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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MAyor Gary Herzig

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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Herzig To Fire Commissioners: Stop Spreading Falsehoods

Herzig Chides Fire Board:

Stop Spreading Falsehoods

Ron Peters, left, sits next to Town of Oneonta Fire Commissioners Johna Peachin and Fred Volpe during Common Council earlier this evening. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Mayor Gary Herzig read a statement refuting the claims the commissioners made to the Town Board.

By MICHAEL RODA

Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – At tonight’s Common Council meeting, Mayor Gary Herzig publicly chided Town of Oneonta Fire District commissioners for what he described as telling tales out of school.

While Fire Commissioners Johna Peachin and Fred Volpe sat stony-faced in the gallery, Herzig took them on for, he said, briefing Town Supervisor Bob Wood and the town board about long-stalled negotiations over the contract so the city’s professional department can continue providing services in the town.

On May 1, Herzig said, he and the other city negotiators, Finance Officer Meg Hungerford and Council member Russ Southard met with Peachin and Fire Commissioner Mike Butler.  At that time, they agreed “negotiations would remain confidential and public comment should be avoided.”

“The city has honored that agreement with no public report having been provided – not even to the city’s Common Council. For this reason, I was both surprised and disappointed when the Commissioners recently presented a public report to the Town of Oneonta Supervisor and Board members.”

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Otsego Democrats Gather At Foothills Dinner

Otsego County Democrats

Gather For Foothills Dinner

Above, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, along side Rich Abbate, Otsego County Democratic Chairman, addresses the democrats gathered at the annual Henry Nichols Democratic Dinner held at Foothills on Saturday evening. Local representatives were able to network and meet upcoming candidates while enjoying a prime rib dinner from Mel’s at 22 in Cooperstown. At left, guest of honor Jeff Katz, Mayor of Cooperstown, was the recognized for his work and leadership as an Otsego County Democrat. He is seated next to guest speaker Sabrina Ty, the president and CEO of the New York State Environmental Corporation. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Oneonta Featured In New York Times

Oneonta Featured

In New York Times

Shoppers on Main Street were photographed for the New York Times article on Oneonta’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (Nathaniel Brooks for the New York Times)

ONEONTA – An article highlighting Oneonta’s $10 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative made the NY Region section of the New York Times yesterday.

Headlined, “For Oneonta’s Aging Downtown, a $10 Million Face-Lift,” Lisa W. Foderaro’s article focuses on Mayor Gary Herzig’s efforts to bring young renters and shoppers back to Oneonta’s downtown by renovating historic buildings, upgrading signage and increasing housing offerings.

“We’re very lucky in that our downtown is beautiful and historic and it’s mostly still intact,” Herzig told the paper. “We are the largest city in a 50- to 60-mile radius. Really what we need are more people to live in our downtown, to be visiting our downtown and to work downtown.”

FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE

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City To Seek Demolition For Damaschke Grandstand
80-YEAR-STRUCTURE CLOSED

Damaschke Grandstand

Heading For Demolition

Common Council last evening approved an application for funding to demolish the 80-year-old Damaschke Field grandstand.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Oneonta Outlaws owner Gary Laing has been concerned for a few years about the safety of seating in the grandstand.

ONEONTA – With Damaschke Field’s box seats condemned and its supports rusting, Common Council voted tonight to apply for a grant to demolish the 80-year-old city landmark.

“It’s a touchy thing, but the building is old and it needs to come down,” said Gary Laing, Oneonta Outlaws owner. “We’ve been talking about it for a few years now, but it’s reached a critical stage.”

“It’s beyond repair,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “It needs to be completely replaced.”

The grandstand was built in 1939 and seats 500. Earlier this season, the entire set of top boxes was condemned by the city. “That’s when it really came to the forefront,” said Laing. “It’s decrepit.”

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Latin Food Arrives With Opening Of Trendy Foods

Latin Food Arrives With

Opening Of Trendy Foods

Above, owners Deggie Monroy, husband Antonio, and mother Elvira Nieves cut the grand opening ribbon alongside their extended family and Mayor Gary Herzig as they celebrate the official opening of Trendy Foods on the corner of Muller Plaza in Oneonta this evening. At right, Elizabeth Karson, Oneonta, brings out colorful menu selections for the public to sample during following the opening.(Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Council Officially Appoints Doug Brenner As Police Chief

Council Officially Appoints

Doug Brenner As Police Chief

Mayor Gary Herzig, right, congratulates Doug Brenner after Common Council officially voted to appoint him as Chief of the Oneonta Police Department. “I feel the most important public office one can hold is that of Public Safety,” said Herzig, “and that is why I felt it was important to do a thorough search for this position. I am more than confident that he is the person for the job and I am proud to recommend him.” After the motion was passed, a grinning Brenner was applauded by council members and city officials on his appointment which officially begins tomorrow. “It feels good to put this to rest,” said Brenner, “It will be nice to be able to move forward and focus my time on other projects.” While a Lieutenant has not officially been named, the Chief says they are in the process of searching. Doug Brenner will officially be sworn in as Chief on Saturday at 9am in Council chambers. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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