Broome County Executive Jason Garnar is the guest on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up and he has a lot to say about his experiences leading the county over the past year.

The Democrat reflects on being thrown into the pandemic response in March of 2020 and what went into many of the decisions of how to deal with ever changing information and state and national mandates.

Image: Zoom

Garnar admits one of the most controversial moves he made during the early days of the pandemic was to shut down traffic into the Greater Binghamton Intermodal Transportation Hub downtown.  Some people at the time questioned the authority of the local county executive to try to ban outsiders from coming into Broome County and possibly bringing the deadly coronavirus with them.  Garnar explains his priority always was to protect the health of the local residents while it was evident that the spread of the virus bordered on out of control downstate.

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The Executive also reflects on lessons learned personally and in his political career.  Garnar says one of the few bright spots coming out of the crisis was the way everyone, including normal political adversaries, knew to set aside differences to fight the common enemy.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Garnar also shares some of his personal experiences and the hardship of having to learn of the growing illness and deaths in the county and having to share that information in daily updates while still trying to comfort and support the community during the crisis.

You can also hear how Garnar says he sees Broome County emerging, in some ways better, from the pandemic.

Southern Tier Close Up airs Sundays at 6 a.m. on 99.1 The Whale.

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