FOURTH REGULAR SESSION
April 13, 2020
CONDUCTED VIA TELECONFERENCE
Roll Call – Quorum Present
Supervisors: Argotsinger, Blackmon, Born, Bowman, Bradt, Breh, Callery, Fagan, Greene, Groff, Horton, Howard, Kinowski, Lauria, Perry, Potter, Vandenburgh, Wilson, Young
TOTAL: Present: 19 Absent: (1) (Supervisor Handy)
Chairman Greene called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. and asked everyone to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Greene read aloud a big “Thank You” Card that he presented for doctors, nurses, health care workers and first responders thanking them for their selfless dedication and heroism facing down this terrible and challenging COVID-19 Virus. The long hours and sacrifices that are being made to keep the community safe. On behalf of the Board of Supervisors and every citizen of our community, “I thank you”.
Chairmen Greene introduced Congresswoman Elise Stefanik who joined the teleconference.
Congresswoman Stefanik thanked all Supervisors and county employees and outlined what her office has been focused on during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her office has been getting out the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control. She has advocated for hundreds of millions of dollars for hospitals and health care centers. She has also spoken with several small businesses in her community. Congresswoman Stefanik advised that she voted for the Paycheck Protection Program. Her office has met with Chambers of Commerce to get that information out to small businesses. The Congresswoman is also urging congress to provide additional funding for these businesses. Ms. Stefanik advised that stimulus checks will be going out this week and will be direct deposited according to your most recent tax return. The checks will be $1,200.00 per individual; $2,400.00 for married couples and $500.00 for each child. Her office has also been receiving several phone calls from seniors worried about filing additional tax information. She said she has reassured them that this does not have to be done. She has urged the Social Security Administration to use information they had for seniors.
She explained that she will continue to push for more upstate test kits and personal protective equipment supplies (PPE). She is concerned with little PPE supplies for upstate and she is proud to lead that effort.
Ms. Stefanik advised that she was happy that the Executive Order from Governor Cuomo that upstate hospitals had to send equipment downstate was watered down to a much more voluntary approach. She continued that her office is receiving 100’s of questions and calls each day and her office will continue to push out the most up-to-date information. Congresswoman Stefanik also thanked health care workers for their hard work.
Supervisor Horton thanked Congresswoman Stefanik. He asked her about small business loans and people getting resistance from local banks. Ms. Stefanik explained that she has heard those concerns and is working with local banks and the Department of Treasury. Her office is also working with the Small Business Administration. She did state, however, that local lenders are the people that small business need to be going through.
Supervisor Young advised that he had a concern that upstate needs more drive through Coronavirus testing spots. Congresswoman Stefanik said that she would support an increase in drive through testing. She has made this request to Congress and will continue to work on this.
Supervisor Callery wanted to thank Congresswomen Stefanik for speaking to the Board during this very scary time. He asked her to please tell President Trump that Fulton County is thankful for his support and he is doing a fantastic job. She responded that she was pleased that the President is stepping up for New York State.
Mr. Stead, Administrative Officer, thanked Congresswoman Stefanik for taking time to meet with the Board and wished her “Good luck and God’s speed” with her efforts in Washington. She said that the Board can reach out to her and thanked Fulton County for their teamwork
UPDATES FROM STANDING COMMITTEES
Personnel Committee: Supervisor Callery advised that the Personnel Department has been receiving calls on when retroactive checks for the employees in the Police Benevolent Association would be issued. He said that he spoke with Ms. Souza and her staff is working on them and the checks should be out by the end of May.
REPORTS OF SPECIAL COMMITTEES
Chairman Greene advised that the last Board Meeting on March 9 seems like a lifetime ago. Towards the end of that week, things were ramping up with the intensity of COVID-19. Over the weekend, I received a call from Assemblyman Smullen regarding the school perceiving the need for an Emergency Declaration in order for them to receive school aid after they chose to close. I called Mr. Stead over the weekend and this set in motion a very chaotic week as Governor Cuomo had one Executive Order after another which eventually let to our Emergency Declaration to furlough 50 percent of all non-essential workers to April 29 by state directive.
