To the editor,

Another coronavirus aid bill, this one nearly $500 billion, is moving forward after weeks of gridlock in Washington D.C. Some of this legislation provides much needed help but inexcusably, aid for local and state governments was omitted from this bill.

Locally, since the onset of COVID-19, our county leadership has been able to put politics and party aside to unify our efforts in combatting this crisis. Unfortunately, some federal elected officials have failed to follow suit. Just recently Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky reported he favors states declaring bankruptcy, which current law prohibits, as opposed to states receiving federal government aid. Ironically, when big private corporations came calling for a bailout, the story played out much differently.

Washington politics and Mitch McConnell are not high on my priority list right now. Local elected officials like myself and my colleagues live in the real world and have been combating this crisis head on for the well being of our communities. These are unprecedented times and we need help. This proposed federal aid would directly help keep people employed and allow municipalities to avoid a spending down our minimal reserves that have taken decades to accumulate. Local governments have led in this crisis, but our reach only goes so far. We need our federal elected officials to step up and we thank those that have. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, our New York senator, had been negotiating for this funding for weeks. We need others in Washington to follow and include state and local aid funding in the next potential stimulus package.

I want to thank those who are fighting this pandemic on the front line. Our first responders, doctors and nurses don’t care about politics right now and neither should we. I’ve seen Oswego County come together like we never have before. Private and public partnerships have developed overnight, employees are working outside their scope for the better good, private citizens are making masks for our medical professionals and so many more charitable works can be seen. It’s been remarkable and it makes me proud to serve the public, but we’re are not out of the woods yet. Please continue to practice social distancing. Please wear a mask in public and only travel to the store when it is essential. If we continue to have each other’s back, we will get through this. Thank you again to our first responders, doctors, nurses, teachers, all essential workers and helpers.

Stay Healthy!

Tom Drumm

Minority Leader

Oswego County Legislature

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