Madison County chairman lauds work of health department, personnel, confronts online critics – Rome Sentinel - Freelance Rack

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Madison County chairman lauds work of health department, personnel, confronts online critics – Rome Sentinel

WAMPSVILLE — The Madison County Board of Supervisors livestreamed its meeting Tuesday, discussing the work of the health department as well as negativity from the “Facebook people.”

Before the meeting, Chairman John Becker commended all the hard work of the Public Health Department and their efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Madison County. “The Public Health Department has been working hard,” Becker said. “The staff here has only six people at the department with Public Health Director Eric Faisst doing tracing plus all the other work they do and they’ve been doing an exceptional job.”

After the wave of people testing positive for COVID-19 from Green Empire Farms, Becker said there have been some comments coming from those the chairman has labeled “Facebook people” — those who hide behind their Facebook account and add to the negativity.

County Administrator Mark Scimone played a recording of a call from one Onondaga County resident who complained that Faisst was wearing his mask improperly while giving a television interview with News Channel 3 while six feet away from everybody else.

The call follows:

You Cov-idiot [sic]! Representing Madison County government, who’s representing the Health Department and he’s on the news right now with a mask over his mouth but not over his nose? Is this guy representing the [expletive] health department? Can somebody [Expletive] school him? Tell him the [expletive} mask goes over the mouth and the nose! He’s right there on public television spreading the [expletive] virus!”

Becker said Madison County is getting calls like this all the time. Becker reiterated that at no time, was Faisst required to wear his mask while on camera. Facebook messages continued from the individual to Madison County Government Facebook in the same vein with similar language. When asked about the language, the individual said “you don’t deserve respect.”

“This is what we get because I think there’s a lot of sensationalism and hype. It’s another thing that everybody has had to put up with in this tough situation,” Becker said. “We’re a small rural county and we’re stretched right to the max with what we have to do in an ever-changing situation.”

Becker said Madison County has been bombarded by misinformation on social media platforms such as Facebook.

“Our people are working as hard as they can, they’re doing the best they can, and they’re doing a damn good job,” Becker said. “We did what we were supposed to last week and we got those people off the streets and into isolation. They’ll get better and they’ll go back to work and we will move on.”

Becker added that he hopes to see Madison County open this coming Friday, May 15 and move forward as a county for the better.

The Board of Supervisors moved on to their regular agenda and resolutions. The following resolutions were passed at the May 12 meeting.

Authorize Chairman John Becker to enter into an agreement with Time Warner Cable Northeast, LLC

Authorize Chairman John Becker to enter into an agreement with Zoom Video Communications, Inc.

Authorize Chairman John Becker to enter into an agreement with M.A. Polce.

Create two temporary positions in the Planning and Workforce Development Department

Approve the Mortgage Tax Report

Authorize the disbursement GAP Elimination Funds to Madison County towns and villages.

Authorize the modification of the 2019 Adopted County Budget.

Authorize the modification of the 2020 Adopted County Budget.

Authorize County Treasurer Cindy Edick to cancel the 1% interest charges on Madison County delinquent real property taxes for the month of May 2020.

Authorize Chairman John Becker to enter into an agreement with the New York State Board of Elections in regards to the HAVA Cares COVID-19 Grant and modifying the 2020 Adopted County Budget.

Authorize Chairman John Becker to enter into an agreement with Madison-Oneida BOCES for the New Visions Law, Government and Public Administration Program.

Authorize the 2020 budget modification for the Federal and State Grant Immunization Action Plan.

Authorize the Drinking Water Enhancement Grant Renewal and modifying the 2020 budget.

Authorize the modification of the 2020 Adopted Budget for funding received through the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Appoint a member to the Madison County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board.

Acknowledging introduction of Proposed Local Law No. 4 for the year of 2020 and calling for a public hearing.

Authorize a contract with Madison-Oneida BOCES for the 2020 Summer Youth Employment Program.

Accept a purchase offer and directing conveyance of county-owned land in the town of Madison.

Authorize an Economic Development Loan (All Seasonings Ingredients, Inc.)

Authorize Chairman John Becker to enter into an agreement with Johnson Controls.

Authorize Chairman John Becker to enter into an agreement with Chem-Aqua, Inc.

Authorize Chairman John Becker to enter into an agreement with All In Highway Services, LLC.

Rehabilitation of certain county roads and bridge replacements for 2020.

Authorize Chairman John Becker to enter into an agreement with Core Visual Inspection Services for Leachate Piping Inspection and Cleaning.

Following the meeting, the Board of Supervisors adjourned for executive session.



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