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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Otsego County Board of Representatives

More Natural Gas Possible, Otsego Now President Says
CLICK TO WATCH JUNE COUNTY BOARD MEETING

More Natural Gas Likely,

Otsego Now CEO Reports

NYSEG is pledging to live up to its promises of upgrading its natural-gas line from Cortland area to Oneonta, Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky reports to the county Board of Representatives this morning.  The lack of natural gas has required SUNY Oneonta, Fox Hospital and other major local institutions to switch to more expensive fuel oil during cold snaps, and hindered economic-development efforts.  (from Parker Fish video for AllOTSEGO.com)
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County Task Force To Consider Selling Oneonta Building

County Task Force To Look

At Selling Off Old City Hall

By PARKER FISH • Special To www.AllOTSEGO.com

Oneonta’s Old City Hall at 242 Main St. may be sold by its current owner, the County of Otsego.

COOPERSTOWN – Picking up on Oneonta Common Council’s decision to sell the Westcott parking lot at 226 Main St., the county Board of Representatives today formed a task force to explore selling Old City Hall, located right next door.

Freshman Oneonta rep Danny Lapin, D-13, raised the task force idea at the meeting, and was named to chair it.

County Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, who chairs the Public Works Committee, told his colleagues he has had preliminary conversations with Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig about a prospective sale.  But he emphasized, “nothing has been done as of this point. We have not made any decisions, and this is simply exploratory.”

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EDITORIAL: Who’ll Protect Us From Centers?

Editorial, May 25, 2018

Who’ll Protect

Us From Centers?

News that Centers Health Care has raised the private-payer rate at the former county-owned Otsego Manor from $300 to $510 a day – $186,000 a year, the state’s highest – is almost too sad to contemplate.
Gary Koutnik, county board vice chairman and chair of the board’s Human Service Committee, reacted with the standard response: Since the once-excellent facility is privatized, what happens at Centers, nee Focus, is no longer the county board’s business.
That would not be satisfactory, except – given the Balkanized nature of the county board, 14 reps chosen from tiny constituencies – the county board can be non-responsive and get away with it.
Even given that reality, washing their collective 14 sets of hands is not satisfactory.
Within the bowels of county government, someone needs to develop expertise to do what can be done to ensure our elderly’s health needs are being met.
Right now, the only oversight at Centers is a volunteer family council.
Knowledge is power, and county government needs to assign someone to develop the knowledge to assure the least damage possible is done to the most vulnerable

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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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County Reps Pick Bliss As Chairman

COUNTY BOARD REORGANIZES

County Reps Pick

Bliss As Chairman

Dem Koutnik Paired With Republican

In Succeeding Kathy Clark, Ed Frazier

County Rep. David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, takes the oath of office this morning next to county Rep. Kathy Clark, R-Otego. A few minutes later, Bliss’s colleagues voted him in as Clark’s replacement as county board chair. (Jim Kevliin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego County Board of Representatives this morning elected David Bliss, the former Middlefield town supervisor just elected to his second term, to be its chairman this year.

County Rep. Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta, at center taking the oath of office, was soon elected vice chairman.

The vote was 10 “ayes,” two absentions, one absence, and a single “nay” from Kathy Clark, R-Otego, the chair Bliss replaced.

Unanimously,  the reps then appointed Democrat Gary Koutnik, the veteran representative from the City of Oneonta, as the vice chair.

The absent county rep was Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, who departs as board vice chair.  It was said he had to take his wife to the hospital.

The pairing of a Republican chair with Democratic vice chair is unusual but not unprecedented:  Republican Sam Dubben and the late Rich Murphy, a Democrat, shared the leadership in 2010; and Republican Don Linberg was chair and Ron Feldstein vice chair in 2007.

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County Reps, 100 Attendees Consider County’s Future

County Reps, 100 Attendees

Consider County’s Future

Dr. Gerald Benjamin, SUNY New Paltz vice president for regional engagement, presents “County Manager v. County Executive” to a full house at Springbrook’s new Family Engagement Center this morning. The 45-minute presentation, moderated by Hartwick College President Margaret Drugovich, outlined the pros and cons of both governmental structures, as well as ideas for how the Otsego County Board of Representatives might begin the process of considering new management models for the county. At right, incoming county Rep. Danny Lapin, D-City of Oneonta, asks what resources might be available to the county board for further study. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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BULLETIN: Clark 561, Nardi, 543

BULLETIN:

Clark 561, Nardi, 543

COOPERSTOWN – With all absentee ballots counted, republican incumbent Kathy Clark has won her District 3 seat on the Otsego County Board of Representitives over challenger Cathy Nardi, 561-543. Further results coming shortly.

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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 www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.

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questionnaire 2017 — bill hunt

BILL HUNT

 DISTRICT 2, Morris/Butternuts/Pittsfield

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE: Town of Butternuts

EDUCATION: 1979-1982  University of Miami, Miami Fla., studied History and Political Science, no graduation date

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Real Estate sales, investment and research 1979-present; Insurance Broker and Agent (New York and Florida), 1988-2005

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Active in Republican Committee, Delaware and Otsego counties.  Have worked on multiple campaigns and causes.

 FAMILY: Married, two step-sons, six grandchildren

 PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT: Limited government, strict constitutional interpretation, Jeffersonian.  More interested in representation than leadership

MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY:  County manager, Medicare relief, bringing in business and industry.

MY QUALITIES:  Reasonable, willing to work with those who disagree with me.  Passion for good government.  I will do my best to represent all of the people as best I am able, including those I disagree with and who disagree with me.

 STATEMENT: I believe the process is more important than the outcome.  Democratic government is about how we legislate, not simply what we accomplish.  The ends never justify the means.  I have my own ideals and concerns, but in the end, it is the system that matters, not that my ideals and perspectives enjoy some special hegemony.

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Worrisome Facebook Post Says, Drain Swamp In Cooperstown

Worrisome Facebook Post Says,

‘Drain Swamp In Cooperstown’

This was the Facebook posting considered worrisome enough to move the Otsego County Board of Representatives from its usual chambers to the greater security of the county courthouse and to ask County Richard J. Devlin Jr. to provide a special security contingent at today’s county board meeting.  When Bob Force arrived to attend the meeting, his vehicle was searched for weapons, but nothing was found.  Force, who lost his Gilbertsville home and farm in the 2014 tax auction, then delivered a prepared presentation to county reps, criticizing them for what happened to him.
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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103