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.”
COOPERSTOWN – A month after voting unanimously to fly the Pride Flag on the flagpole next June, village trustees once again debated and, in the end, affirmed their decision.
“I gave every member of this board every opportunity to table this motion,” said Trustee MacGuire Benton, who introduced the resolution at the board’s July meeting. “For any vote you can have a discussion. We don’t need a unique, complex way to vote on flags.”
The debates started when the board’s “Adhoc Committee on Vexillology,” chaired by Benton, introduced a policy intended to give the Board guidance and clarity when taking up future proposals to fly flags. But the committee’s resolution on “the Display of Flags at Village Facilities” had the opposite effect.
COOPERSTOWN – Before a crowd too large to be seated in the board room, village trustees this evening unanimously adopted a controversial short-term rental law, aimed at better controlling the spread of tourist accommodations.
Near the end of a self-imposed moratorium on short-term rentals, scheduled to last until March, the law is structured to discourage non-resident parties from investing in and renting out properties in Cooperstown.
“It seems like we’re just creating false barriers here,” said village resident Jim Potts, who said he owns one of the nine non-conforming rental properties.