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

With 4 New Members Due, County Board In Transition

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEOTAPE

OF TODAY’S DECEMBER MEETING

With 4 New Members Due,

County Board In Transition

County Rep. Kay Stuligross, D-Oneonta, delivers her valedictory today at her last regular meeting on the Otsego County Board of Representatives. She and county Rep. Jim Powers, R-Butternuts, are retiring at the end of the year. Stuligross, Powers and two other departing reps, Len Carson and Craig Gelbsman, both Oneonta Republicans, were praised in resolutions passed by their colleagues. Incoming reps are Danny Lapin, Adrienne Martini and Liz Shannon of Oneonta, and Michele Farwell of Gilbertsville. (Video by Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Cooperstown, Otsego Vote Marietta Back In

Cooperstown, Otsego

Vote Marietta Back In

INDEX – County Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, targeted for defeat by the county Republican Party, has emerged victorious this evening, 630-417, a decisive margin over Republican Tim Walker.

Democrats packed into The Shack on Route 28 here are claiming victory in the City of Oneonta seats on the county board, but it was unclear if these results were official.

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questionnaire — len carson

LEONARD CARSON JR.

COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 13

Fifth and Sixth Wards, City of Oneonta

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE: Oneonta

EDUCATION:

  • Laurens Central School
  • AAS in Fire Science, Corning Community College, Corning, NY
  • (42) National and/or NYS Certified course materials

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

  • United States Air Force: 1983-1987 ( Active) & 1990-1992 (Reserve)
  • Owner of Construction Technology: 1990-2000
  • City of Oneonta Fire Department: 1989-2015 (Call, PT, Provisional, Career)
  • NYS Fire Service Instructor: 2008-2015
  • Co-owner of DCMarketing: 2011-present
  • Otsego County Board Representative: 2016-present

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:

  • Scout Leader with Troop 23: 1988-1992
  • City of Oneonta Pee Wee Football: 1996-2004
  • City of Oneonta Little League Baseball: 2000-2002
  • City of Oneonta Airport Commission: 2012-present
  • American Legion Oneonta Post 259: 2010-present

-Commander of Post 259:  2011-present

  • Otsego County American Legion Boys State Chairman-2015-present
  • City of Oneonta Memorial Day Parade Chairman: 2013-present

FAMILY:

Wife, Dellene Carson

Sons

  • Joshua & Octavia Carson
  • James Carson
  • Dan Wood

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT:

To provide an egalitarian environment for its people, by being small, nimble and providing a business-friendly environment. By doing so, our communities will grow, prosper and provide the services that they need.

MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY:

  • Lack of Economic Development- from creating more of an opportunity for our existing businesses to attracting others. We need to strengthen our partnership with Otsego Now and our NYS Representatives by open communications focusing on a single vision.
  • Unfunded mandates from New York State Government

–Medicaid, NYS DMV, DOH are a few examples. The Medicaid unfunded   mandates accounts for $0.90 from every $1.00 collected on the tax levy.

  • Lack of a County Manager or Executive

–Board Representatives are consumed with managing Department Heads rather than implementation of the Strategic Plan; which provides the vision and direction of our county. This would also provide the opportunity to improve our relationships/partnerships with municipalities within our county.

  • Improving existing infrastructure- county roads and bridges
  • Updating the Emergency Services training center

–the burn-building has not been expanded or improved upon in more than three decades

–finalize the 911 Communication system

–more towers are needed

  • Development of documentation scanning and record-keeping for all departments
  • Partner with other counties on priority issues like Broadband and upgrades for existing natural gas pipelines.
  • Strengthen our Agriculture environment-creating a footprint for the Farmer Markets that can be used all year. This allows our local farm businesses to increase revenue by growing product(s) year around.
  • Staggered terms for Representatives and extend the term to 4 years. In 2016, seven new Board Reps were elected;  this does not provide continuity for Department Heads or our constituents.

STATEMENT:

During 2016, I chaired Public Safety Legal Affairs, our 911 Director pointed out a loophole with regards to wireless phone services.  Those without a contract, did not pay for 911 services as those of us with land lines and wireless phone contracts did. A resolution was passed by Otsego County legislators, this item was carried to and passed both the Assembly and Senate. This passage will mean more revenue to maintain our 911 Communication system.

Working with DSS Commissioner, Eve Bouboulis, a new model for housing our homeless was adopted and will save our county taxpayers more than $100k annually. More needs to be done with this issue and we are currently studying the “Tiny Home” concept to see if this can be applied to our current and future needs of homeless.

This concept has the possibility to reduce our local-share cost by hundreds of thousands of dollars and provide the service needed.

