COOPERSTOWN – The village of Cooperstown will stop enforcing its mask mandate as it waits for the state to rescind Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive orders on the coronavirus pandemic.
The village’s Board of Trustees debated the issue at the end of a three-hour meeting Monday, May 24, in the village board room at 22 Main St., but decided against calling a public hearing on revoking the statute, which was passed in August.
The trustees voted unanimously to remove mask ordinance signs from in and around the village and to relax enforcement of the law. Trustee Richard Sternberg was not at the meeting.
Cooperstown Police Chief Frank Cavalieri said he has heard the executive orders on the pandemic will be revoked July 1.
Because the village needs time to advertise a public hearing, and because there are several already scheduled for the trustees meeting Monday, June 28, Village Attorney Martin Tillapaugh said the trustees could simply take the mask ordinance signs down and let it be known that enforcing it is no longer a priority for village officials. He called it a “tacit acknowledgement.”
About 250 people attended a rally Sunday, May 2, at the Otsego County Courthouse, to support the community’s Asian American and Pacific Island residents.
The “Otsego Rally for Solidarity with Asian Americans” was organized and run by a group of Cooperstown Central School freshmen, including 15-year-old Cate Bohler, who said she wanted to speak up to support her friends or anyone who is being harassed.
“As a young Asian-American girl, hearing people call COVID the China virus is hurtful,” Bohler said, reading from her prepared statement about why she wanted to stage the rally. “It is more than hurtful. It is harmful. It perpetuates anti-American sentiments and racism.”
Speakers included the students, as well as local officials, including Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, Cooperstown Police Chief Frank Cavalieri, Otsego Town Supervisor Meg Kiernan and Otsego County Rep. Danny Lapin, D-Oneonta, who said he thinks he is the county’s only elected official of Asian descent. Lapin’s mom is Japanese.
“The deep-seated nature of systemic racism requires us to make continuous choices and take continuous actions to advance anti-racist ideas in the public space,” Lapin said.
COOPERSTOWN REFLECTS – 7 p.m. Library Anti-Racism series continues with presentation ‘Cooperstown Reflects on Racism and Law Enforcement.’ Will include moderated panel discussion featuring Frank Cavalieri, Cooperstown Police Chief; Richard Devlin, Otsego County Sheriff; Ellen Tillapaugh, Mayor, Village of Cooperstown; more. Free, registration required. Presented by Friends of the Village Library of Cooperstown. 607-547-8344 or visit www.eventbrite.com/o/friends-of-the-village-library-23034666815
COVID-19 TESTING – 8 a.m. Free rapid testing for people with no symptoms of Covid-19. Appointments required. Bassett Prime Care, 1 Atwell Dr., Cooperstown. 607-547-7973 or visit www.bassett.org/covid-19
COOPERSTOWN – “Shop with a Cop” came to Cooperstown this holiday season after a tip from Principal Tracy Durkee at Cooperstown Elementary.
According to Durkee, Village Chief of Police Frank Cavalieri reached out to her explaining that they had the means to give back to a student with a shopping trip to Walmart and would appreciate her input on identifying the recipient.
The concept was new to the department this year. One second grade child was served and the trial run” went well.
Durkee, who was new to the district in July, called on her grade level chairs and other resources for their input and experience with a number of deserving students. After a list was put together, Durkee reviewed items such as report cards and landed on this year’s recipient.