County chairman expresses frustration with changes, limitations of phase four

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WAMPSVILLE — Madison County Chairman John Becker is expressing his frustration over proposed changes to New York Forward Phase 4 — the state’s phased in plan for economic reopening.

The Central New York region leaders learned about changes and restrictions in phase four from state representatives on the daily conference call, Becker said.

“I don’t understand,” Becker said. “Our leaders, communities, and businesses were led to believe that there were four phases to reopening. Now that does not seem to be the case. How many phases are there? Are there phases 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10?”

“Our restaurants, malls, movie theaters, schools, gyms, and more are ready to open,” he continued. “They have plans in place to protect their employees as well as patrons. Let us reopen.”

“How does it make sense that a store that has an outside door to a mall can open, but the stores on the inside of the mall cannot,” Becker questioned.

Madison County is part of the Central New York region set up by the state as part of the phased reopening plan.

Area leaders say they have been working hard to make sure the region is ready, exceeding the metrics established by the state, and making sure businesses and the community know the guidelines that are passed down.

“We are withdrawing from the daily control room calls. Recently, they have become a waste of our time,” said Becker.

“All the state had to say is that the original phase four is on hold for right now. Instead, they are moving the goal post once again,” the chairman added.

“No one wants a second wave of this horrible virus, but our community is ready,” Becker said. “People are taking the proper precautions; let us get our economy moving again, our businesses open, and our lives back to normal.”

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