The Governor urges all to stay home if they are able to and if you do go out, to observe social distancing.
Recognizing the enormous impact of this public health crisis, we are transforming every aspect of how we work, communicate, obtain food, medications and other necessities of life and are organized as a society. To reduce the number of deaths, we must make this transition as rapidly as possible.
We intend to transform how we do business at the Town of Bedford – not only how the Police Department and Highway Department can continue to operate but also how we handle our building permits and applications for variances with the Zoning Board of Appeals, so that we have some chance of enabling economic activity to occur.
As an example, the Town Board now is holding its meetings entirely by means of videoconference. I have asked the chairs of our permitting boards to do likewise so that we can resume their work. We intend to resume the meetings of all permitting boards next week if at all possible. We will work out ways to hold public hearings in compliance with law. That may mean that we, at least temporarily, change certain local laws on how we provide notice, how we involve the public, how we are transparent.
Updates since yesterday:
- Those Tested Positive County Executive George Latimer reported about an hour ago that there are 293 new cases in Westchester bringing the total to 1,091 of those tested positive. The jump in the numbers are dramatic which may be due to more being tested. It is double what it was two days ago. Governor announces daily the numbers in Westchester. There now are three in Bedford. Please note, since many have asked this question that we do not know where the individuals who tested positive have been and with whom they have been in contact. The Westchester County Board of Health does not know that either. Please also note that we are not permitted to disclose the identity of the three in Bedford who have tested positive.
- Governor’s Emergency Orders Governor Cuomo has issued a series of Emergency Orders. He is urging all New Yorkers to stay at home as much as possible and to keep a safe distance of 6 feet from others to reduce the spread of the virus. In an Executive Order issued today he has closed all non-essential business and is ordering all workers in non-essential businesses to stay home. Effective Sunday non-essential gatherings of any size are canceled or postponed. We are working on a compendium of the Emergency Orders which we will available early next week.
- Closure of Bedford Town Offices and Parks (with limited exceptions) To replace the Emergency Order I issued which expires today, the Town Board tonight adopted a resolution to maintain as closed to the public:
- All Town offices, except the Police Department and the Tax Receiver’s office (by appointment only for tax payments).
- Town parks except for non-group recreational activities and with social distancing)
We will have early next week the final resolution adopted tonight.
- Testing The State and County are working to increase testing capabilities, establish drive-through testing facilities and increase hospital bed capacity, which the Governor is coordinating directly with the President.
- Town Board Meetings and Meetings of Boards and Commissions I cancelled all non-essential meeting of boards and commissions to avoid public gatherings. We are transitioning to the new norm of videoconference meetings. With the assistance of our counsel, Eric Gordon, for compliance with notice and open meeting law requirements, we were able to hold by videoconference (Zoom) two Town Board meetings and a meeting of the Historic Building Preservation Commission. We now are working to resume all meetings via videoconference to enable property owners, businesses and residents to proceed with their needs.
- Resources and Guidance With the torrent of information from a bewildering area of sources, we are compiling resource guides and guidance, which we expect to have available shortly. We also will do everything we can to address your specific questions and concerns. As always, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: my weekly newsletter will be produced over the weekend.