3 Key Allies Let County Down, Too
Editor’s Note: This is the editorial opinion of www.AllOTSEGO.com, Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal. Letters to the editor on political topics received after 10 a.m. Tuesday will appear on www.AllOTSEGO.com; email letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. Polls will be open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The first vow in physicians’ Hippocratic Oath is, “Do no harm.” It’s not a bad standard to apply across the board, and county board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego/Laurens, failed to meet it.
After standing at the podium on Jan. 10, 2014, with state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller to herald a new era of economic development in Otsego County, Clark withheld funding, withheld cooperation and hammered through appointments of directors hostile to the goals of what became Otsego Now.
On Thursday, May 25, 2017, she accomplished her goal. Otsego Now’s director, Sandy Mathes, was forced to resign, all the staff quit, and the most promising economic-development initiative in Upstate New York, which had garnered tens of millions of seed money for Otsego County’s renewal, collapsed.
When your high school graduate departs for a construction job in Florida or the Carolinas, or your college grad for the Silicon Valley or Seattle, thank Kathy Clark. Meanwhile, she’s up for reelection Nov. 7, and the citizens of her districts – Otego and Laurens – should vote her out.
Of course, she couldn’t do it alone.
Her steadfast allies in this destructive drive were Oneonta’s Craig Gelbsman; her vice chair Ed Frazier of Unadilla, and freshman Meg Kennedy, who was simply intimidated by the older woman. Given that her Hartwick-Milford-New Lisbon district commands the greatest clout in the county board’s archaic voting system, Kennedy could have made the difference.
Happily, an energetic campaigner, Cathy Nardi, mother of a young son and a SUNY Oneonta teacher, stands ready to replace Clark. Three able challengers to Gelbsman, Frazier and Kennedy also deserve election: respectively, Adrienne Martini, a SUNY administrator; realtor and businessman Tom Spychalskli, and former Hartwick Town Supervisor Pat Ryan.
This is not to say that Clark, Gelbsman, Frazier and Kennedy are bad people; they’ve even made contributions for the better. But dis-assembling the most promising economic-development drive most of us can expect to see in our lifetimes erases any other accomplishment and disqualifies them from further service.
On Nov. 7, Otego and Laurens should vote in Nardi. Oneonta’s Wards 3 and 4, Martini. Unadilla, Spychalski. Hartwick, Milford and New Lisbon, Ryan.