Reopen News: Hamptons supervisors challenge Gov. Cuomo on violations claims

THE HAMPTONS, Long Island (WABC) -- Officials in the Hamptons are calling out New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for his comments that the state received thousands of complaints of violations of social distancing in the Hamptons last weekend.

"We were really surprised to hear the Governor's comments because we certainly haven't been experiencing any issues," said East Hampton Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc.

Van Scoyoc said the town only received two calls of potential violations last weekend and, in both cases, the people were in compliance. One call referenced a group of people not social distancing, which ended up being a family gathering. The other related to an outdoor yoga class, which is permitted.

"For the most part, people have been very responsible and respectful of the safety health protocols," he said.

On Sunday, Cuomo said the state over the weekend received 25,000 complaints of businesses in violation of the reopening plan.

"Manhattan and the Hamptons are the leading areas in the state with violations," he said.

Town of Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the town had no official violations last weekend.

"I'm not sure what he's talking about, who he's talking about," Schneiderman said of the governor. "Is it one specific town or village, or is it widespread or does it even exist?"
Schneiderman said he didn't receive any phone calls from the governor's office about business owners who may have been violating social distancing regulations.

"The governor needs to provide some specifics," he said. "We're happy if he's aware of some complaints that we're not aware of to investigate those, no problem."

Residents in the Hamptons were also taken by surprise by the Cuomo's comments.

"We love our governor," said Andy Arons of Bridgehampton. "We're big Cuomo fans, but it's just patently untrue. We really didn't understand what that was all about."

Arons said people in the Hamptons are extremely attentive to the health regulations.

"If you dare walk through any one of the towns without a mask, someone comes out and shames you," he said.
Governor Cuomo did not clarify Monday where the complaints came from, but said he personally received pictures and videos of social distancing violations at various establishments last weekend.

Cuomo reiterated restaurant and bar owners could lose their liquor licenses if they don't enforce social distancing.

"Look, the state is going to enforce the rules," he said.

He called on local governments to "do their job" and enforce the social distancing regulations.

The rules haven't been enforced, however, for the thousands of protesters who have been marching in different areas throughout the state.

"I have said to the protesters on a number of occasions you should be wearing masks," he responded.

On Sunday, Cuomo said violating social distancing rules and not wearing a mask are legal violations, and told protesters the law applies to them as well.

Various officials from the East End of Long Island had a regularly scheduled conference call Monday afternoon with Cuomo's aides and asked about the alleged violations.

According to Southampton Town Code Director Ryan Murphy, who was on the call, state representatives could not identify specific establishments to which the governor was referring. The town has asked for more detailed information.


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