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“Checking In” By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

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Right now, the top priorities for my administration and the employees here in Rockland County Government are getting more vaccine from New York State for residents, helping folks get appointments to be vaccinated and getting shots into arms however we can. That said, we are still working to accomplish the other goals I set out when first taking office.

Through our Office of Economic Development and Tourism we are continuing to bring investment and jobs here to Rockland. Last week we were proud to announce that Aero Healthcare US LLC, a global healthcare manufacturer and distributor located in Valley Cottage, received $800,000 in state funding that went to producers of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). They are one of five companies in New York to receive funding under this program.

Aero Healthcare US LLC will use the funds to expand their current facility by 9,000 square feet where they will bottle hand sanitizer and manufacture the plastic bottles. The grant will also be used for the purchase of production machinery and equipment. The total investment in this project is more than $2 million and once fully operational, the company will create 10 new manufacturing jobs and they expect to produce 200,000 units of hand sanitizer per week. This expansion will have a tremendous impact on Rockland’s public and economic health.

We were also recently notified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that we now rank No. 21 on their Top 30 Local Government list of the largest green power users from the Green Power Partnership. You can check out the list here and see the Cities and Counties from around the country we beat out: https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-partnership-top-30-local-government

While this recognition is appreciated, it also translates into saving dollars and cents for you, our taxpayers, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the entire planet. Our green power is sourced from U.S. generated wind power from Engine Power & Gas, and we’ve partnered with the Rockland County Sewer District No. 1 in this program. All told, the annual savings from green power energy use are projected to be $79,257 for the County and $95,118 for the Rockland County Sewer District, No. 1.

Despite this nearly year-long pandemic, we have not lost sight of the promises I made to you when I first became County Executive. We will continue to protect Rockland’s natural environment while doing everything in our power to bring investment, jobs, and business ratepayers here. That is the way we protect you, the taxpayer, from the double-digit tax increases of the past and how we make sure this County remains beautiful for our children and grandchildren.

*This is a weekly column by Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

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Government

Senator Skoufis Calls for Governor Cuomo’s Resignation

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HAVERSTRAW, NY – Senator Skoufis calls for Governor Cuomo to resign. He released the following statement:

The past week has been a period of significant reflection for our state as we all, with gut wrenching dismay, absorbed the allegations lodged by a number of women against the Governor. Lindsey Boylan’s, Charlotte Bennett’s, and Anna Ruch’s experiences lay bare intolerable hostility, exhibited by a high level of detail, photographs, text messages, emails, journalistic vetting, and the Governor’s non-denials. As subordinates to the Governor, the sexual harassment described by Lindsey and Charlotte is harrowing. The photo of Anna’s face, bearing unmistakable terror, is haunting.

“For these reasons, I cannot in good conscience wait for a months-long inquiry by the Attorney General to run its course. I have seen sufficient evidence to conclude that, beyond a reasonable doubt, the Governor’s behavior represents a pattern of abuse that deems him unfit for office. Governor Cuomo must resign.

“Some fellow Democrats have attempted to compare the current situation to former President Trump, arguing that if he did not face consequences, neither should Governor Cuomo. While dozens of women have come forward with sexual harassment allegations against former President Trump, he is not the standard by which we should be holding our leaders accountable. Putting aside the hypocrisy of many Republicans who were silent on the former President’s behavior, this moment calls for us to demand more and better of ourselves.

“The Governor’s refusal to appear before the public over this past week lends further credibility to the allegations brought forward by the three women – and counting. At a time when our state is demanding answers and accountability, we are instead met with attempts to unduly influence an investigation and, otherwise, silence. Distressingly, the silence speaks volumes.

“A dark cloud hangs over our Capitol, the likes of which makes it extraordinarily difficult for the Legislature to move forward with the essential work at hand. Of equal importance, the women of this state – both current and future – demand a Governor who respects them and leaders who hold him accountable when he does not.”

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“True Partnership” By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

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Together we are making progress. As of March 2nd, 14.9% of Rockland residents have received their first dose of vaccine. This number is beginning to climb more quickly as vaccine allocations from New York State and the Federal government increase and with the approval of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine we will soon be making even more progress.

We are collaborating with everyone we can to move this process forward. Recently my Administration, the Governor’s Office and Refuah Health Center were able to get hundreds of vaccines into the arms of many across the entire County with an emphasis on our beleaguered senior population who have been largely boxed out due to the difficulties they experienced with the State website.

Over the last week 280 seniors who had signed up for the Office for the Aging’s COVID- 19 Vaccine Waitlist have been vaccinated with shots originally delivered to Refuah. 80 were vaccinated at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern by hospital staff and 200 were vaccinated at the County’s Fire Training Center by Refuah staff. Our Office for the Aging staff also assisted seniors as they went through the process.

We also partnered with Refuah in connecting to many community groups across Rockland. Refuah vaccinated eligible individuals at these locations:

– Suffern Community Center (in cooperation with the Suffern Mayor’s Office)
– Centro De Amigos
– Yeshiva Spring Valley Schools
–  Horizons of Wurtsburo (Sullivan County)
– Esther Gitlow Towers Senior Housing Center
– Hyenga Lake Senior Housing in Spring Valley
– Konbit Neg Lakay
– Yeshiva of Greater Monsey
– Dunkin Donuts of Suffern

Refuah did tremendous work during our measles outbreak where county-wide over 30,000 MMR shots were given. They are true public health and community partners who know how to get shots into arms.

Rockland residents age 65+ can still sign up to the Senior COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist by calling the Rockland County Office for the Aging at 845-364-2110, Monday through Friday (except holidays), 8:00 am through 5:00 pm. In addition, residents can sign up online http://rcklnd.us/c19-waitlist.

Those 65+ are also being prioritized by pharmacies. You must make an appointment or get on a list at each separate location depending on how their process works. Each week we update the list of locations in Rockland receiving vaccine from New York State; that list is available here: https://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccine-allocation/

Refuah, as a Federally Qualified Health Center, is also able to vaccinate anyone who is currently eligible under NYS guidelines at their facilities. You can find more information about signing up with Refuah here: https://refuahhealth.org/get-the-shot/
Additionally, any individual eligible under the NYS guidelines can schedule an appointment at any NYS-operated mass vaccination site through this website: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

We will continue to identify and implement strategies designed to overcome the difficulties presented by the State's vaccine rollout. For those still searching, please be patient. We want to get you vaccinated, and we will as soon as we have the vaccine needed to do so.

*This is a weekly column by Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

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