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MAyor Gary Herzig

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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Declared ‘Unsafe,’ Oneonta Hotel To Be Vacated

Still Found ‘Unsafe,’

Hotel To Be Vacated

Following a declaration of “Unsafe,” the residents of the apartment in the former Oneonta Hotel are facing eviction. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – After finding “numerous violations” remaining at the former Oneonta Hotel, 195 Main St., City Hall has begun the process of evicting the remaining tenants following the passing of the April 30 deadline imposed for fixing building deficiencies.

“After review of all inspection reports, it is clear that numerous violations still exist,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “To protect the safety of the residents, general public, and our first responders, the city attorney is moving forward with vacating the building.”

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Past, Present & Future Of Urban Renewal Focus of GOHS Panel

Urban Renewal, City Planning

Focus of GOHS Panel Talk

Keynote speakers SUNY President Nancy Kleniewski and Mayor Gary Herzig listen as Hartwick College Prof. Carly Ficano her remarks during a panel discussion on trends in urban renewal policies past and present held this afternoon at the Greater Oneonta Historical Society. “Oneonta needs to consider how it looks to the outside world.” said Ficano, “We need to consider what we have to offer in order to bring new people and businesses to the area.” The panel discussed various trends that arose in the the 60’s and 70’s and how their effects are still felt and seen today in current and future urban planning for the City of Oneonta. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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400 Join March For Our Lives

400 Rally, Supporting

‘March For Our Lives’

Over 400 people marched from Oneonta High School to Muller Plaza this morning as they took part in the national March For Our Lives protest for tougher gun legislation. Above, Caroline Bagby, a OHS senior and recent recipient of the Women’s Trailblazer Award, delivers an impassioned speech to those gathered in the plaza. Numerous people spoke including Mayor Gary Herzig, Assembly candidate Daniel Buttermann, Abbey Koutnik and others. At right, county Representative Danny Lapin, D-City of Oneonta, holds his sign high as the crowd marches down East Street during the first leg of the march. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Despite Student Outcry, Council Passes Fines For Party Hosts

Despite Student Outcry,

Council Passes Host Fines

James Kavanaugh, SUNY senior and president of the Inter-Fraternity Council at SUNY Oneonta, says that if Common Council fines people for providing alcohol to minors, there will be “unintended consequences,” including drinking in public spaces. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Despite Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta students protesting that the “Social Hosting” law could have “unintended consequences,” Common Council voted unanimously to pass a law which would create a fine of up to $1000 for any person holding a party or social gathering where minors were found to be consuming alcohol or using other illicit drugs.

“I’m concerned that many students at both Oneonta and Hartwick will start drinking in other places,” said James Kavanaugh, a SUNY senior and president of the Inter-fraternity Council at SUNY Oneonta. “God forbid someone were to fall off Table Rock after drinking a little bit. I believe that there could be unintended consequences if [the council] were to vote yes on this resolution.”

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Is Historic Ford Block Finally Back In Play?

TALKS UNDERWAY WITH SARKISIANS

Is Historic Ford Block

Finally Back In Play?

After it’s sat vacant for years, talks are underway to revive the old Ford Block at Main and Muller Plaza.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The Ford Block is home to Key Bank on the ground floor, but the upper two stories have been vacant for years.,

ONEONTA – With at least a decade since it was the focus of serious redevelopment interest, the intriguing Ford Block at Main and Muller Plaza, a signature downtown building, is again a focus of interest.

Mayor Gary Herzig said he’s spoken three times in the past few months with David Sarkisian, a member of the family real-estate and development firm in Binghamton that owns the property, and that the businessman is “very interested, very engaged” in adding “high-quality housing” to the upper two floors.

The building houses Key Bank’s downtown office at 202 Main, but the upper floors – looking out on Miller Plaza and up and down Main Street – have been unused for decades.

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All Ideas On the Table At Comprehensive Plan Open House

Bike Trails To Candy Store,

Open House Covers Gamut

Brenda Korthauer, wife of City Manager George Korthauer, posts a suggestion on the wall of the CANO gallery at the Wilber Mansion during the Open House for the Comprehensive Plan. “We’ve done this before,” she said. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Mayor Gary Herzig and Council member Russ Southard, Sixth Ward, discuss Short-Term Rentals, one of the hotly debated topics at the Open House.

ONEONTA – Bike trails, a candy shop, blade signs and more winter recreation were all suggestions made during the Comprehensive Plan committee’s open house in the CANO galleries at the Wilber Mansion earlier this evening.

“To build a good community, we need input from everyone,” said Ethan Gaddy, an Elan Planning community planner. “This sort of forum works because it’s a non-threatening way to make your voice heard without having to stand up in a meeting or fill out a form online.”

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Spirit Of MLK Lives On At St. Mary’s Celebration

Spirit Of MLK Lives On

At St. Mary’s Celebration

Reginald Brunson, Hobart, delivers his rendering of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech at this afternoon’s MLK Day commemoration organized by the NAACP, Oneonta Chapter, at the St. Mary’s Church this afternoon. At Right, Mayor Gary Herzig takes to the podium to read a Oneonta City Proclamation, remarking “Fifty years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we find ourselves withe a President who is a racist. I feel that this is the time where every community, no matter how small, needs to speak out and do what is right.”  The annual celebration featured a large selection of talents with music from LadyJam, DJ Wooden, St. Mary’s Choir, Eight Is Enough, and the Steve Fabrizio Jazz Ensemble as well as keynote speaker Dr. Luvelle Brown, superintendent of Ithaca Public Schools, Gary Stevens,  and remarks from NYS Attory General Eric Schneiderman to name a few. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Hotel ‘Unsafe’, Mayor Confirms

Hotel ‘Unsafe’, 

Mayor Confirms

Tenants Ordered: Vacate In 30 Days;

Landlords Must Meet Code By April 30

The former Oneonta Hotel at Main and Dietz is “unsafe,” Mayor Herzig confirmed at a meeting in City Hall this evening. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The brand new Oneonta Hotel rose from the ashes of the Central Hotel within months after the earlier establishment burned in 1910.

ONEONTA – The once-elegant Oneonta Hotel at Main and Dietz, in decline for decades, has been declared “unsafe,” Mayor Gary Herzig acknowledged this evening when asked about it at a meeting of the city’s Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee in City Hall.

Seth Clark, a downtown landlord and member of the steering committee, said he had heard a “vacate” order had been issued, requiring tenants of the building – it includes businesses on the ground floor, with apartments on four stories above – to depart within 30 days.

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NBT-Mang Insurance In Bank Financial Center

NBT-Mang Insurance

In Bank Financial Center

Now dubbed the NBT Financial Center, the ribbon was cut on the new offices of the NBT-Mang Insurance Agency, relocated from River Street to the NBT building at One Wall Street. Cutting the ribbon are NBT Vice President Jamie Reynolds and Tucker Lounsbury, NBT-Mang Insurance Agency president.  Others, from left, are Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, Otsego Chamber Board Chair Jim Potts, Otsego Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan and, at right, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford.
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