County Board Chair Hopes For Clarity
In Governor’s 12:30 Press Conference
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Tardily, the Cuomo Administration this morning posted an “overview” of how Phase 2 businesses can reopen in New York State, but the actual opening has been delayed from today until Saturday or Sunday or perhaps beyond.
“The Mohawk Valley region has clearly met the criteria laid out by Governor Cuomo to move into Phase 2,” county Board Chairman David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, said a few minutes ago. “The Governor has now changed the rules in the middle of the game causing residents, taxpayers and small business owners and municipal officials more uncertainty and increasing frustration.
“The state has finally updated the information for Phase 2,” he continued. “However he has yet to declare it started yet. We are told it will be tomorrow or Sunday at the latest but we have told many things that have turned out to be inaccurate.”
“I suggest all phase two business visit the site ASAP, read and affirm the guidelines so you can open when appropriate,” he said, adding, “Otsego County does not have the authority stop Phase 2 business from reopening today.”
Bliss said he hopes the governor will clarify the situation for Phase 2 businesses – real estate, stores, auto sales, and retail and commercial business management – at today’s press conference, currently scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
Local businesspeople and political leaders waited throughout Friday for the green light, which never came. Oneonta’s Mayor Gary Herzig finally got the word – not yet – at a briefing by the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Commission in the evening.
Among the disappointed were locally owned inside businesses at Southside Mall, which expected to be part of Phase 2. In the MVREDC briefing, it was learned that covered malls are not going to be allowed to open right now.
On the bright side, Bliss said the state, in issuing today’s guidelines, “hinted” businesses that went ahead and opened wouldn’t be prosecuted, although the board chair said he isn’t encouraging anyone to go beyond the law.