Over the course of the last several weeks I think this is good news, day to day operations of the county have kind of settled down for some of us, but not all of us. People in the front lines have continued daily to ensure that everyone had theirs needs met to continue the fight with COVID-19.
Make no mistake, I view this has a public health matter. All the supervisors of our County need to know that this will truly not go away until we have medications to end it. Until then, we must urge all of our constituents to practice social distancing and hand hygiene.
Remember the serious illness you prevent may not be to yourself, but may very well be the people you love the most.
A big thank you to all Department Heads for taking this seriously and acting accordingly. A special thank you to our “front line” folks, both Department Heads and their staff, in particular Laurel Headwell, Public Health Director, Terri Souza, Personnel Director, Scott Henze, Planning Director, Steve SantaMaria, Emergency Management Director, Perry Lovell, Information Technology
Director, Anne Solar, DSS Commissioner and Sheriff Giardino.
Also, a special personal thank you to Jon Stead for the countless hours he has spent behind the scenes, reading, writing and listening and reacting to much of what is out there and working with me on a daily basis. Hopefully, the emails you continue to receive from Mr. Stead have been helpful and keeping you all up to date.
Mr. Stead advised that he emailed Supervisors the NYSAC Summary on the 2020-21 State Budget. Any Board member can call him if they have any questions.
Resolutions were then deliberated upon.
Chairman Greene asked Supervisors for any further thoughts or comments.
Supervisor Callery thanked Chairman Greene, Jon Stead and Board staff for all the communications he has been receiving. He also wanted to thank County employees.
Supervisor Lauria thanked Mark Souza, EMS Coordinator, for all his work. He also wanted to thank Chairman Greene and Mr. Stead and the whole Board.
Supervisor Fagan echoed what Supervisor Callery and Supervisor Lauria commented. He also stated that he hoped we were at the end of this pandemic and not at the beginning. He thanked everyone for all that is being done and looks forward to seeing everyone again.
Supervisors Argotsinger and Kinowski said thanks.
Supervisor Breh thanked Public Health, the Sheriff and first responders.
Supervisor Groff thanked Chairman Greene, Mr. Stead, Department Heads and first responders.
Supervisor Blackmon expressed thanks for the communications that have been sent.
Supervisor Bowman thanked everyone in this trying and difficult time.
Supervisor Vandenburgh thanked all County officials and Emergency Management for providing hand sanitizer for her Town. She is also pleased that the County is abiding by the health measurers put in place by the CDC.
Supervisor Horton reiterated the same comments from prior Supervisors and that everybody needed to stay safe and get through this quickly.
Supervisor Wilson reiterated what everyone has said and added that a phenomenal job has been done. He also appreciated the communications that have been put out by the Board Office. He also thanked Ms. Stefanik for doing a “stellar” job for officials.
Supervisor Young commented that he was incredibly thankful and grateful for all essential officials. He wanted to thank local government and health people, people in the private sector at grocery stores and individuals doing food delivery. He reminded the Board that next week was National Crime Victims Week and although the whole world is on pause, crimes do not stop. Our thoughts should be with people who are hurt by crimes.
Supervisor Potter expressed to Chairman Greene to “keep up the good work”.
Supervisor Born advised that she echoed the comments on wonderful jobs everyone is doing. She said that it was nice to see yesterday on Easter and the holy season that people in our community have reached out to shut-in’s, etc. and that the church videotaped services. She further advised that all these things mean so much and that our country is resilient, and we will beat this.
Supervisor Howard expressed his thanks and said “God bless you all”.
Supervisor Bradt advised good job and stay safe and keep up the good work.
Supervisor Greene advised that it was very important to try to take a few minutes each day to call a loved one or a friend to stay in touch.
Mr. Stead thanked all Supervisors and said it was nice to see 19 out of 20 participate and this is a very dedicated group. There is always a quorum and overwhelming participation by this Board. He thanked everyone for that. If you have any questions, please give Mr. Stead a call.
Upon a motion by Supervisor Callery, seconded by Supervisor Bowman and unanimously carried, the Board adjourned at 1:48 p.m.
Upon a motion by Supervisor Callery, seconded by Supervisor Bowman and unanimously carried, the Board adjourned at 2:49 p.m.
Jon R. Stead, Administrative Officer/ DATE
Clerk of the Board