News of Otsego County

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Search Results for: KOUTNIK

questionnaire — gary koutnik

Gary Koutnik

COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 11 (unopposed)

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE:  City of Oneonta

EDUCATION:  BS in Education, Bucknell University; MS in Administration, SUNY Albany

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:  School Psychologist and Director of Special Education (OCSD)

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:  Hyde Hall Site Interpreter; Farmer’s Museum Dramatic Interpreter; Glimmerglobe Theater; Catskill Players Executive Committee and VP; Otsego County Democratic Committee Executive Committee; Oneonta Assembly of God. 

FAMILY:  Wife Abbey (married 1979), two sons:  Randall (26) and Whitsun (23)

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT:  “There are some things that we can’t do unless we do them together. When we do them together, that’s called government.” Barney Frank

MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY:  Matching people to training and training to existing jobs.  Preserving our awesome natural resources and landscape.  Fighting back against the devastations of poverty.  Building up our County human resources – and therefore quality services – after a decade of cuts.

STATEMENT:  The County must begin to serve the needs of its citizens and not the political needs of its leaders.  These are difficult times which require bold decisions.  We need to plan carefully and thoughtfully for a short, medium and long-term future, and this process takes vision, hard work, and courage.

MY QUALITIES:  Passion for democracy; work ethic; ability to collaborate; long experience and relationship with Otsego County residents from all walks of life.

candidates 2015 gary koutnik

GARY KOUTNIK

COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 11

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE:   City of Oneonta

EDUCATION:  Wantagh High School, Wantagh, NY – 1968.  BS in Ed – Bucknell University, 1972.  MS in Admin – UAlbany – 1999

Gary Koutnik
Gary Koutnik

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:  School Psychologist, School Administrator, Historic Interpretation

COMMUNITY/POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT:    Executive Committee, Otsego County Democratic Committee.  Many years of Church governance and committee work, mostly in church growth.  30+ years working with families with disabled children in Oneonta and Otsego County and surrounding counties.  Delegate to Democratic National Convention, 2012.

FAMILY:  Wife Abbey, two sons:  Randall (San Francisco) and Whitsun (Oneonta)

IN TWO OR THREE SENTENCES, EXPLAIN YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT:   “There are some things that we can’t do unless we do them together. When we do them together, that’s called government.” (Congressman Barney Frank)

WHAT ARE THE THREE MAJOR ISSUES THE OTSEGO COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES FACES, AND HOW WOULD YOU ADDRESS THEM?

– Comprehensive Plan:  Board looks at mid- and long-term planning for County:  what do we want to be in the business of; prioritize our efforts; move toward greater effectiveness and efficiency in all areas, starting with highest priority issues.

– Coordinate all activities County-wide:  This would probably (but not necessarily) be a County Manager, a kind of CEO for our two dozen departments and 500 employees.

– Budget:  Longer-term budget development based on planning and coordination above.

WHAT QUALITIES/EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE THAT MAKES YOU THE BETTER CHOICE IN THIS RACE:   Experience on the Board; 35 years working and living in Otsego County, both in the City and in many of the towns.  Experience with management, budget and supervision.  A passion to provide the benefits of governing to all citizens, with nobody left out.

IS THERE A STATEMENT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH VOTERS?    I’ve gotten to know hundreds of families in Oneonta from all walks of life during my career. I’ve talked with them about their hopes and dreams, especially for their children, and I’ve learned about their frustrations and anxieties. I’ve spent my whole career getting to know the people of Oneonta. And I’ve met too many families in Oneonta who have been left out of the benefits of democracy. Democracy is for every last citizen, with no one left out. If I’m reelected, I’ll continue to work for all of us. Fiscal responsibility, certainly. Hard choices, certainly. But no collateral damage. No one intentionally left out.

 

Bliss Appointments Reflect ‘Continuity’ 

COUNTY BOARD REORGANIZES

Bliss: Appointments

Aim At ‘Continuity’ 

Meg Kennedy Emerges With New Status

As Chairman Of Both Administration, IGA

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

County Rep. Meg Kennedy, C-Hartwick/Milford/New Lisbon, presides at this morning’s reorganizational meeting. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – She went into today’s reorganizational meeting of the Otsego County Board of Representatives already with the greatest clout under the weighted voting system.

But Meg Kennedy’s rising stature was quickly affirmed.

