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City Hall

EDITORIAL: It’s Decision Time. But Is There The Will?

Editorial, May 5, 2018

It’s Decision Time.

But Is There The Will?

Gary Herzig

Question: Can Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig’s administration make tough decisions?
For one thing, whether or not to condemn the Twelve Tribes’ blighted Oneonta Ford property has been hanging fire since before Herzig took office. He’s now in his second term.
There is state money in hand to demolish what is a public hazard and state money to prepare the site for new construction. All that’s hanging fire is a tough decision.


Now, the April 30 deadline to clear out the venerable but – city inspectors have found – dangerous Oneonta Hotel is passed. Where’s the decision that’s been promised for months?
City Hall’s Board of Public Service declared the property unsafe in January 2017, 16 months ago. And still the building is occupied, and businesses are functioning on the ground floor.
You have to ask, what’s City Hall’s liability –and that of local taxpayers — if a fire or some other misfortune were to happen?
It’s past time to make a tough decision. Question: Can the Herzig Administration make it?
Question 2: Common Council has barely debated any issue publicly in months. Where are the Council members?

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Randy C. Bulllis, 61; Lifelong Resident Of Otsego County

IN MEMORIAM:  Randy C. Bullis, 61;

Lifelong Resident Of Otsego County

HARTWICK – Randy C Bullis, 61, of Hartwick, a lifelong Otsego County resident, passed away unexpectedly March 9, 2018 at his home.

He was born on Aug. 1, 1956, in Oneonta, son of the late Clayton and Bessie (Houck) Bullis. He  graduated from Franklin Central School.

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Pastor Sivers Leaving Oneonta

Pastor Sivers

Leaving Oneonta

Common Council To Honor Cleric,

Trailblazers at Tuesday Meeting

Rev. Teressa Sivers

ONEONTA – Rev. Teressa Sivers, pastor of the First United Methodist Church since 2008, has announced that she is leaving the Oneonta church in late June to lead the United Methodist Church in Ithaca.

Common Council plans to honor Pastor Sivers’ Tuesday, as part of the ceremony for the 2018 Woman Trailblazers at 6:15 p.m. in City Hall.  The Trailblazers are selected annually by the the City Commission on Community Relations and Human Rights; Sivers has been a commission member during much of her tenure here.

Being honored as Trailblazers are Caroline Bagby and Jocelyn Plows in the Under 25 category, and Rachel Lutz Jessup in the Over 25 category.

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Oneonta Welcomes New City Manager

KORTHAUER VISITING DEPARTMENTS

City Manager Greeted

At City Hall Reception

Councilman John Rafter, Ward 7, meets with George Korthauer, Oneonta’s new city manager, during a noon-time reception at City Hall today. “He has a combination of 25 years of experience an a hands-on, approachable and involved attitude,” Mayor Gary Herzig said in welcoming remarks.  “His first few weeks will be spent learning, then we will focus on our list of goals that include organization, procedures, assets and how to efficiently use City resources.”  Korthauer, chosen from 90 applicants, spent the morning  with the personnel director at a staff meeting, and planned on touring some city facilities this afternoon. “There is so much going on here, I am just trying to get caught up!” said Korthauer. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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State of Emergency Declared For Otsego

State of Emergency

Declared In County

Kevin Johnson, Michelle Kearney and Izzy Martinez, all of Oneonta, work at getting their car unstuck from a snow bank on Oneonta’s Market Street after trying to get into a parking lot. After an hour of digging, pushing and some help from some passing residents, they made it into the parking garage. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE  • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Moments ago, the county Board of Representatives declared Otsego County is in a State of Emergency, echoing Governor Cuomo’s statewide declaration earlier this morning.

County roads are closed to all non-emergency travel so that emergency vehicles have safe passage on the snowy roads.

“We really need people to stay home,” said Rob O’Brien, the county’s 911 director.

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Snow Day Oneonta

Snow Day Oneonta!

