News of Otsego County

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Search Results for: berliant

BERLIANT: Glad For DiNapoli’s Support

BERLIANT: Glad For DiNapoli’s Support

To the Editor:

“I’m delighted to endorse Leslie Berliant for Otsego County representative for Middlefield, Roseboom and Cherry Valley. As you know, one of my jobs is to ensure that local governments are fiscally responsible. Ms. Berliant is the right candidate to help Otsego County to thrive and will be a responsible, honest and transparent representative for her district.”

– Tom DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller

I am thrilled to share this endorsement and extremely honored to have such strong support from a man known for his integrity, honesty and fiscal responsibility.

Democrat for Otsego County, District 7

Bliss Tells Of Bipartisan Record; Berliant Says It’s Time For Change

Bliss Tells Of Bipartisan Record;

Berliant Says, Time For Change

District 7 Representative Dave Bliss and challenger Leslie Berliant address a packed house at the old high school in Cherry Valley on Monday night. Bliss believes that his record of bi-partisan leadership shows his commitment to getting things done for the constituents of District 7. Berliant believes it is time for big changes in the County Board of Representatives. (Parker Fish/
questionnaire 2017 — leslie berliant

Leslie Berliant



EDUCATION: Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History, Master’s Degree in Comparative History and Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Trained and worked as a creative facilitator, helping corporate and non-profit clients innovate and problem solve. Served as general manager at eTalent Agency, taking a brand new company to $3 million in billings in 18 months. Co-founded a company that worked with public and private organizations on branding, marketing and effective communication, including the states of New York, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas, the Independent Cities Association, Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, SEIU 434b, RADD and many others. Founder and owner of Le Marais Chocolat. Founder and owner of WB Consultancy, helping entrepreneurs and individuals grow and expand their businesses, career opportunities and creative endeavors. Former editor and head writer at Celsias, a leading online journal on climate change with an international staff of more than 50 writers.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Cooperstown Farmer’s Market Governing Committee, volunteer with Positive Action Cherry Valley and Positive Action Cooperstown, member of local chapters of League of Women Voters, National Organization for Women, and NAACP.

FAMILY: Husband Chris, daughters Adina and Emma, two cats, Buster and Byron (also called Buster). Together they are known as The Busters

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT: It is the responsibility of elected officials to solve problems and serve the needs of their constituents, including proactively addressing issues before they become problems. Government is a partnership between citizens and those they elect. In order for that partnership to work, there needs to be transparency and open communication so that elected officials can be held accountable to and by the people that elect them. In addition, as Congressman John Lewis recently said, elected officials should be headlights, not taillights, standing up for what’s important and holding themselves accountable to measurable progress on the issues that are impacting the people they serve.


1) Lack of measurable progress on basic infrastructure necessary for economic development, particularly access to high-speed internet and cell phone service.

2) There is a disconnect between the jobs available and the training that people have to thrive in those jobs. As a result, entrepreneurs are staying away and young people with skills are leaving.

3) The lack of Board resolve to hire a County Manager to effectively manage our $110 million budget and see critical projects through to completion. A part-time board cannot meet the needs of a County of this size.

4) Months of crisis at Otsego Now that has deeply damaged economic development efforts in Otsego County and left critical projects without adequate management.

5) The lack of adequate processing facilities for farmers in and around the County.

6) The dangerous practice of having XNG trucks full of compressed natural gas on residential roads.

MY QUALITIES: I am a hard worker who will listen to constituents and speak up on their behalf. I believe in collaboration and working with people of differing viewpoints to get to the best solutions and am skilled at finding compromise and consensus. At the same time, I will be a loud and persistent voice for what is right and needed in order for our County to thrive. I set measurable goals and I make every effort to meet them, as well as inspire others to do the same.

STATEMENT: I am running for County Representative because when you find yourself saying someone should really do something about a long standing problem, it’s time to look in the mirror to find that someone. I am running because we need to extend high speed internet and cell phone service throughout the county so that our farmers, artisans and entrepreneurs can compete. I am running because our farmers produce some of the best organic, biodynamic and naturally grown produce, as well as amazing grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured chicken and free-range eggs and yet, people in New York City have an easier time getting goods from California than they do getting goods from Middlefield. I am running because if any one of us had $110 million dollar budget, we would have a full-time person managing how we spend and invest that money. I am running because under the current majority on the board, our economic development agency has collapsed, we have had a major scandal involving the sheriff’s department that adversely impacts public safety, we still don’t have an ethics board seated, and we continue to spend money on studies of problems rather than solutions to problems. I am running because I hope to represent my district and help to ensure that we have all of the tools we need to succeed and prosper while taking exquisite care of the beautiful natural surroundings and the global environment while preserving our close knit communities. If I’m elected, I will make sure that I spend my two years being productive and a strong voice for the citizens of our District and our County to get us the movement that we need and deserve on issues that are impacting our lives!

What Now? ‘Activism 101’ Aims To Show New Way In Trump Era

What Now?  ‘Activism 101’ Aims

To Show New Way In Trump Era

A panel discussion wraps up “Activism 101,” featuring consultant Leslie Berliant of Savor the Success, a consultancy for women entrepreneurs.  The workshop this afternoon at Oneonta’s Unitarian Universalist Church sought to help participants channel energies released by the Jan. 21 Women’s March in Washington D.C. (and related local marches in Oneonta and Cooperstown).    Jessica Carroll, a Standing Rock anti-pipeline activist, right, makes a point as other panelists prepare to add their inputs.  From left are Berliant, Laurie Zimniewicz, a community leader; Deb Marcus, executive director, Family Planning of South Central New York; Colleen Blalock, who helped organize the local march; and Shinique Smith and Jordan Skeete of SUNY Oneonta’s Divine Leaders, an organization that seeks self-empowerment and social justice.  More than 100 community members participated.    (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.c0m)


Republican To Challenge Marietta For County Board

Republican To Challenge

Marietta For County Board

Dems Berliant, Martini Target Bliss, Gelbsman

COOPERSTOWN – Tim Walker today officially announced his candidacy for Otsego County Board Representatives in District 8, Town of Otsego (which includes most of Cooperstown).

