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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len carson

With 4 New Members Due, County Board In Transition



With 4 New Members Due,

County Board In Transition

County Rep. Kay Stuligross, D-Oneonta, delivers her valedictory today at her last regular meeting on the Otsego County Board of Representatives. She and county Rep. Jim Powers, R-Butternuts, are retiring at the end of the year. Stuligross, Powers and two other departing reps, Len Carson and Craig Gelbsman, both Oneonta Republicans, were praised in resolutions passed by their colleagues. Incoming reps are Danny Lapin, Adrienne Martini and Liz Shannon of Oneonta, and Michele Farwell of Gilbertsville. (Video by Parker Fish/
Absentees Affirm ‘Reform Coalition’ Can Take Control

Absentees Affirm

‘Reform Coalition’

Can Take Control

But Republican Chairman Declares:

GOP Will Construct Working Majority

Democrat Danny Lapin, left, the new county board representative from District 13, City of Oneonta, and Republican Len Carson shook hands after today’s tallies were announced. In the middle is Maguire Benton, former Otsego County Young Democrats chair. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Today’s count of absentee ballots confirmed the Nov. 7 election results:  A bipartisan “Reform Coalition” can control the Otsego County Board of Representatives after Jan. 1, if like-minded Republicans and Democrats continue to find common ground.

At the end of an afternoon-long recount, with Lynn Krogh, a partner in Casale Associates, representing the GOP, and Richard Sternberg the Democrats:

  • The current county board chair, Kathy Clark, maintained a narrow District 3 edge against Democratic newcomer Cathy Nardi in Otego/Laurens, 561 to 543.
  • In District 13, the City of Oneonta’s Wards 5 & 6, newcomer Danny Lapin, age 29, a Democrat, kept his lead against Republican incumbent Len Carson. The final tally was 252-247.

Absentee Ballot Counts Due In Tight Races First

Absentee Ballot Counts

Due First In Tight Races 

Key Tallies To Be Done Next Wednesday

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Absentee ballots will be counted first in close races where they might change the outcomes, Elections Commissioners Lori Lehenbauer and Mike Henrici said today.

Usually, absentee ballots are counted in alphabetical order, according to the names of the jurisdictions, they said.

questionnaire — len carson



Fifth and Sixth Wards, City of Oneonta



  • Laurens Central School
  • AAS in Fire Science, Corning Community College, Corning, NY
  • (42) National and/or NYS Certified course materials


  • United States Air Force: 1983-1987 ( Active) & 1990-1992 (Reserve)
  • Owner of Construction Technology: 1990-2000
  • City of Oneonta Fire Department: 1989-2015 (Call, PT, Provisional, Career)
  • NYS Fire Service Instructor: 2008-2015
  • Co-owner of DCMarketing: 2011-present
  • Otsego County Board Representative: 2016-present


  • Scout Leader with Troop 23: 1988-1992
  • City of Oneonta Pee Wee Football: 1996-2004
  • City of Oneonta Little League Baseball: 2000-2002
  • City of Oneonta Airport Commission: 2012-present
  • American Legion Oneonta Post 259: 2010-present

-Commander of Post 259:  2011-present

  • Otsego County American Legion Boys State Chairman-2015-present
  • City of Oneonta Memorial Day Parade Chairman: 2013-present


Wife, Dellene Carson


  • Joshua & Octavia Carson
  • James Carson
  • Dan Wood


To provide an egalitarian environment for its people, by being small, nimble and providing a business-friendly environment. By doing so, our communities will grow, prosper and provide the services that they need.


  • Lack of Economic Development- from creating more of an opportunity for our existing businesses to attracting others. We need to strengthen our partnership with Otsego Now and our NYS Representatives by open communications focusing on a single vision.
  • Unfunded mandates from New York State Government

–Medicaid, NYS DMV, DOH are a few examples. The Medicaid unfunded   mandates accounts for $0.90 from every $1.00 collected on the tax levy.

  • Lack of a County Manager or Executive

–Board Representatives are consumed with managing Department Heads rather than implementation of the Strategic Plan; which provides the vision and direction of our county. This would also provide the opportunity to improve our relationships/partnerships with municipalities within our county.

  • Improving existing infrastructure- county roads and bridges
  • Updating the Emergency Services training center

–the burn-building has not been expanded or improved upon in more than three decades

–finalize the 911 Communication system

–more towers are needed

  • Development of documentation scanning and record-keeping for all departments
  • Partner with other counties on priority issues like Broadband and upgrades for existing natural gas pipelines.
  • Strengthen our Agriculture environment-creating a footprint for the Farmer Markets that can be used all year. This allows our local farm businesses to increase revenue by growing product(s) year around.
  • Staggered terms for Representatives and extend the term to 4 years. In 2016, seven new Board Reps were elected;  this does not provide continuity for Department Heads or our constituents.


