Jackson: City running smoothly

JOHNSTOWN — Day-to-day business in the city is running smoothly since a State of Emergency was issued on March 20, closing all city buildings to the general public to help protect residents from the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

Mayor Vern Jackson said he has been following the guidelines issued by the state in which Gov. Andrew Cuomo put the state on PAUSE, requiring all non-essential workers to work from home, all non-essential businesses should be closed, everyone is required to maintain six feet apart, individuals should limit outdoor recreation activities to non-contact, limit use of public transportation, sick individuals should stay home and individuals should wash their hands and sanitize surfaces.

“We’re down bare-to-the bone staff,” Jackson said. “Essential people come in for a few hours a day then go home.”

Jackson said everything is being done by mail including tax bills. He said residents have been mailing in their tax bills.

Jackson said this way there is no foot traffic, and no one would be allowed in anyway since the doors are locked.

The Department of Public Works is out doing everything they can. They are considered essential workers since things such as garbage pick-up and hydrant flushing need to get done.

“We do what we have to do in the office and then we go home,” Jackson said. “I don’t want anyone there who doesn’t have to be.”

He said there have been no major issues and everything is running “pretty” smoothly.

As for meetings, he is not sure at this moment if they will be having their common council meeting which is scheduled for April 20.

Jackson said they might try to establish a video conference by possibly setting up Facebook Live, so the public can watch the meeting, but is unsure if public would be able to make comments while watching the meeting.

If a meeting were to be held, there would not be much business to take care of since things have slowed down, Jackson said.

He said there wouldn’t be any public hearings, they have all been delayed until the State of Emergency is lifted.

“Right now I can’t say for sure if we’re having a meeting,” Jackson said. “We’re following the guidelines from the governor.”

He said the daily updates Cuomo gives help. Following those guidelines and daily updates, Jackson said he discusses with all the department heads in the city of Johnstown as to how to handle things.

Jackson urges everyone to “Stay healthy and stay safe.”

By Josh Bovee

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