and timely, to deciding how to allocate the funds, said McCurdy, who ran the meeting before it toppled into disorder. Clark County was allocated $440 million. The funds must be spent by Dec. 31, 2024.

Those funds are massively important to residents of McCurdy’s District D, which is heavily populated by Latino and Black families, many of whom were hit hard during the pandemic.

McCurdy said he unsuccessfully attempted to assuage the crowd. An angered attendee stepped close to McCurdy and yelled in his face, and another tried to grab him aggressively, he said.

McCurdy was then removed by his security and taken to a safe room, and police arrived to break up the ruckus, though no one who interrupted the meeting was apprehended, McCurdy said.

In a post about the town hall on the DC Patriot, a right-leaning website, Mindy Robinson wrote that McCurdy refused to listen to community members.

“(Clark County residents) wanted to work and they wanted to do it without being forced to wear a mask or take an experimental vaccine that has had no long term safety or generational side effects studies done,” Robinson stated.

Although plans for the next town hall meeting have not been laid out, McCurdy said it would likely occur next week and certainly take place at Pearson Community Center again. Increased safety measures will also be in place, though he said he did not have specifics.

Those interested in attending the town hall should look to the Clark County website and social media for updates.

“Everyone should have their ability to provide input,” McCurdy said.