New York State of Emergency Confusion

With the National Weather Service documented tornado in nearby Cransesville, NY on Sunday followed by three days of continual rain, the rivers and tributaries are again at risk of flooding.

You would think with all the gained experience from the tropical storm Irene flooding on August 28, 2011, our local executives would come together this time with a coordinated effort to keep residents informed with OPEN lines of communication.

This is NOT the case.

The Montgomery County, NY Emergency Management Department declared a state of emergency banning all travel in the County except for emergency vehicles, threatening to ticket anyone caught driving.

Then we have the Official City of Amsterdam Facebook page issuing orders from Amsterdam’s Executive Officer, Mayor Ann Thane, stating you can travel but use common sense. Note that unlike the Montgomery County page, I have been blocked from submitting any comments even in this declared emergency.  If we were without power and phones as we were a few days ago, I would have no way to communicate my situation to City Officials.  One way Thane is at it again!

The City of Amsterdam issued its state of emergency about 7pm last night, without any executive orders.

Followed by several conflicting orders, the first stating to stay in your homes.

The next executive order directed the citizens of Amsterdam to pray. Really?

Prayer is a serious business serious theological business and it is not a mere acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country’ for the State to immerse itself in,” Brennan wrote. “Some religious individuals or groups find it theologically problematic to engage in joint religious exercises predominately influenced by faiths not their own. Some might find any petitionary prayer improper.

– Federal Justice William Brennan

Permission was then given to drive, using common sense, that the “County may not be the same story”.

Where is the coordination with Montgomery County Emergency Services?

Here is a downloadable PDF containing the State law governing the issuance of emergency orders:

N.Y. EXC. LAW § 24 : NY Code – Section 24: Local state of emergency; local emergency orders by chief executive

From what I read, the Montgomery County executive order was effective until our City of Amsterdam state of emergency was declared and emergency orders issued by the Mayor that superseded the County order.  I am not a lawyer, maybe a lawyer reading this post can clarify the situation that has left many citizens confused.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Politics

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4 thoughts on “New York State of Emergency Confusion

  1. Pat

    This is what happens with too many levels of inefficient government. The saying ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ comes to mind.

  2. Jerry, could you please investigate why the APD and AFD combined grossed 100 times the amount in overtime cost over the DPW. Please look into why the DPW building was evacuated at the 11th hour on Monday, August 29 at 7AM. Please research why Dave Falso, owner of Dave’s Landscaping was allowed to push tires and debris from his company with a front end loader and dump it into the Nathan’s Junkyard on Erie Street AFTER the DPW had already gone through and removed debris from the street. Please look into why the Riverlink Park is priority number one with being cleaned up, yet the West End Memorial and South Side Bocci Courts (City Parks) take backseat. Can you also ask why the DPW was not authorized emergency/any overtime by Ann Thane/Ray Halgas until 17 SEP 11, in effort to bring us closer to cleaning up the mess. Can you also find out where the cleanup volunteers were that MOP (Thom Georgia – that’s Thaaaaam to you) had purportedly organized as I didn’t see one soul for 2 weeks. By chance, could you please ask Mrs. Thane why she told the DPW through Raymond Halgas (according to Mr. Halgas) “NO” to helping our community neighbors (Cranesville, Ft. Hunter/Johnson and Rotterdam Junction) by using our DPW equipment after normal working hours to help clean up flood debris. You’re absolutely right, Jerry…Grandstanding…Start right with the Museum…You think people are involved with that because they are GENUINE??? Take down the signs adjacent to Rt. 5., send the media packing (and the Unions) as well as the aspiring politico and THEN do the work. People like Mark Lavigna are GENUINE. Mark had insurance and he secured a dumpster and offered it’s use to his stricken neighbors, in lieu of paying for removal or waiting for us (DPW) to come through…That’s being GENUINE. That being said—it’s a testament as to why are there UNANSWERED questions to my entire post. This is what people don’t know,–what they don’t see because their attention is being diverted. These people—real people—not mannequins–are struggling and scarred.

    • Tony, as you well know, the current Mayor will not respond to any of my inquiries. It seems you have more insight into these allegations than most. Why not conduct your own investigation? Your father, 5th Ward Alderman Richard Leggiero has the authority (as a member of the Common Council), to investigate and answer your questions. If he can not, or is not wiiling to do so, that does not say much for the validity of the allegations.

      There was much to learn from the back to back disasters we all experienced. Hopefully our elected officials will use this information wisely to implement necessary changes in our disaster preparedness..

      I feel this post has helped as it is currently the most viewed of my entire blog.

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