During 2016, I chaired Public Safety Legal Affairs, our 911 Director pointed out a loophole with regards to wireless phone services.  Those without a contract, did not pay for 911 services as those of us with land lines and wireless phone contracts did. A resolution was passed by Otsego County legislators, this item was carried to and passed both the Assembly and Senate. This passage will mean more revenue to maintain our 911 Communication system.

Working with DSS Commissioner, Eve Bouboulis, a new model for housing our homeless was adopted and will save our county taxpayers more than $100k annually. More needs to be done with this issue and we are currently studying the “Tiny Home” concept to see if this can be applied to our current and future needs of homeless.

This concept has the possibility to reduce our local-share cost by hundreds of thousands of dollars and provide the service needed.

Currently, our local municipalities are on their own to provide healthcare insurance for their employees. This methodology is expensive and does not provide annual cost stability. Partnering with our current and future County Treasurer, I have been hosting Town Hall meetings, introducing the Otsego County Healthcare Insurance Consortium. Basically, creating a insurance company, under NYS Article 47, for all municipal employees and providing a long-term healthcare insurance financial stability.  Our smaller communities will see annual savings of 15-20% and over all, the county taxpayers could realize $1M to $1.4M annual savings. We will need to stay focused and follow through on the process during 2018 to recognize a start date of January 1, 2019.

I have enjoyed working for my neighbors in the 5th and 6th Wards, City of Oneonta and  Otsego County residents in my first term. I hope you agree, my thirty-four (34) years of public service as a soldier, firefighter, community member and Otsego County representative has provided me the knowledge, experience and connections to serve our county residences with the leadership it deserves.

DC Marketing Seeks Approval For Digital Billboard Downtown

DC Marketing Seeks Approval

For Digital Billboard Downtown

ONEONTA – DC Marketing, which has two digital billboards next to I-88, is seeking permission for a third at 76-78 Main St., according to the city Zoning Board of Appeals agenda released this afternoon.

DC Marketing’s proprietor, Len Carson, will appear before the ZBA at 7 p.m. this coming Monday in City Hall, seeking a variance to allow installation of a 200-square-foot digital billboard in place of a 200-square-foot non-conforming vinyl billboard.

Wall That Heals Arrives At Park

Wall That Heals

Arrives In County

County Rep. Len Carson, R-Oneonta, commander of the Oneonta Vets’ Club, left, Gene Schmidt of Unadilla, the Vietnam-era veteran who arranged for “The Wall That Heals” to come to Oneonta,  center, and Barry Townsend, whose brother’s name is on the wall, were present at Neahwa Park this morning at the replica of the Vietnam War Monument in The Mall arrived in Oneonta this morning.  After being set up, the Wall will be opening for public viewing, 24 hours a day, until 4 p.m. Memorial Day.  (Ian Austin/
Gelbsman Assumes Chair Of Admin Without Incident

Gelbsman Assumes Chair

Of Admin Without Incident

Without incident, county Rep. Craig Gelbsman, R-Oneonta, assumed the helm of the county Board of Representatives’ key Administration Committee this morning, signalling an end to questions raised about the board chair appointing committee chairs, at least for this year.  When two of the board’s committees – Health & Education and Performance Review – convenes in the past several days, members voted for their committee chairs.  That occurred after county Rep. David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Middlefield, observed the board chair appointing committee chairs is not provided for in the board’s bylaws, and thus must be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.  Bliss said Robert’s Rules call for committees to elect their own chairs, but County Attorney Ellen Coccoma e-mailed an opinion to reps saying her reading of the latest edition gives the appointing officer authority to appoint chairs.  She also reportedly said “past practice” rules.  The initiative may have been motivated, in part, by board chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego, removing Len Carson, R-Oneonta, from his Public Safety Committee chairmanship after he challenged her for board chair at the reorganization meeting on Jan. 4.  Gelbsman is flanked by Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, right, and Brian Pokorny, county IT director. (Jim Kevlin/
Clark Removes Carson From Key Committees

Clark Removes Carson

From Key Committees

Reps. Clark and Carson at recent meeting. ( photo)

COOPERSTOWN – Elections DO have consequences.

County Rep. Len Carson, R-Oneonta, who fell short in his attempt yesterday to replace Kathy Clark, R-Otego, as chair of the Otsego County Board of Representatives, lost his committee chairmanship and was removed from the board’s two key committees.

As board chair, Clark appoints the committees at the county board’s annual reorganization meeting.




Chair Turns Back Challenge,

But Colleagues Are Divided

A smiling Kathy Clark retakes the chair this morning after a split vote reelected her to lead the county board for another years. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Four-year Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego, was elected to another year on the helm of the county Board of Representatives, but it was ugly.

She ended up with 3,341 weighted votes, comfortably above the 3,115 majority, but hardly a landslide.

Three of the eight Republicans on the board didn’t vote for her:  her challenger, Len Carson, Oneonta, voted nay, and Peter Oberacker, Maryland, and David Bliss, Cooperstown/Middlefield, abstained.

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