News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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David Bliss

County Board Discusses, Agrees To Easing Standoff With Sheriff
FOR VIDEO OF APRIL MEETING, CLICK HERE

County Board Discusses, Agrees

To Easing Standoff With Sheriff

County Rep. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, praises county Board Chair David Bliss for working out an agreement that may end a standoff with Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. Frazier also sought to make sure yesterday’s vote endorsing the Devlin-Bliss agreement would give the chair sufficient clout to resolve the matter of the sheriff’s correctional-officer son, Ros, who has been barred from going on county property since an incident at the county jail in January 2017. Matt Ryan, the county’s labor attorney, reassured Frazier on that count.  Frazier is flanked by county reps Gary Koutnik, right, and Danny Lapin, both City of Oneonta Democrats.  For full debate, part of a video of the county board’s April meeting, click here (from videotape by Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Sheriff Surrenders Authority Over Son

Sheriff Surrenders

Authority Over Son

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

County Rep. Ed Frazier, foreground, thanks chair David Bliss for breaking the deadlock over the investigation of the sheriff’s prison-guard son. (Jim Kevliin/AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – After a 15-month standoff, Ros Devlin’s fate as a correctional officer is now in the hands of the chairman of the Otsego County Board of Representatives.

With one abstention and two absences, the county reps voted a few minutes ago to accept Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr.’s proposal to turn over authority for investigating and possibly removing his son from his job to county board Chair David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego.

In a short discussion, county Rep. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, first thanked Bliss for moving matters forward, but he asked the county labor attorney, Matt Ryan, “Does this get us where we need to be?”

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Otsego County 911 Receives $840K State Grant

Otsego County 911 Center

Receives $840K State Grant

Shaking hands with District -7 Representative David Bliss, R-Cooperstown, Otsego County Director of 911 Communications Robert O’Brien (right) was the main figure responsible in securing $842,330 in grant funding for Otsego County’s 911 dispatch services. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

In a press release sent out this morning, Otsego County Director of 911 Communications Robert O’Brien announced that the county’s 911 dispatch department had secured $842,330 in New York State grant funding. The total sum is divided between two seperate grants: $157,687 under the New York State Public Safety Answering Points Operation Grant Program for upgrades to the call center, and $684,650.00 under the New York State Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant Program which will be used to build three additional communications towers to improve coverage for the dispatchers. 

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Otsego County Board Contingent Absorbs Lessons Of Governance

Otsego County Board Contingent

Absorbs Lessons Of Governance

A contingent from the Otsego County Board of Representatives – from left, chairman David Bliss, Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, and county Reps. Michele Farwell, Morris; Danny Lapin and Liz Shannon, both of Oneonta, and Andrew Marietta, Cooperstown/Town of Otsego – are absorbing lessons of good governance from colleagues statewide at the New York State Association of Counties’ annual Legislative Conference today in Albany.  The keynoter was Harvard’s Stephen Goldsmith, director of Innovations in the college’s American Government Program.  Workshop topics ranged from shared services to ethics and integrity in government.
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Autumn Cafe Reopens After Year-Long Hiatus

Autumn Cafe Reopens

After Year-Long Hiatus

The Autumn Cafe, which introduced organic delicacies to Oneonta – and where Yoko Ono and son Sean Lennon used to lunch – has reopened after it was sold and closed for renovations for a year. But there’s much more in this week’s Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta, from an assessment of Gene Thaw, whose Native American art collection reinvented The Fenimore Art Museum, to a report on how Dave Bliss’ election to County Board chair is being greeted at the county courthouse, to an exploration of early-adopting local drone flyers, to attorney Susan Lettis’ wedding notice.  On newsstands this afternoon.
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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.

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Bliss Tells Of Bipartisan Record; Berliant Says It’s Time For Change
DISTRICT 7 DEBATE (MIDDLEFIELD, CHERRY VALLEY, ROSEBOOM)

Bliss Tells Of Bipartisan Record;

Berliant Says, Time For Change

District 7 Representative Dave Bliss and challenger Leslie Berliant address a packed house at the old high school in Cherry Valley on Monday night. Bliss believes that his record of bi-partisan leadership shows his commitment to getting things done for the constituents of District 7. Berliant believes it is time for big changes in the County Board of Representatives. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)
CLICK TO CHECK CANDIDATES’ QUESTIONNAIRES
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questionnaire — david bliss

DAVE BLISS

COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 7 

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE: Middlefield

EDUCATION:

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

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

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)

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:

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.

FAMILY:

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 QUALITIES:

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.

 

STATEMENT:

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.

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Republican To Challenge Marietta For County Board

Republican To Challenge

Marietta For County Board

Dems Berliant, Martini Target Bliss, Gelbsman

COOPERSTOWN – Tim Walker today officially announced his candidacy for Otsego County Board Representatives in District 8, Town of Otsego (which includes most of Cooperstown).

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.

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Can Board Chair Name Her Committee Chairs?

Can County Board Chair

Name Committee Chairs?

Or Must Committees Pick Own Leadership?

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – As the 2017 committees of the county Board of Representatives began meeting this week, a wrinkle surfaced.

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.

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