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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Oneonta Common Council

Rissberger Apologizes But Holds Firm

Council Member Apologizes

But Holds Firm On OH-Fest

Reading from a prepared statement, 3rd Ward Council member David Rissberger apologized for his outburst at the previous Common Council meeting. (Parker fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – The topic of OH Fest – SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College’s collaborative spring event – led to a heated exchange between 3rd Ward Council member David Rissberger and 5th Ward Council member Dana Marie Levinson two weeks ago at a Common Council meeting.

Talking led to shouting between the two until Mayor Gary Herzig stepped in to bring order to the discussion. Two weeks later, Rissberger apologized at last night’s Council meeting for his conduct, yet reaffirmed his belief that OH-Fest should be held off city property.  It is currently held in Neahwa Park.

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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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Council To Name Michele Frazier To First Ward Vacancy

Council To Name Michele Frazier

To Fill van der Sommen Vacancy

Michele Frazier

ONEONTA – Common Council is set to vote Tuesday on naming Michele Frazier to the First Ward council seat vacated by Paul van der Sommen’s resignation.  Van der Sommen moved to Florida.

Frazier, a realtor with the Benson Agency, sits on the Oneonta World of Learning board and teaches in the SUNY Delhi Liberal Arts Department. If appointed, she will serve a term through Dec. 31.

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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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Common Council Approves Naming Finn Terminal

Common Council Approves

Naming Terminal For Dennis Finn

Mayor Gary Herzig hugs Ruth Allen, life partner of Dennis Finn, following the Common Council vote to name the “Finn Terminal” at the Oneonta Municipal Airport. “Dennis was a true friend of the city,” said Herzig. “But the airport was his true passion. It’s an honor for us to be able to memorialize Dennis this way.” During Finn’s memorial service on Saturday, June 24, Mayor Herzig will read a proclamation and a memorial tree will be planted at the site. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Lizabeth Shannon Announces County Board Run

Lizabeth Shannon

Announces County Board Run

ONEONTA – Former Seventh Ward Council member  Lizabeth Shannon has announced that she will seek the Democratic nomination for the Otsego County Board of Representatives in the 14th District.

Shannon graduated from Oneonta High School in 1979 and Philadelphia University in 1984, relocating back to her hometown in 2003.  From 2008-11, she served as the Council member for the Seventh Ward and was a co-founder of Oneonta’s successful Fabulous First Friday cultural events.

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Council To Vote Tonight On Miller Park Sculptures

Council To Vote Tonight

On Miller Park Sculptures

Oneonta Common Council will vote tonight on accepting a $5,000 gift from Al Cleinman to purchase two sculptures from Dale Rogers’ “Spring Awakening” series, to be installed in Miller Park this summer. In addition, the vote will approve spending $3,500 from the Community Landscaping Fund towards the purchase, for a total of $8,500. Cleinman personally picked the pieces, in memory of the late mayor Dick Miller, who died unexpectedly Oct. 25, 2014. “He saw these pieces as a perfect representation of Life Enjoyed” said Mayor Gary Herzig.

 

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Council Due To Name Manager

Council To Name

3rd City Manager

Korthauer Served In Petoskey, Mich.

George Korthauer

ONEONTA – Common Council is scheduled to appoint George Korthauer as Oneonta’s third city manager at its Tuesday, May 16, meeting.

Korthauer served for 25 years as the city manager of Petoskey, Mich., retiring in 2009. During his tenure, he redeveloped the city’s Lake Michigan waterfront park, oversaw development of a marina, winter sport and athletic complex, as well as construction of the new City Hall.

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Four Police Officers Honored For Heroism

4 City Police Officers

Honored For Heroism

Acting Oneonta Police Chief Doug Brenner, center, stands with four of his officers, who were each honored this evening by Common Council for heroic actions during an incident on March 10, where – according to the citation – they swiftly and safely dealt with an armed individual on Main Street, who was believed to be suicidal and homicidal. From left, Officer Amber Bailey received a certificate of recognition; Sgt. Eric Berger was recognized for Outstanding Performance; Sgt. Christopher Catapano was recognized for Distinguished Service and received a bar of recognition, and Dispatcher Bruce Mazzone was recognized for Outstanding Performance.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Angry Townfolks Object To Annexation Idea

Angry Townfolks Object

To Annexation Talk

Wade Beltramo, NYCOM General Council, gave a workshop on annexation in Council chambers this evening and was met by contentious remarks from residents of the Town of Oneonta, who object to the idea of the city annexing the airport and city water supply. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

ONEONTA – A workshop to look at the process of annexing brought out a full house of Laurens and Town of Oneonta citizens who accused Common Council of planning to annex the Oneonta Municipal Airport and the city’s water supply.

“You must have some reason for holding this workshop,” said Bill Starna, the retired SUNY Oneonta anthropology professor. “Otherwise, are you just poking around in the dark?”

“There is no proposal here,” said Council Member Melissa Nicosia, Second Ward. “This is just something to learn. No one is talking about annexing any specific property.”

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