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News of Otsego County

Search Results for: david bliss

A MESSAGE FROM REP. DAVID BLISS COUNTY BD. CHAIR

A MESSAGE FROM

REP. DAVID BLISS

COUNTY BD. CHAIR

Editor’s Note:  Here is the text of a letter to the community sent out a few minutes ago by David Bliss, chairman, Otsego County Board of Representatives.

SAFER AT HOME

A Message from OTSEGO COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES

“Be prepared, not scared.”

Dear Friends,

County Board Chairman David Bliss

This is an unsettling time for our country and our community, as we are in a public health emergency due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Your elected leaders and public health officials are working around the clock to slow the spread of the virus and provide care to those who need it.

It is important to remember that we need to be prepared, not scared. However, we know that some of you perform essential duties that are critical during this time. This important work may require necessary interaction with the public and we thank you for your work and dedication.

questionnaire — david bliss

DAVE BLISS

COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 7 

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE: Middlefield

EDUCATION:

Cooperstown Central School, Regents Diploma; SUNY Oneonta, BA in History with a minor in Economics, BS and MS in Social Science Education;  NYS Real Estate Brokers License with over 225 hours of Continuing Education credits;  NYS Professional Coaching License with over 120 hours of Continuing Education credits

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

Owner/Operator of 300-acre organic farm (1983-present), NYS Real Estate Broker (1995-present), CCS Girls Varsity Softball Coach (2001-present).

Town of MIddlefield: Zoning Board of Appeals (2 years), Town Board (2 years), Town Supervisor (24 years).  Otsego County Board of Representatives (2016 – present)

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:

Member of the Board of Directors of The Farmers’ Museum and of the Otsego Land Trust; Member of Cooperstown Rotary Club, Rotary International Youth Exchange (host family and youth counselor).

American Legion Baseball, Cooperstown Sports Booster Club, Youth soccer and baseball, Fetterman Award Winner, Oneonta Daily Star and Utica Observer-Dispatch Coach of the Year Awards.

FAMILY:

Married 34 years to my wife Kim, a teacher in Richfield Springs Central School.  Three adult children: Rachel, Eric and Ethan, and one granddaughter.

 

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT:

As Abraham Lincoln said “The legitimate object of government is to do for people what needs to be done, things that they cannot do for themselves: the making and maintaining roads and bridges, providing for the helpless, providing schools, and the forming and maintaining of the military, police, and civil departments.”  I believe in doing so we provide everyone the opportunity for personal liberty and economic success.

 

MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY:

Investing in our infrastructure including roads, bridges, communications and high speed internet.  In the past two years we have made significant progress and the foundation has been put in place to continue at an even more rapid pace.  We need to complete the process of determining the duties and responsibilities of a county manager and fill the position. Although many NY counties have a manager/executive, research shows their duties and authority vary greatly.  We need to find the right fit for Otsego County.   Reroute XNG trucks so they travel Interstate Highways to the fullest extent possible.  Continue to look for ways to save money through shared services, a process that has saved the county tens of thousands of dollars in the past year. Addressing the opioid epidemic.

 

MY QUALITIES:

My well documented record of public service has been one of honesty, fairness, transparency, open communication, low taxes, investment in people and infrastructure, as well as environmental stewardship. I keep an open mind on issues and listen to all sides without confrontation, therefore I have excelled at building bipartisan consensus to better serve residents.  As a result, I have been endorsed by leading members of the Republican, Democrat and Independence parties.

 

STATEMENT:

As with any job, there is a steep learning curve for a someone new.  I was better prepared than most because of my 24 years as Middlefield Town Supervisor.  In my short tenure on the board I have spent time listening to, and learning from, our county employees and department heads as well as town and county board representatives, gaining their trust, confidence and support.  I have been tagged as the quiet leader of bipartisan reform by the Freeman’s Journal newspaper. We have a great deal of talent in our county and we have made significant progress in just 21 months.   More importantly, the foundation has been put in place for further progress at an accelerated rate.  I ask for your continued support to implement these programs for your benefit.

