An Open Letter to Gov. Cuomo from Villa Barone Hilltop Manor

"Open letter to New York State and Governor Cuomo, I have had it. My husband is always bothered by my “rainbows and unicorns” attitude. It’s an innate quality of mine to look for the smallest bit of positivity and the bigger picture in every situation. But even I have reached my limit.
My family owns a large catering venue in NY, and we, along with the rest of the hospitality industry, large event venues, and arts and theater sectors are still being majorly affected by New York States policies regarding COVID 19. The lack of answers, transparency, and total disregard for an entire sector that is beyond suffering is so disappointing. We are shut down, with no foreseeable opening in sight and no plausible answers or solutions to how we can progress forward.
Back in March, 2 weeks to stop the spread has come and gone. The 4 phases of NY Forward have long been implemented and some of us, 8 months later are still left hanging, doors locked, businesses closed, facilities laying dormant.
This does not by any means negate the tremendous loss of the beautiful lives of those who have succumbed to this virus. My heart breaks for the families who have lost loved ones and for all those who have suffered.
But life must go on with an inherent need to regroup and rebuild what we have so painstakingly created. You have left an entire sector of New York to drown, with no answers, no plan of action, with nothing.
Give us guidelines and policies to adhere to. Raise the gathering number with rules and regulations on how to proceed forward in this new normal. Let us start to rebuild and swim ourselves to the top again.
My family’s business has been established for over 40 years. We are fortunate enough to survive this, honestly starting from the bottom, but we’re still here. However, a lot of businesses have not, basically locking the doors for the final time and turning over the keys to establishments that started as a dream and with hard work and sacrifices, came to life.
We’re not asking for sympathy. No one is looking for a hand out. What we want is to be able to start our lives again and get out of this stagnant space. What we deserve is the same confidence and respect that other sections of New York have been given. Because while the other sectors around us are fighting tooth and nail for their businesses and rebuilding their livelihoods, we are not even allowed to join the war, instead having to sit back with our arms tied, watching EVERYTHING we have worked so hard for slowly die.
New York has long prided ourselves for the arts and cultures we possess, for the beautiful souls that live here, for the experiences to be had, all while representing freedom and possibilities. I’ve always loved NY, it’s in my heart, in my soul, but today, I’d rather live anywhere else but here. The blatant refusal to allow some sectors to survive is disheartening and frankly disgusting. The “heart” of New York and all of the joy and life it represents is being snuffed out.
Bottom line- give us a chance to survive, to rebuild, to provide for our families, and to bring a little happiness back to New York.
Janine Crecco
Villa Barone Hilltop Manor, Mahopac, NY


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