He is challenging Democrat Andrew Marietta, who is completing his first term and plans to run again.

While the deadline for filing petitions is still a month away, the fall campaign is already heating up.

In the last 24 hours, Leslie Berliant, a writer and entrepreneur, announced she is challenging David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, and Hartwick College professor Adrienne Martini is challenging Craig Gelbsman, R-City of Oneonta.  In all, Democrats have identified 12 candidates so far to run in the 14 districts.

Reelect Marietta, ‘Reform Caucus’


Reelect Marietta,

‘Reform Caucus’

Editor’s Note:  This is the editorial opinion of, Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s JournalLetters to the editor on political topics received after 10 a.m. Tuesday will appear on  Polls are open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Andrew Marietta’s biggest supporters, wife Melissa, daughters Caroline, 11, and Charlotte, 9, and the man’s best friend, Otis, rally around the candidate. (

With all the sturm und drang over the years surrounding the Otsego County Board of Representatives – MOSA or not, road patrols or not, economic development or not – a central truth was lost: County government doesn’t work very well.

It makes sense that Andrew Marietta, the freshman county rep for Cooperstown and the Town of Otsego, would quickly recognize that. As regional director of NYCON, the state Council of Non-Profits, his job is to get struggling organizations to focus on mission and map steps necessary for success.

Locally, from Foothills to the Greater Oneonta Historical Society to merging the Smithy Pioneer Gallery with the Cooperstown Art Association, NYCON, often with Marietta in the lead, has strengthened so many key institutions we take for granted.
The road to success is simple: Identify priorities – five at a time, maybe, not 100 – resolve them systematically, then move on to the next five. The goal, progress. Simple, but requiring vision and discipline.

Shortly after taking office in 2016, Marietta salvaged the $40,000 county strategic plan that had been put together the year before by the Laberge Group out of Albany, tapping common needs among the county’s municipalities. It was headed for the shelf, but his advocacy saved it, turning it into the guiding document of the county board’s Strategic Planning Committee.

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. (

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


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


Sounds Of Independence


CELEBRATION – 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mark Independence Day weekend with a muster of the militia and a reading of the Declaration of Independence on the village green at 1 p.m. The Farmers Museum, Cooperstown.

WRITERS CAMP – 1:30-3:30 p.m. Join Jen and the HML Writers Group for a NaNoWriMo style weekly workshop. Jen will present prompts and other activities to get you writing. Registration required. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St., Oneonta.

Pro, Cons Aired Over XNG Trucks

Pro, Cons Aired

Over XNG Trucks

Activist Craig Stevens of Silver Lake, Pa., speaks over a sea of 106 heads at an SRO meeting on XNG’s “virtual pipeline” this evening in the Richfield Springs Community Center. (Jim Kevlin/

Attendees Urged, Write Sen. Seward;

Responder Says Crash ‘Handled Well’

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

A surprise speaker was Fly Creek Fire Chief Michael Thayer, who said he thinks XNG “acted responsibly” in preparing emergency responders in case of a crash.

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Sometimes with apocalyptic descriptions, activists Bill Huston from Binghamton and Craig Stevens from Silver Lake, Pa., held sway for much of this evening’s informational meeting on XNG’s “virtual pipeline” of trucks bearing compressed natural gas across Otsego County.

For instance, if a “fully loaded” Titan, one brand of truck the two said XNG is using, exploded, it would be the equivalent of 92 tons of TNT, Huston said at one point.

But the evening ended with a reassuring note, as Fly Creek Fire Chief Mike Thayer, in full uniform, went to the front of the room and said of the XNG truck rollover on Route 205 Sept. 5 in the Town of Otsego, “I think it was handled very well.”

KUZMINSKI: Vote For Democratic Slate

KUZMINSKI: Vote For Democratic Slate

To the Editor:

Sustainable Otsego has endorsed the following candidates for county board: Leslie Berliant, Nicole Dillingham, Gary Koutnik, Danny Lapin, Andrew Marietta, Adrienne Martini, Chad McEvoy, Cathy Nardi, Pat Ryan, Liz Shannon, Tom Spychalski, and Andrew Stammel.

They all support the principles of sustainable living, economic self-reliance and home rule. As we face the future, it’s clear that we can no longer rely, as we used to, on distant governments and corporations to provide for our social and economic security. Increasingly, we’re going to have to do it ourselves. Our communities and our resources are repeatedly challenged; social and economic security is harder to come by. Incomes are low, jobs are scarce, and young people migrate elsewhere. For far too long, majorities on the county board have failed to respond to these challenges.

We need new leadership in Otsego County, especially on the county Board of Representatives. We need people, like the candidates above, who are ready to aggressively defend the interests of our communities. Otsego County desperately needs a voice of its own – and these candidates are the ones who can give it that voice. If you are happy with the way things are, vote for their opponents. But if you think we need a change, here’s a chance to do something about it.


Fly Creek

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