Schools, City Hall Closed As Storm Stella Blankets State

ONEONTA – With schools, the Huntington Library and City Hall closed, Oneonta has effectively taken a snow day for Winter Storm Stella.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a State of Emergency for all 62 counties in New York, and locally, Mayor Gary Herzig has asked all residents to avoid any unnecessary travel. “To protect the safety of all, Oneonta residents should stay home on Tuesday unless travel is essential,” he wrote in a release. “The City is prepared to clear our roads; however, conditions may be treacherous. Please stay tuned to local media for the potential of road closings. All persons should also exercise extreme care and err on the side of caution when shoveling or otherwise removing snow.”

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City Manager Must Be Enabler, Advocate, Mentor

New City Manager Must Be

‘Enabler,’ ‘Advocate,’ ‘Mentor’

After interviewing Council Members, department heads and other City Hall workers, consultants Jerry Faiella, Executive Director of the NYS City/County Managers Association, and Michael Ritchie, Senior Advisor, ICMA, determined that the next City Manager must be an enabler of staff development, an advocate for employees and a mentor. He also suggested that Council undergo additional training in the City Manager form of government, and offered to help with the search for the next City Manager. He is flanked by Michael Ritchie. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
After interviewing Council Members, department heads and other City Hall workers, consultants Jerry Faiella, Executive Director of the NYS City/County Managers Association, and Michael Ritchie, Senior Advisor, ICMA, determined that the next City Manager must be an enabler of staff development, an advocate for employees and a mentor. He also suggested that Council undergo additional training in the City Manager form of government, and offered to help with the search for the next City Manager.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

For Full Story, Read the Hometown Oneonta

On Newsstands Wednesday Afternoon

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Greenway Project Suspended, But Trails Still Open

Greenway Project Suspended,

But Existing Trails Still Open

Council Member Melissa Nicosia brought the resolution to suspend the expansion of the Susquehanna Greenway out of the recommendations from the Community Development Committee. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Council member Melissa Nicosia, Second Ward, brought the resolution to suspend the expansion of the Susquehanna Greenway to Common Council from the Community Development Committee. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
The Susquehanna Greenway will remain open for biking, walking and recreation.
The Susquehanna Greenway will remain open for biking, walking and recreation.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • for AllOTSEGO.COM

ONEONTA – For now, at least, plans to expand the Susquehanna Greenway are dead.

“The city would have to come up with $40,000 just to do a redesign,” said Council member Melissa Nicosia, Second Ward, who brought the resolution to suspend the project from the Community Development Committee.  “We would have to start the work by September and finish in January.  It’s just not in the best interest of the city.”

The resolution, which passed unanimously at tonight’s Common Council meeting, suspended the proposed plan to expand the Greenway in both directions for improved access and trails from South Main Street.  “We’ve had flooding since we originally designed the project,” said Nicosia.  “The plans we had no longer work.  And with the timeline, it’s just not feasible.”

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Common Council Fire Pact Meeting Changes, Will Now Be On Tuesday

Common Council Fire Pact Meeting

Changes, Will Now Be On Tuesday

oneonta city sealONEONTA – Mayor Gary Herzig has changed the special meeting to brief Common Council on fire-contract negotiations with the Town of Oneonta Fire District #1 to 3:30 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday).  The meeting is open to the public.

By telephone, the mayor was able to poll seven of eight Council members last Thursday, after state Supreme Court Judge Michael V. Coccoma extended the city-town contract until Valentine’s Day, and directed both entities to continue negotiations.    They agreed to Coccoma’s directive; this meeting is to formalize that agreement.

Before the extension, City Hall and Fire District #1 had until Thursday at midnight to agree to a contract, or there would be no coverage in the town from New Year’s Day on.

 

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CITY CLERK DOUG KENDALL RESIGNS

DOUG KENDALL RESIGNS

AS ONEONTA CITY CLERK

Oneonta City Clerk Doug Kendall has resigned.
Oneonta City Clerk Doug Kendall has resigned.

ONEONTA – In the midst of the turmoil at City Hall, City Clerk Douglas Kendall has submitted his formal resignation, effective Sept. 8.

Kendall, who has a Ph.D. in American and New England studies and a background in the museum field prior to becoming city clerk post two years ago, has accepted the position of coordinator – the equivalent of director – at Hartwick College’s Yager Museum.

In his remaining time at City Hall, “I’m hoping to help the transition in the office,” he said.

Kendall, who succeeded Jim Koury in the position, has served during a tumultuous period at City Hall.

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103