Town News

Information Regarding Saturday, June 20th, 2020 – Statement from Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich

Attention Greece Residents:

Several days ago we were contacted by an individual that informed us they were organizing a peaceful protest.

The First Amendment provides the right of the people to peaceably assemble in order to exercise their freedom of speech. ALL levels of government have a responsibility and duty to protect our constitutional rights.

Protecting the rights of the people, however, also means that government must appropriately respond to any illegal conduct that infringes on the rights of others.

Again, we have been told it will be a peaceful event but I have called in State Police to assist GPD to ensure everyone is safe. That is always the priority. The Chief has been working with the organizer and has also been working with me and several others at Town Hall to ensure the event remains both peaceful and safe.

As of late yesterday GPD had completed their individual visits to businesses along the route they will be traveling. We wanted to be certain accurate information was conveyed and we are now at the point we can provide more details to all of our residents

GPD has advised that we close Long Pond Road from Town Hall to English Road this Saturday from approximately 3:00 pm through approximately 6:00 pm. I know this will put a strain on all of our local residents but we ask for your patience as this allows us to ensure everyone’s safety as well as to focus on the needs at hand.

In the event of an emergency for residents that live along Long Pond Road during this time, please call 911. We have ambulances and fire trucks that will be on scene and available for any emergencies. By staging them in the area you will have immediate response times. Again, all of this has been pulled together prior to making our announcement regarding Saturday’s protest event.

For those who are questioning allowing this, as stated above, we have no choice. And it really can’t compare to our 4th of July celebration being cancelled. We have tried to push the envelope like we did with opening protocols for outdoor dining and Greece businesses were threatened with having their state licenses pulled. I would not want to put in jeopardy any of the vendors that participate each and every year at our July 4th celebration. And since we would likely be the only location with fireworks, it would be impossible to control the number of people from outside our town that may want to head here and even more impossible to limit it.

We’ve had suggestions of allowing some cars in, again we have nearly 100,000 residents and probably logistically could only fit 200 cars so again a handful of happy residents and many more wishing they could participate

What we can guarantee is we will be back next year bigger and better than ever as we celebrate our great country.

As a precaution, we are closing the spray park at noon on Saturday, though I wish we didn’t have to I am deferring to the Chief and our department as they are preparing for their work at the protest. Starting next week, however, I am happy to report we will be lifting many of the restrictions regarding timeframes and number of residents at the spray park. Stay tuned for more info. We have seen mild numbers and considerate crowds who have all been keeping proper social distancing while enjoying the WOW zone with their families. Thank you to all of you.

So my suggestion, if you can avoid Long Pond road from Town Hall (just North of Latta Road) through English Road you will be spared heavy traffic and the need to re-route your travel.

We commit again to putting the safety of our residents as our number one priority.

I’ll do my best at responding but please realize we are devoting a great deal of time to our preparations to ensure you and your families are safe.

Thank you.