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

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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Otsego County Board Meeting Under High Security

BULLETIN 

County Board Meets

Under High Security

COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego County Board of Representatives is holding its monthly meeting under high security at the Otsego County courthouse instead of chambers, following concern over what was interpreted as a threatening post on Facebook.

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questionnaire — james hoffman

JAMES HOFFMAN

COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 2

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE: Pittsfield

EDUCATION: Army Corp of Engineers, Army Airborne School

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Owner/Operator, Oneonta Redemption Center, South Side Drive, Oneonta

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: School fundraising, Mentoring kids/teens to learn that good work ethics result in what they receive

FAMILY: married , three children

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT: Government can’t fix our problems, government is the problem

MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY:  Lack of leadership and direction

MY QUALITIES: Military leadership, family values and common sense !

STATEMENT: Otsego county has all the resources to become a great county again, minus some vital leadership. I-88, a railroad system and a central location in the Northeast are all assets that could and should become better utilized. Our county government seems to cater to special interest groups and not always the needs of the communities.

Public assistance and pacifying a drug problem, yet we can’t afford 24-7 sheriff patrols. The county needs to prioritize and fix these problems not pacify them. Pointing fingers and complaining has not and will not fix anything, good leadership does.

There is only one candidate in District 2 of Otsego County who has the leadership experience of leading soldiers on the field of battle and only one candidate who knows firsthand the problems facing small businesses today after being in business for 10 years.

Unity ,Leadership, Common Sense, and an employment-based direction! That is what we need in this county and that is what I am determined to bring to Cooperstown. Cooperstown, get ready because I’m coming and the people of District 2 are coming with me!

The only way we can fix what’s broken, is by VOTING, Tuesday, Nov. 7. See you there !

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CANDIDATES QUESTIONNAIRES: 12 Races Contested For County Board

POLLS OPEN 6 a.m.-9 p.m., NOV. 7

12 Races Contested

For County Board

The Otsego County office complex, upper Main Street, Cooperstown. (AllOTSEGO.com)

Questionnaires that have been submitted so far by candidates for the Otsego County Board of Representatives in the Nov. 7 elections are highlighted below.  As the rest of the candidates respond, the links will be updated. Please click on highlighted link to read, in candidates’ own words, why they are qualified to serve.  And don’t forget to vote!  Polls are open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.

DISTRICT 1, Unadilla

Ed Frazier, Republican

Tom Spychalski, Democrat

DISTRICT 2, Morris/Butternuts/Pittsfield

Michele Farwell, Democrat

James Hoffman, Republican

William Hunt, Independent

DISTRICT 3, Otego/Laurens

Kathy Clark, Republican

Cathy Nardi, Democrat

DISTRICT 4, Town of Oneonta

Andrew Stammel, Democrat

Breck Tarbell, Republican

DISTRICT 5, Hartwick/Milford/New Lisbon

Meg Kennedy, Republican

Pat Ryan, Democrat

DISTRICT 6, Worcester/Maryland

/Westford/Decatur

Chad McEvoy, Democrat

Peter Oberacker, Republican

DISTRICT 7, Cooperstown/Middlefield

/Cherry Valley/Roseboom

Leslie Berliant, Democrat

David Bliss, Republican

DISTRICT 8, Cooperstown/Town of Otsego

Andrew Marietta, Democrat

Tim Walker, Republican

DISTRICT 9, Springfield/Richfield

Nicole Dillingham, Democrat

Keith McCarty, Republican

DISTRICT 10, Burlington/Edmeston/Pittsfield

Dan Wilber, Republican, unopposed

DISTRICT 11, City of Oneonta, Wards 1,2

Gary Koutnik, Democrat, unopposed

DISTRICT 12, City of Oneonta, Wards 3, 4

Craig Gelbsman, Republican

Adrienne Martini, Democrat

DISTRICT 13, City of Oneonta, Wards 5,6

Len Carson, Republican

Danny Lapin, Democrat

DISTRICT 14, City of Oneonta, Wards 7,8

Liz Shannon, Democrat

Wilson Wells, Independent

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