We have arrived at a new milestone this morning! Today is the official commencement of Phase 3 of the Governor’s reopening plan, which means restaurants will be able to provide indoor dining with limited capacity, and we’ll also see nail salons and spas start to open their doors - all following various guidelines and safety precautions. Social gatherings are now allowed for up to 25 people. For a full understanding of what’s included in Phase 3, you can visit https://forward.ny.gov/phase-three-industries.
A few things to keep in mind:
First, face coverings, social distancing and other personal sanitation practices are still recommended. Infection rates are low but COVID-19 is still out there, and we’ve all seen firsthand how quickly it can spread. So please continue to stay safe.
Second, even though more businesses are reopening, there are still restrictions on capacity, so the Local Executive Order I issued previously will remain in effect, which allows restaurants and retailers to better utilize outdoor areas including sidewalks, parking lots and parks. Personally, I think it’s pretty great seeing so many people having fun around our downtown and we may want to think about making some of this permanent, even after this pandemic fades away. I hope you’re all finding opportunities to enjoy the summer so far.
As we begin to turn our attention to what’s next, please allow me to close this letter by thanking a group of people who haven't received much acknowledgement throughout this pandemic.
From day one of this crisis, our Department of Public Works employees have been outstanding. They have been sanitizing public spaces and first responder vehicles, repairing blacktop on roads throughout the Village, removing leaves, picking up trash, and making sure our parks were ready for visitors with fresh cut grass and newly-planted flowers. They are the definition of “essential".
Believe it or not, we even settled a contract with the union representing our Department of Public Works employees (CSEA), during the pandemic. The agreement we had in place expired June 1, 2020 and rather than engaging in the typical negotiating process, we resolved a two-year agreement with just one meeting. The agreement includes minimal salary increases keeping us below the New York State Tax Cap (without any other changes to the Contract).
Time and time again, they get the work done without accolades, parades, free meals, or any fanfare whatsoever. Joe, Robert, Gerry, Sean, Anthony, Ted, Matt, Omar, Rich, Bob and Paul -- thank you.