Currently, our local municipalities are on their own to provide healthcare insurance for their employees. This methodology is expensive and does not provide annual cost stability. Partnering with our current and future County Treasurer, I have been hosting Town Hall meetings, introducing the Otsego County Healthcare Insurance Consortium. Basically, creating a insurance company, under NYS Article 47, for all municipal employees and providing a long-term healthcare insurance financial stability.  Our smaller communities will see annual savings of 15-20% and over all, the county taxpayers could realize $1M to $1.4M annual savings. We will need to stay focused and follow through on the process during 2018 to recognize a start date of January 1, 2019.

I have enjoyed working for my neighbors in the 5th and 6th Wards, City of Oneonta and  Otsego County residents in my first term. I hope you agree, my thirty-four (34) years of public service as a soldier, firefighter, community member and Otsego County representative has provided me the knowledge, experience and connections to serve our county residences with the leadership it deserves.

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‘I Love Otsego’ Case Going Before Judge

‘I Love Otsego’ Case

Going Before Judge

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – A court action was filed today on behalf of county Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, seeking to reclaim the “I Love Otsego” independent line on the Nov. 8 ballot from his Republican challenger, Tim Walker.

Marietta’s lawyer, Dennis Laughlin, said the local county judges, Brian Burns and John Lambert, recused themselves, and the case was assigned to state Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Tait in Binghamton, who will review the papers and set a hearing date.

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Constituents Denounce Faso-Collins AHCA Amendment To County Board
KJOLHEDE: VULNERABLE WOULD BE HURT

County Board Pulls Motion

Backing Faso’s AHCA Move

At this morning’s county board meeting, Dr. Chris Kjolhede argues, successfully, that a resolution supporting an initiative by Congressman Faso could harm Bassett’s School-Based Health Program.  The resolution was withdrawn.
Oneonta’s Gena Keel holds a protest sign aloft before speaking against the Faso-Collins amendment.

COOPERSTOWN – After hearing objections from the public, the county Board of Representatives this morning pulled a resolution that would have supported U.S. Rep. John Faso’s amendment requiring the State of New York to absorb any additional costs of federal Medicaid cuts, rather than passing them along to counties.

Constituents were lined up out into the hallway outside the County Board’s chamber on the second floor of the county Office Building as Dr. Chris Kjolhede, co-director of Bassett’s School-Based Health Program, suggested the so-called Faso-Collins amendment, by making the Republicans’ American Health Care Act (AHCA) more palatable, is threatening the county’s most vulnerable citizens.

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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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Cathy Nardi Announces Run For County Board

Cathy Nardi Announces

Run For County Board

Nardi

OTEGO – SUNY Oneonta professor Cathy Nardi has announced her intention to run for the District 3 seat on the Otsego County Board, challenging board chair Kathy Clark.

“I want to be the voice of reason in a climate of chaos,” she said.

Nardi, an Otego resident, would be representing Laurens and Otego.  Her platform includes environmental issues, access to education and economic development, including developing tourism in her district, to help fight poverty.

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4 County Reps, Including Chair, Review Personnel Files In Probe

4 County Reps, Including Chair,

Review Personnel Files In Probe

COOPERSTOWN – At this hour, an informal group of four county representatives is reviewing two boxes of personnel files provided by Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. in response to a subpoena in an ongoing investigations into activities at the county jail.

County Rep. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, who chairs the county board’s Public Safety Committee that is leading the investigation, county board chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego, and county Rep. Keith McCarty, R-East Springfield, and Andrew Stammel, D-Town of Oneonta, met after the monthly county board meeting to review the documents.

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Inquiry Into Sheriff Resumes Tomorrow

Inquiry Into Sheriff

Resumes Tomorrow

Will County Board Chair Clark Sit In?

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Chairman Clark

COOPERSTOWN – Two unopened boxes of personnel records from the county Sheriff’s Department have been turned over to the county board’s Public Safety & Legal Affairs Committee and will be opened and catalogued tomorrow afternoon, according to the committee’s chairman, Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla.

Frazier said today he has invited his committee members, plus county Rep. Andrew Stammel, D-Town of Oneonta – who, as an attorney, has “a unique skill set” – to review the latest material, along with County Attorney Ellen Coccoma and perhaps the county’s labor lawyer, Matt Ryan.

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Resolution Authorizing Committee To Conduct Investigation Of Sheriff
IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Resolution Authorizing Committee

To Conduct Investigation Of Sheriff

This is the resolution the county Board of Representatives unanimously approved this afternoon to begin an investigation of the county Sheriff’s Department, the “the official performance” of the sheriff and other employees. (AllOTSEGO.com)
CLICK FOR TEXT OF COUNTY BOARD RESOLUTION
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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103