Statement From Mayor Jeff Smith on Delay of "Phase 2"
It is absolutely ludicrous that today, businesses here in the City of Watertown and across the North Country slated for reopening in “Phase 2” continue to be closed.
As a medical professional with more than 20 years of experience in the field, I can say with confidence that delaying the opening of these businesses does not do anything to protect public health or stop the spread of COVID-19. The only thing this delay does is contribute to the further destruction of local businesses.
To wait until last night to make our region aware we are not moving on to Phase 2 is a slap in the face to hardworking business owners. The lack of communication, notification and guidance is not only irresponsible, it’s insulting. I fully support businesses in the North Country moving into Phase 2, as planned, immediately.
Furthermore, I would encourage our local representatives who are part of the Governor’s North Country regional "Control Room” to resign. This Control Room was designed to give the people of our region a voice as we safely reopen. It has become abundantly clear that Albany does not value or respect local input—nor does the Governor want to listen to the voices of those who know our region best.