After being closed to the public for more than a year due to the pandemic, the Rockland County Legislature resumes full in-person meetings starting June 29.
“We have been waiting a long time for this day and I know that my colleagues and I are thrilled that it has finally arrived,’ Legislature Chairman Alden H. Wolfe said.
Gov. Cuomo’s ban on large public gatherings led the Legislature to embrace a series of strategic solutions to allow the business of government to be carried out throughout the pandemic.
As the number of COVID-19 cases began rapidly increasing in mid-March 2020, the Legislature quickly pivoted in response:
- From March 18 through Dec. 28, 2020, 51 meetings were held virtually over the course of 28 nights, each meeting, including committee sessions, publicly livestreamed in compliance with Gov. Cuomo’s orders concerning restrictions on public meetings.
- From Jan. 5 through June 15, 2021, 66 meetings were held virtually over the course of 25 nights, including full and committee sessions. In some cases, as vaccinations increased and the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations decreased over the past several weeks, some legislators were in the Legislature’s Chambers for the livestreaming of the meetings, but the public was still banned.
The Governor ended and rescinded the New York State COVID-19 State of Emergency and all linked Executive orders, including the one regarding public meetings, on Wednesday, allowing the Rockland County Legislature to reopen its sessions to the public. Please wear a mask if you are not fully vaccinated and plan to attend.
“Even during the worst of the pandemic, government still found a way forward so that we could continue to serve the residents and businesses that call Rockland County home,” Legislator Wolfe said. “While virtual and remote work did provide us with the tools to operate, nothing can replace the personal interactions afforded by in-person gatherings.”