Leaders in local government talk partnership with Hochul Administration

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Kathy Hochul has indicated that she will take a collaborative approach to working with local governments, especially on COVID-related issues. 

“I understand, there is a role for state government and there is a role for local governments, and I’m prepared to transition quickly as we are now fighting this new wave, this Delta variant,” she said late last month during a press conference in Buffalo. The Governor who’s worked in local government has said she “will not be micromanaging,” but rather giving guidance based on input from localities when it comes to fighting COVID.

“You tell us where there’s gaps, tell us where something needs to be enhanced by the state and we’ll be there without stepping on the local public health agencies,” she said.

One of the biggest jobs will be getting out vaccine boosters.

“We’re in regular contact with the Governor’s Office, with the State Department of Health. We’re having weekly meetings right now. We’re trying to understand the issue of the booster,” said New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen Acquario. He says a challenge right now for counties is that, “We don’t have the resources, or we don’t have the staff to properly stand up these vaccination clinics the way that we did before because the employees have gone back to work.”

The Executive Director of the New York Conference of Mayors, Peter Baynes, says the organization is encouraged by Hochul’s comments on working with local governments as well and says she’s been accessible. “Under the previous Governor, there wasn’t that respect for local government. It started with New York City and you could see it in other parts of the state,” Baynes said.

He also says it will be telling to see how much funding local governments receive from the state in the upcoming budget.

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