Middlefield Supervisor Brings Lifetime Of Service To County
DAVID BLISS, R-DISTRICT 7

Middlefield Supervisor Brings

Lifetime Of Service To County

Newly elected county Rep. David Bliss sits for a photo shoot by the Susquehanna River – on the Town of Middlefield side. (The far shore is the Town of Otsego County.) He is one of seven freshman county reps taking office Jan. 1. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Newly elected county Rep. David Bliss sits for a photo shoot by the Susquehanna River – on the Town of Middlefield side. (The far shore is the Town of Otsego County.) He is one of seven freshman county reps taking office Jan. 1. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of seven profiles, one each on the seven new members of the Otsego County Board of Representatives elected Nov. 3, that will be posted each Wednesday afternoon up until they take office Jan. 1. Next week, Andrew Marietta, District 8  (Town of Otsego, including Cooperstown west of the Susquehanna).

By JIM KEVLIN • for www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Dave Morris, one of David Bliss’ fellow realtors with Hubbell’s Real Estate, remembers when Morris’ daughters were growing up and riding horses, and he would buy hay from Bliss’ father, Claude.

OtsegoCountySeal-Color-500pix_largeThe truck would pull up, and David Bliss and his older brother Tim would toss heavy bales of hay into Morris’ barn, one after another, until the loft was filled.    When football practice began in August, other players might drag as they got into shape, but the Bliss boys were always in peak condition, Morris recalled.

Farming and youth sports are still big parts of Dave Bliss’ life.  “I sell real estate to support my farming habit,” he joked the other day.   He went back into the family business after graduating from SUNY Oneonta – he played basketball there briefly – and teaching for a couple of years.

And he went from player to coach, helping out with CCS boys’ basketball for a while in the 1990s and coaching American Legion baseball in the summers.  He coached a CCS girls’ softball team to the sectional finals at Lemoyne a few years ago, among the activities that won him the Clark Sports Center’s coveted Fetterman Award for service to youth in 2013.

Another aspect of his life has been serving in local government.   Following in his father’s footsteps – Claude Bliss, who passed away in 1995, was on the town board when Middlefield adopted zoning, and served as highway superintendent for a period – Dave joined the town Zoning Board of Appeals in 1973.  Then, after two years on the town board, was elected town supervisor.

Re-elected Chair, Bliss Focus: Administrator

Re-elected Chair,

Bliss Focus: Administrator

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Bliss

COOPERSTOWN – Otsego will now have a county administrator. Now, the question is how to fit the new job into the current system, and how to adjust the system for the new job.

“We have a few things to iron out,” said county Rep. David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Middlefield/Cherry Valley, in an interview as he enters his third one-year term as Otsego County board chairman.

For instance, who’s in charge when the county administrator is out of town or sick? Perhaps the board chairman, the chairman said.

Now, county Treasurer Allen Ruffles, due to return at the end of this week from a year’s National Guard deployment in Djibouti, and his assistant, Andrew Crisman, have put together two county budgets now, and well, Bliss said.

The new administrator – “we have an optimistic timeline: six months” – will take the lead on budget preparation, but should take advantage of Ruffles and Crisman’s experience and expertise, Bliss said.

The position of clerk of the board, now held by Carol McGovern, provides services to the county reps that must be meshed with the county administrator’s.

Foremost, Bliss said, the county board has only added one single job, no more.

During the county administrator debate, county Rep. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, issued a letter to the editor reporting that Greene county executive’s budget quickly ballooned from one person to a $350,000 staff.

That’s not going to happen here, and existing clerical staff and others will be repurposed to avoid budget creep, the chairman said. As needs arise, “maybe somebody would be transferred,” he said. “We’re not anticipating any new positions.”

He affirmed he is assigning the task of recruiting the first person to fill the $150,000 job to the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Meg Kennedy, C-Hartwick, the board’s new vice chairman.

