Weekend News Brief

Written by on March 6, 2021

Monday night the City Council is set to select Rachel Tabelski as the new permanent City Manager for Batavia.  Tabelski has been serving as Interim City Manager since the departure of Martin Moore in August of 2019.  If approved by Council, Tabelski’s annual salary will become $110,000 plus benefits.  City Council went through a search process using the same company that found Moore in 2018. Moore lasted one year in the job.  Tabelski has held a series of politically appointed jobs including as a legislative aide to Assemblyman Steve Hawley, communications director with the county’s Economic Development Center and stint with the Batavia Development Corporation.

The New York State Assembly and Senate passed a bill Friday that limits the Governors emergency powers to renewing and extending and modifying the orders that he already has in place.  It also gives the assembly the power to reject any of these and makes it so all orders will expire within 30 days unless the governor’s office comes to the assembly 5 days in advance of the deadline to make the changes or extensions.  Assemblyman Hawley was not happy with the bill and said that “What people expected of us today was simple—a clean ending of the governor’s emergency powers. What they got was a sham of a deal the governor himself had a say in that does nothing to rein in his power in a meaningful way, and instead preserves his emergency powers indefinitely.”  Other republicans also complained.  One criticism is that this bill allowed the emergency powers to be sustained indefinitely, all of the Governors mandates passed with emergency powers were set to expire on April 30th and this bill effectively extends all of them past that if they are renewed.

COVID Update from Friday at 4pm: Genesee county has 12 new cases and 19 people have recovered.  Orleans County has 4 new cases and 14 people have recovered.  There are 74 active cases in Genesee county and 34 in Orleans.  As of Friday Afternoon 5200 Genesee county residents had 2 doses of the vaccine and 2500 Orleans county residents had had both doses.  8.8 of the New York State population has been vaccinated completely against COVID.

The state health department responded to questions about the pop up Mass Vaccination clinic at GCC having most of it’s appointment slots booked up by urban counties instead of rural counties as planned.  The state said that all non FEMA state run mass vaccination sites are open to all New Yorkers and when more vaccines are available they will determine if exclusive sites are necessary.  Assemblyman Hawley says that there was a statewide free for all that left Rural counties behind.  County Health director Paul Petit said that “With only 864 of the 3,500 doses of vaccine remaining in our three counties, we are still well below the current state-wide vaccination rate. We will continue to seek additional allocations to bring parity for the counties’ vaccination rates.”

The City Water Department is planning to make repairs to a water line in the area of 53 River Street on Monday. Repairs will begin at 8:00 AM and should be completed by 3:00PM. The water may have to be shut off from #73 River to South Main Street. Residents in the area may experience low water pressure or discolored water, which should return to normal once repairs are complete.  Residents should check to make sure water clarity has returned before resuming activities such as laundry.

Pembroke High School Girls Basketball Team broke all previous records by raising almost 38 thousand dollars Friday night for Roswell Cancer Center with their Shooting for a Cure fundraiser.  This is the tenth year doing the fundraiser and it has grown each year.

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