Year in review: A column by Assemblyman Hawley
Last year was certainly one for the books, though the reasons 2021 was so notable aren’t necessarily worth celebrating. Our governor resigned in disgrace, more of the businesses we love in our communities shuttered, taxes increased, prices increased and we passed a budget that cost us more than ever. All while doing less than ever to actually help working families. Throughout, we have also continued to contend with a pandemic that has worn on our economy and the fortitude of New Yorkers across the state, as some in government yet again consider mandates and lockdowns that would assuredly take a tremendous toll on our collective recovery.
I say this not to elicit feelings of doom or gloom but out of a hope, that by recognizing the mistakes made in state government this year, we can work together to rectify them and put our state on a path toward growth. The circumstances we face have often been described as “unprecedented,” so given the challenges before us, I feel that we have an opportunity to work collaboratively to deliver solutions many in the Legislature haven’t given a fair shake in the past.To put it simply, I believe that the best way of fostering prosperity here in New York state is to unleash the power of its people by staying out of the way of their success. By creating a business climate that will attract the brightest minds our nation has to offer, and that will retain the talents we have. More than anything, we need to give people a reason to believe New York’s brightest days are still ahead.
Perhaps, most important, we must also ensure that people feel safe living and starting families here. To do so we must give our law enforcement and judiciary the tools they need to protect our neighborhoods. The end of the decay of our villages, towns and cities will begin with the rescinding of our state’s dangerous bail reform laws. These changes have tied the hands of our judges and empowered criminal elements to act with impunity, knowing that they will be released back onto the streets, even if they’re apprehended. In 2022, we must collectively recognize that bail reform was a mistake and restore law and order throughout New York.
Here in New York we’ve tried raising taxes, we’ve tried heavy-handed mandates and we’ve tried various police “reforms,” all to the detriment of our state’s public safety and prosperity. If there was ever a time for a change to give New Yorkers a chance to chase their dreams and lift up their communities in the process, that time is now. This year, let’s give New Yorkers a chance to control their own destinies, put an end to one-size-fits-all mandates and empower individuals and local governments to do what’s best for their families and the municipalities they know and love.
New Yorkers are the toughest and most industrious people in this entire country and they deserve a legal and economic climate that will allow them to unleash what they’re capable of onto the national and global marketplace. This year let’s make New York work for those who seek to better their lives and communities through hard work.
Assemblyman Hawley represents the 139th District, which consists of Genesee, Orleans and parts of Monroe County. For more information, please visit Assemblyman Hawley’s Official Website.
Happy New Year from GO Health
As 2021 comes to an end, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) want to wish you a healthy and Happy New Year! 2021 was a very busy year for the Health Department and a majority of staff efforts were focused on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, staff have also been working hard to ensure conditions in the community promote optimal health for the residents we serve. The Community Health Services staff have been working diligently at COVID- 19 testing and vaccination clinics, conducting COVID-19 case investigations and gathering/analyzing local COVID-19 data. In addition, staff have been educating on lead poisoning, investigating disease/foodborne illness outbreaks, providing guidance to pregnant moms and families with new babies as well as providing migrant health outreach to assist farm workers in both counties. Staff of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness team have been instrumental in planning, organizing and implementing the mass testing and vaccination clinics that occurred throughout the first six months of 2021. In the last six months, staff have been administering smaller testing and vaccination clinics that have been held weekly at the respective health departments. The Environmental Health Team members have been active in assisting with COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics, but also assuring the community is safe from foodborne illnesses by conducting food inspections and issuing health permits to temporary food service establishments. Staff have also been inspecting septic systems, enforcing the NYS Clean Indoor Air Act, and offering free rabies clinics in both counties. The Lead Program continues to promote education and outreach to enhance lead poisoning prevention and promote testing of children to determine potential lead exposure. Through a federal The Genesee Orleans County Health Departments (GCHD/OCHD) uses 4 types of documents to provide important information to medical and public health professionals, and to other interested persons. Health Alerts convey information of the highest level of importance which warrants immediate action or attention from New York health providers, emergency responders, public health agencies, and/or the public. Health Advisories provide important information for a specific incident or situation, including that impacting neighboring states; may not require immediate action. Health Guidance contain comprehensive information pertaining to a particular disease or condition, and include recommendations, guidelines, etc. endorsed by GCHD/OCHD. Health Updates provide new or updated information on an incident or situation; can also provide information to update a previously sent Health Alert, Health Advisory, or Health Guidance; unlikely to require immediate action.
“Healthy People in a Healthy Community” grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), GO Health addresses lead-based paint hazards and other housing issues by funding health-related home repairs, maintenance, and upgrades to eligible homeowners and landlords. In October, GO Health was awarded a five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expand the primary prevention of childhood lead poisoning to the entire GLOW region. Staff within our Children’s Programs spent the first half of 2021 assisting with COVID-19 contact tracing and vaccination clinics. In the second half of the year, Service Coordinators have been instrumental in assisting parents and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They provided education, case management, support and referrals to help children succeed and have a good quality of life. The Public Health Education team have worked diligently to provide up-to-date data and information related to COVID-19 to the community through press briefings, press releases, social media and website updates. GO Health launched their joint website this past spring, which is a centralized location for residents of Genesee and Orleans Counties to access forms and find resources. Weights & Measures (W&M) completed 345 inspections accounting for over 1,160 devices within the two counties. These tests involved pumping more than 21,000 gallons of fuel and using more than 5 million pounds of test weight ensuring all commercial weighing and measuring devices meet NYS standards. The department collected 132 fuel samples confirming fuel sold within both counties meet a variety of parameters. In the last two years, the W&M program has shown a savings in excess of $100,000.00 through GO Health shared services. In 2022, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties will be developing the new 2022-2024 tri-county Community Health Assessment (CHA)/Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and in partnership with local hospital systems, Community Services Plan. We will be looking for community members in all three counties to assist in the process by participating in community conversations and taking the Community Health Assessment survey. We are also looking forward to completing the Public Health Accreditation Process in November of 2022. “It is our pleasure to serve the residents of Genesee and Orleans Counties,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “We thank you for the opportunity and look forward to a productive 2022. We wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy New Year.”
For information about GO Health, visit GOHealthny.org . For the Genesee County Health
Department, call 585-344-2580 ext. 5555 and for the Orleans County Health Department, call