County Leaders Join NYSAC to Discuss Implementing Governor’s ‘NY Forward’ Reopening Plan

Chautauqua and Suffolk Counties Discuss State Guidance for Reopening in their Regions this Summer

Today, County Executives Steve Bellone of Suffolk County and PJ Wendel of Chautauqua County joined NYSAC's weekly Zoom press conference to discuss their experiences implementing the Governor's NY Forward plan to safely guide their communities toward reopening amid a local revenue crisis and looming state budget cuts to counties. 

Separated by nearly 500 miles, these counties from opposite ends of the state are both on the front lines of the local response to COVID-19 closing down their economies and enforcing NY on PAUSE, and both will be on the front lines of implementing the Governor's NY Forward plan to reopen the state.  

Watch video of the event.  

A downloadable video file can be obtained by reaching out to Kate Pierce at 

“Counties have been on the frontlines fighting the pandemic, healing the sick, and protecting our communities from the beginning. With every directive and executive order, counties have been the ones on the ground making it happen,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. “Now as the state begins the process of reopening communities, the Governor has asked us to step up again and implement his plan to reopen New York's economy. We thank the governor for his partnership as we safely guide our communities during this important time.” 

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “In Suffolk County, we've been leading and innovating to protect residents during this crisis and as we enter the next phase, we stand ready, willing and able to help lead the process of reopening and implement the Governor's plan on the ground. We know that there is no room for error during this critical time, making this partnership between the state and the counties vital to the successful reopening of our economy, while keeping our communities safe. We thank the Governor for his guidance and partnership and we look forward to working together to implement his NY Forward plan to reopen our economy.” 

Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel said, “Though our county has been spared some of the pain in terms of cases and deaths that other counties have gone through, our economy, our businesses and our students have suffered the effects of COVID-19 just like everyone else. We understand that for us to get our community back on its feet as fast as possible, we must work together. As we begin the process of reopening our economy, we will be working hand-in-glove with the Governor to implement his plan and get our businesses up and running again.”  

The digital press conference was part of the NY Counties Lead public awareness campaign highlight how counties are leading the local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.