Suffolk County Supervisors Association Joins with Nassau County Town Supervisors for Joint Parks & Rec Planning
COVID-19 Does Not Follow Town Borders – Summer on Long Island
The Suffolk County Supervisors Association, led by Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer, announced a joint planning effort with the three Nassau County Town Supervisors to explore areas of possible coordination of summer programs and facilities across all 13 Towns, officially known as the Nassau/Suffolk Joint Summer Operations Task Force.
While every day we are bombarded with scary news, we want to offer Long Island families some hope - we will have summer on Long Island, it will be different, certainly, but we will have summer on Long Island.
All 13 Supervisors met on a Zoom Facebook Live event to speak about both this collaborative effort as well as the particular challenges involved in Long Island summer planning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The goal of the working group is to establish possible coordination of three central components necessary to allow for safe recreational summer activity on Long Island:
- Public Health Messaging - Consistent social distancing guidelines across all communities will be vital to ensuring broad compliance from residents
- Opening (and possible re-closing) Timelines - Syncing the timing of beach, park and facilities openings as much as feasible, will ensure that variation between towns does not lead to a surge in crowding at one location, due to closure at another. Additionally, if there is an increase in infection rates at some point in the summer, coordinating the possible closure of activities will again prevent any one town or community from being overrun.
- Beach, Park, and Playground Policies - While there is very wide-variation among the size and types of parks resources across the Long Island Towns, coordination regarding best practices for potential each usage, park activity, and playground policies will ensure that safest approach is applied uniformly for all residents of Long Island.
The Supervisors announced a goal date of May 18th to issue the joint guidelines that are agreed upon by all of the Towns.This will enable the group to take into consideration the very latest research on outdoor virus transmission, and still allow for proper planning and staffing before the start of the summer season.
This type of cooperation between all 13 townships is unprecedented, and we also look forward to working with our respective incorporated villages and cities on coordination.The final determinations of the task force will be shared with County Executives Bellone and Curran and sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office for approval.
Suffolk County Supervisors
Babylon -Richard Schaffer, Chairman of Suffolk County Supervisors Association
Brookhaven -Edward Romaine
East Hampton -Peter Van Scoyoc
Islip -Angie Carpenter
Shelter Island -Gerard Siller
Smithtown -Edward Wehrheim
Southampton -Jay Schneiderman
Southold -Scott Russell
Nassau County Supervisors
Hempstead -Donald Clavin, Jr.
North Hempstead -Judi Bosworth
Oyster Bay -Joseph Saladino