UTICA – In disappointing news for Southside Mall – locally owned interior stores had hoped to open tomorrow (Friday) – Governor Cuomo failed to deliver guidelines that would allow Phase 2 of his un-PAUSE program to open, at least until Saturday.
Contrary to expectations, malls can’t open, although stores with outside entrances may open, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, who’s a member of Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, was told at an MVREDC briefing that ended a few minutes ago.
COOPERSTOWN – The Class of 2020 at Cooperstown Central School may watch their “drive-in” graduation ceremony from parked cars in the high school’s Linden Avenue parking lot, according to a press release from the school sent out today.
If allowed by Governor Cuomo’s un-PAUSE regulations, students will “exit their cars and receive their diplomas. But if New York State will not allow this due to safety concerns, we will mail diplomas and other honors home.”
ONEONTA – Though Phase One of “un-PAUSE” is limited to construction, manufacturing and curbside retail, Al Rubin, chair, Otsego County Chamber of Commerce Board, wants to make sure all businesses are ready to begin the process of rebuilding the local economy.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “Now is the time for innovation and creativity. Now is not the time to be shy. We need to be sharing all these ideas.”
This afternoon, county board Chairman David Bliss announced that Otsego County businesses and industry have been included in Phase One of the state’s reopening from the COVID-19 lockdown, effective this Friday, May 15.
County Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, who is also running for state Senate, suggested yesterday that, instead of waiting for Governor Cuomo to tell us when and how to reopen, we in Otsego County should put together our own un-PAUSE plan, present it to the governor, and act on it.
Hmm. That would follow the model the Cuomo Administration is applying to factories and construction sites due to open May 15: The companies are developing plans to submit to the state, not vice versa.
“Why can’t we go to our governor and tell him: We understand it. We need to open. Here’s our plan to move forward,” said Oberacker in an interview with www.AllOTSEGO.com. “Let’s put together a structured plan to reopen Otsego County.”
Why not indeed?
He was criticized last evening by his Democratic opponent, Jim Barber of Schoharie, for flouting “medical experts and science-based criteria.” But what the experts are recommending can be known and applied, without waiting for Albany to do it for us.
ALBANY – In his daily briefing, Governor Cuomo underscored his intention to open, not all, but “many parts of the state” when the un-PAUSE deadline arrives May 15.
“You know your business,” Cuomo said today, addressing construction firms and manufacturers that are first in line to reopen. “I don’t know your business … How do you incorporate into how you do your business and where you do your business, the precautions that we want to take going forward?
“How do you do social distancing, how do you do monitoring, are you going to take the temperature of people who walk in the door, et cetera, and that’s for government but it’s also a question for business.”