COUNTY BOARD REORGANIZES
Meg Kennedy Emerges With New Status
As Chairman Of Both Administration, IGA
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.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 BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 7
Cooperstown Central School, Regents Diploma; SUNY Oneonta, BA in History with a minor in Economics, BS and MS in Social Science Education; NYS Real Estate Brokers License with over 225 hours of Continuing Education credits; NYS Professional Coaching License with over 120 hours of Continuing Education credits
Owner/Operator of 300-acre organic farm (1983-present), NYS Real Estate Broker (1995-present), CCS Girls Varsity Softball Coach (2001-present).
Town of MIddlefield: Zoning Board of Appeals (2 years), Town Board (2 years), Town Supervisor (24 years). Otsego County Board of Representatives (2016 – present)
Member of the Board of Directors of The Farmers’ Museum and of the Otsego Land Trust; Member of Cooperstown Rotary Club, Rotary International Youth Exchange (host family and youth counselor).
American Legion Baseball, Cooperstown Sports Booster Club, Youth soccer and baseball, Fetterman Award Winner, Oneonta Daily Star and Utica Observer-Dispatch Coach of the Year Awards.
Married 34 years to my wife Kim, a teacher in Richfield Springs Central School. Three adult children: Rachel, Eric and Ethan, and one granddaughter.
PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT:
As Abraham Lincoln said “The legitimate object of government is to do for people what needs to be done, things that they cannot do for themselves: the making and maintaining roads and bridges, providing for the helpless, providing schools, and the forming and maintaining of the military, police, and civil departments.” I believe in doing so we provide everyone the opportunity for personal liberty and economic success.
MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY:
Investing in our infrastructure including roads, bridges, communications and high speed internet. In the past two years we have made significant progress and the foundation has been put in place to continue at an even more rapid pace. We need to complete the process of determining the duties and responsibilities of a county manager and fill the position. Although many NY counties have a manager/executive, research shows their duties and authority vary greatly. We need to find the right fit for Otsego County. Reroute XNG trucks so they travel Interstate Highways to the fullest extent possible. Continue to look for ways to save money through shared services, a process that has saved the county tens of thousands of dollars in the past year. Addressing the opioid epidemic.
My well documented record of public service has been one of honesty, fairness, transparency, open communication, low taxes, investment in people and infrastructure, as well as environmental stewardship. I keep an open mind on issues and listen to all sides without confrontation, therefore I have excelled at building bipartisan consensus to better serve residents. As a result, I have been endorsed by leading members of the Republican, Democrat and Independence parties.
As with any job, there is a steep learning curve for a someone new. I was better prepared than most because of my 24 years as Middlefield Town Supervisor. In my short tenure on the board I have spent time listening to, and learning from, our county employees and department heads as well as town and county board representatives, gaining their trust, confidence and support. I have been tagged as the quiet leader of bipartisan reform by the Freeman’s Journal newspaper. We have a great deal of talent in our county and we have made significant progress in just 21 months. More importantly, the foundation has been put in place for further progress at an accelerated rate. I ask for your continued support to implement these programs for your benefit.
Dems Berliant, Martini Target Bliss, Gelbsman
He is challenging Democrat Andrew Marietta, who is completing his first term and plans to run again.
While the deadline for filing petitions is still a month away, the fall campaign is already heating up.
In the last 24 hours, Leslie Berliant, a writer and entrepreneur, announced she is challenging David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, and Hartwick College professor Adrienne Martini is challenging Craig Gelbsman, R-City of Oneonta. In all, Democrats have identified 12 candidates so far to run in the 14 districts.
Can County Board Chair
Name Committee Chairs?
Or Must Committees Pick Own Leadership?
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
The question: Does county Board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego – or any county board chair – have the authority to appoint committee chairs, as has been her practice and that of her predecessors?
Just in case, members of at least one and perhaps two made motions to vote for their committee chairs.
DAVID BLISS, R-DISTRICT 7
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of seven profiles, one each on the seven new members of the Otsego County Board of Representatives elected Nov. 3, that will be posted each Wednesday afternoon up until they take office Jan. 1. Next week, Andrew Marietta, District 8 (Town of Otsego, including Cooperstown west of the Susquehanna).
By JIM KEVLIN • for www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Dave Morris, one of David Bliss’ fellow realtors with Hubbell’s Real Estate, remembers when Morris’ daughters were growing up and riding horses, and he would buy hay from Bliss’ father, Claude.
The truck would pull up, and David Bliss and his older brother Tim would toss heavy bales of hay into Morris’ barn, one after another, until the loft was filled. When football practice began in August, other players might drag as they got into shape, but the Bliss boys were always in peak condition, Morris recalled.
Farming and youth sports are still big parts of Dave Bliss’ life. “I sell real estate to support my farming habit,” he joked the other day. He went back into the family business after graduating from SUNY Oneonta – he played basketball there briefly – and teaching for a couple of years.
And he went from player to coach, helping out with CCS boys’ basketball for a while in the 1990s and coaching American Legion baseball in the summers. He coached a CCS girls’ softball team to the sectional finals at Lemoyne a few years ago, among the activities that won him the Clark Sports Center’s coveted Fetterman Award for service to youth in 2013.
Another aspect of his life has been serving in local government. Following in his father’s footsteps – Claude Bliss, who passed away in 1995, was on the town board when Middlefield adopted zoning, and served as highway superintendent for a period – Dave joined the town Zoning Board of Appeals in 1973. Then, after two years on the town board, was elected town supervisor.