She was nominated and elected temporary chair of the reorganizational meeting, presiding over the transition of the chairmanship from Kathy Clark, R-Otego, to David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield.

And she emerged from the morning’s decision-making as chair of the Administration Committee – Ways & Means, through which all resolutions must flow before getting to the floor of the monthly county board meeting.

County Reps Pick Bliss As Chairman

COUNTY BOARD REORGANIZES

County Reps Pick

Bliss As Chairman

Dem Koutnik Paired With Republican

In Succeeding Kathy Clark, Ed Frazier

County Rep. David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, takes the oath of office this morning next to county Rep. Kathy Clark, R-Otego. A few minutes later, Bliss’s colleagues voted him in as Clark’s replacement as county board chair. (Jim Kevliin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego County Board of Representatives this morning elected David Bliss, the former Middlefield town supervisor just elected to his second term, to be its chairman this year.

County Rep. Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta, at center taking the oath of office, was soon elected vice chairman.

The vote was 10 “ayes,” two absentions, one absence, and a single “nay” from Kathy Clark, R-Otego, the chair Bliss replaced.

Unanimously,  the reps then appointed Democrat Gary Koutnik, the veteran representative from the City of Oneonta, as the vice chair.

The absent county rep was Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, who departs as board vice chair.  It was said he had to take his wife to the hospital.

The pairing of a Republican chair with Democratic vice chair is unusual but not unprecedented:  Republican Sam Dubben and the late Rich Murphy, a Democrat, shared the leadership in 2010; and Republican Don Linberg was chair and Ron Feldstein vice chair in 2007.

New Year’s Day Swearings-In Set In Oneonta, Cooperstown

New Year’s Day Swearings-In

Set In Oneonta, Cooperstown

ONEONTA – Mayor Gary Herzig, Town Supervisor Bob Wood, county board reps and local elected officials will be sworn in for new terms at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan 1., at Hartwick College’s Shineman Chapel.  The new county Democratic chair, Kim Muller, will emcee.

Meanwhile, that morning, the new county treasurer, Allen Ruffles, will be sworn in at 11 a.m. at the county courthouse in Cooperstown by county Judge John Lambert.

Oneonta Polls See Good Turn Out

Oneonta Polls

See Good Turnout

Abbey Koutnik, Oneonta, right, gets her voting ballot from Election Inspectors Louise Sandoli and Marty Becker at Foothills this afternoon for County and Town races. Polls will remain open until 9 p.m. this evening. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
KUZMINSKI: Vote For Democratic Slate

KUZMINSKI: Vote For Democratic Slate

To the Editor:

Sustainable Otsego has endorsed the following candidates for county board: Leslie Berliant, Nicole Dillingham, Gary Koutnik, Danny Lapin, Andrew Marietta, Adrienne Martini, Chad McEvoy, Cathy Nardi, Pat Ryan, Liz Shannon, Tom Spychalski, and Andrew Stammel.

They all support the principles of sustainable living, economic self-reliance and home rule. As we face the future, it’s clear that we can no longer rely, as we used to, on distant governments and corporations to provide for our social and economic security. Increasingly, we’re going to have to do it ourselves. Our communities and our resources are repeatedly challenged; social and economic security is harder to come by. Incomes are low, jobs are scarce, and young people migrate elsewhere. For far too long, majorities on the county board have failed to respond to these challenges.

We need new leadership in Otsego County, especially on the county Board of Representatives. We need people, like the candidates above, who are ready to aggressively defend the interests of our communities. Otsego County desperately needs a voice of its own – and these candidates are the ones who can give it that voice. If you are happy with the way things are, vote for their opponents. But if you think we need a change, here’s a chance to do something about it.

ADRIAN KUZMINSKI

Fly Creek

CANDIDATES QUESTIONNAIRES: 12 Races Contested For County Board

POLLS OPEN 6 a.m.-9 p.m., NOV. 7

12 Races Contested

For County Board

The Otsego County office complex, upper Main Street, Cooperstown. (AllOTSEGO.com)

Questionnaires that have been submitted so far by candidates for the Otsego County Board of Representatives in the Nov. 7 elections are highlighted below.  As the rest of the candidates respond, the links will be updated. Please click on highlighted link to read, in candidates’ own words, why they are qualified to serve.  And don’t forget to vote!  Polls are open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.

