BREAKING NEWS: In a detailed request to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the entirety of officials in towns and villages surrounding the Town of Palm Tree sent a joint letter requesting that the Town of Palm Tree be designated as a Containment Area due to its high numbers of COVID-19 and record of breaking Covid-19 guidelines prohibiting gatherings.
April 3, 2020
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
As local leaders in Orange County, ours is not an easy row to hoe. Not only are we dealing with people fighting an unseen enemy, some of these same people are unable to work and provide for their families as we practice and enforce your “New York State on Pause” program. None of us would disagree that the program is warranted and necessary in order to flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19. Our police departments and code enforcement officers have been quite vigilant over these past weeks in trying to enforce the “new normal” which encompasses rules, codes, and policy that came directly from your office on March 20, 2020.
It seems that some of our neighbors are not on the same page. Time after time, we see photos in the newspaper and video clips on the evening news of certain members of our society congregating on the streets, in each other’s homes, and places of worship. As the number of cases in the New Rochelle area increased, we were so pleased that you followed the advice of New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and ordered a containment zone as necessity to stop the spread of the virus. We have a similar hotspot here in Orange County in the Town of Palm Tree. Only covering approximately two square miles, Palm Tree leads Orange County with diagnosed cases of COVID-19. Our towns and villages all surround Palm Tree and there is much commuting by its residents into neighboring municipalities.
We are aware that Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus had suggested making the Town of Palm Tree a containment area. We urge you to reconsider your opinion and action on this matter. The only responsible step to keep all neighboring villages and towns safe is to issue a containment order.
We are acting responsibly as municipal leaders and we ask that all others do, too. We must be a cohesive unit with the good of the people at the forefront of all of our decisions and actions. In the words of Ronald Reagan, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
James A. Lofranco Mayor Village of South Blooming Grove
Robert C. Jeroloman Supervisor Town of Blooming Grove
Anthony P. Cardone Supervisor Town of Monroe
Neil Dwyer Mayor, Village of Monroe
Stephen H. Welle Mayor Village of Harriman
Timothy P. Egan Mayor Village of Woodbury
Frank J. Palermo Supervisor Town of Woodbury
cc: Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, NYS Senator James Skoufis, County Executive Steven Neuhaus, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Charles Schumer, Dr. Howard Zucker, Dr. Irina Gelman, President Donald J. Trump, Times-Herald Record, Orange County Post