First-Wave Counties Lead Local Reopening After NY Pause

Broome and Oneida County Executives Discuss Implementing the Governor's Reopening Plan

Today, two County Executives from counties that qualified for the first wave of reopening joined the weekly NYSAC digital press conference to discuss their experience after a nearly one week of reopening; the challenges and successes, and the need to secure additional federal aid to offset revenue loss and potential cuts from the New York State Division of Budget.

View video of the event here. A downloadable version of the video is available here.

NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said, “Counties have been on the front lines of the response to COVID-19 from day one; leading the orderly shutdown of local economies, working to combat the spread of the virus through our Local Health Departments and providing essential services to residents in need. Now, once again, the State is turning to counties to execute a safe and orderly reopening. Counties are ready, willing and able to continue leading this effort, all they ask is that they be provided with the resources from Washington that will be needed to be successful.”

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said, “If this is a war, we're fighting it on three fronts: the virus, the reopening, and the budget. Counties all across the state are looking at unprecedented budget gaps, while simultaneously being asked to spend more than other municipalities to continue the fight. We need the federal government to step in, just as they would in a natural disaster, and help. The three stimulus bills that have been passed were a good first step, but they haven't helped the governments that are on the front lines fighting this crisis, which is counties. We have the local health departments, we have the first responders, we're fighting this on the ground, and now we need the federal government to provide the assistance we need to continue that work.”

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr said, “We are pleased that the hard work and diligence of Oneida County led to the Mohawk Valley being one of the first regions in New York State allowed to proceed with Phase One reopening last week. Since that time, we have remained steadfast in our efforts to keep the public safe while restarting our economy and resuming some aspects of our lives. County governments are the boots on the ground as we safely reopen our communities and we will continue to lead the way as move through each phase. But we can't do it alone. We need the support of the state and federal governments to help offset the extreme cost of fighting this pandemic and devastating losses in revenue we are incurring.”

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.

Media Contact: Mark LaVigne | | 518-465-1473 x206