DISTRICT 1, Unadilla

Ed Frazier, Republican

Tom Spychalski, Democrat

DISTRICT 2, Morris/Butternuts/Pittsfield

Michele Farwell, Democrat

James Hoffman, Republican

William Hunt, Independent

DISTRICT 3, Otego/Laurens

Kathy Clark, Republican

Cathy Nardi, Democrat

DISTRICT 4, Town of Oneonta

Andrew Stammel, Democrat

Breck Tarbell, Republican

DISTRICT 5, Hartwick/Milford/New Lisbon

Meg Kennedy, Republican

Pat Ryan, Democrat

DISTRICT 6, Worcester/Maryland

/Westford/Decatur

Chad McEvoy, Democrat

Peter Oberacker, Republican

DISTRICT 7, Cooperstown/Middlefield

/Cherry Valley/Roseboom

Leslie Berliant, Democrat

David Bliss, Republican

DISTRICT 8, Cooperstown/Town of Otsego

Andrew Marietta, Democrat

Tim Walker, Republican

DISTRICT 9, Springfield/Richfield

Nicole Dillingham, Democrat

Keith McCarty, Republican

DISTRICT 10, Burlington/Edmeston/Pittsfield

Dan Wilber, Republican, unopposed

DISTRICT 11, City of Oneonta, Wards 1,2

Gary Koutnik, Democrat, unopposed

DISTRICT 12, City of Oneonta, Wards 3, 4

Craig Gelbsman, Republican

Adrienne Martini, Democrat

DISTRICT 13, City of Oneonta, Wards 5,6

Len Carson, Republican

Danny Lapin, Democrat

DISTRICT 14, City of Oneonta, Wards 7,8

Liz Shannon, Democrat

Wilson Wells, Independent

Frazier Revives Debate Over Collins-Faso Idea

Frazier Revives Debate

Over Collins-Faso Idea

He Says Medicaid Mandate Unique

To NY, Unfair To Poorer Counties

County Rep. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, speaks in favor of a resolution supporting the Collins-Faso Amendment considered by the county board last month, but withdrawn in the face of public opposition. Behind him is board Chair Kathy Clark and, at right, County Attorney Ellen Coccoma.  (Avery Miritello/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Rather than supporting Collins-Faso, Otsego should join with other counties in lobbying Albany to remove the Medicaid mandate, County Rep. Len Carson, R-Oneonta, argues.

COOPERSTOWN – After last month’s gallery of objections to Otsego County supporting the controversial Collins-Faso Amendment, it looked like the idea was dead.

Today, county Rep. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, brought it back to life.

As the county board’s monthly meeting neared an end, the vice chair stood and distributed a sheet of numbers to his colleagues, then, rapid fire, he added meaning those numbers.  A sampling:

  • The 3,144 counties in the United States contribute a total $9 billion to Medicaid. Of that $9 billion, New York’s 62 counties pay $7.3 billion, and the 57 Upstate counties, $2.3 billion of that total.
  • Minus New York, the 3,082 counties in other states pay only $1.7 billion – which means Upstate alone pays more than all the other 49 states combined.
  • Of Otsego County’s $11.4 million tax levy, $10.2 million goes to Medicaid.

COUNTY BOARD EXPLODES OVER MANAGER MOVE

READ TEXT OF TODAY’S RESOLUTION

COUNTY BOARD

EXPLODES OVER

MANAGER MOVE

Marietta’s Resolution From Floor

‘Disrespectful,’ Frazier Declares

Chiding Democrat Marietta for seeking a decision on moving toward hiring a county manager are, from left, Republicans Dan Wilber of Burlington, Ed Frazier of Unadilla, and Kathy Clark of Otego, the board chair. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

County Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, rises to make what turned out to be a controversial motion. Seated is Meg Kennedy, R-Mount Vision.

COOPERSTOWN – County Rep. Andrew Marietta’s attempt to introduce a resolution to hire a county manager quickly blew up into high drama and parliamentary gamesmanship a today’s county Board of Representatives meeting.

The vote itself was quickly derailed.

Marietta made a motion, Kay Stuligross, D-Oneonta, seconded it, and Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, with some prompting from County Attorney Ellen Coccoma, quickly said, “I’m objecting to the presentation of the resolution.”

Frazier’s objection, according to Coccoma’s ruling, required a two-third vote for the resolution to move forward.

The 7-5 vote favored the resolution.  But the weighted vote went the other way, 3,408 against versus 2,856 for.  Either measure, though, fell short of the two-thirds mark.

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