Perhaps IGA will seek a consultant to assist the search, but maybe not, Bliss said. He expects Kennedy, who is on the board of directors of the state Association of Counties, will be able to tap into NYSAC’s expertise as the job search ensues.

He cited other issues he expects to pursue:

• The Energy Task Force: “If we keep the politics and activism out of it, there’s a lot of room for common sense.”

• The county jail, now undergoing extensive repairs: the question of replacement, renovation or building an addition will be studied. And bail reform must be taken into account. “If the population stays low,” Bliss said, “maybe we can get along.”

• A consolidated highway garage: The county is in talks with BOCES to replace the building on Linden Avenue, Cooperstown, with a new one at the Area Occupational Center in Milford. It would be more centrally located, and BOCES mechanics students could be trained to keep the fleet in repair.

• Trane: The county has contracted with the national HVAC company for $2.3 million in energy-efficiency upgrades on all its buildings, from headquarters on Main Street, Cooperstown, to 242 Main St., Oneonta, the former city hall. The deal was structured so that savings would cover the costs.

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.

A YEAR AGO TODAY: BLISS DECLARES EMERGENCY IN OTSEGO COUNTY

A YEAR AGO TODAY

BLISS DECLARES

EMERGENCY IN

OTSEGO COUNTY

Order Brings Local Agencies

Into Line With NY Measures

David Bliss

Editor’s Note:  A year ago today, county board Chairman David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, declared a State of Emergency for Otsego County, following up on Governor Cuomo’s declaration on March 7.    Here is the article that appeared that day on www.AllOTSEGO.com

        By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN (March 15, 2020) – At 10:54 a.m. today, county Board Chairman David Bliss issued a State of Emergency for Otsego County, effective immediately, and remaining in effect for the next 30 days.

Also issued was an order in support of the state and county Health Departments’  recommendation on Friday to close schools, which local school superintendents have already announced.

Public Health Director Heidi Bond and her staff have “been working overtime to keep up with the latest information,” Bliss said, and he encouraged citizens, if they have any questions, to first check www.otsegocounty.com/

ONEONTA TO HOST VACCINATION SITE, BLISS ANNOUNCES

ONEONTA TO HOST

VACCINATION SITE,

BLISS ANNOUNCES

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

David Bliss

COOPERSTOWN – The state will open a vaccination center in SUNY Oneonta’s Dewar Arena in the next few weeks, county board Chairman David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, announced a few minutes ago.

The Oneonta site was one of 10 Governor Cuomo announced at his press briefing this morning, and is the only new one in the Mohawk Valley region, which includes Otsego County.

Bliss To Gyms: Get Inspected So You Can Reopen

Bliss To Gyms:

Get Inspected So

You Can Reopen

County To Help Businesses

Meet Cuomo’s Requirements

David Bliss

COOPERSTOWN – Reach out and be inspected, so you can reopen, county Board Chair David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield today advised operators of gyms and fitness centers.

“Normally we don’t issue permits to these establishments, so the Health Department may not be aware of every facility looking to reopen,” said Bliss.  “We need them to contact us so we can work with them and get them open as soon as possible and make sure they are in compliance and help any way that we can.”

The businesses should e-mail business name, specific business type, location and owner’s name (and contact person) to the county Health Department at bondh@otsegocounty.com (and meet other requirements detailed below.)

Bliss Reelected Chair; Clark, Frazier Vote Nay

With 2 Nays, Bliss

Keeps Chairmanship

Clark Again Demurs; Frazier Joins Her

County Rep.Dave Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, takes the rostrum after he was reelected chairman of the county Board of Representatives.   He is flanked by Clerk of the Board Carol McGovern, Left, and County Attorney Ellen Coccoma.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – His predecessor, Kathy Clark, R-Otego, again voted nay, but county Rep. David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, was reelected nonetheless for a second year as chairman of the county Board of Representatives.

Clark was joined by her vice chair when she led the board, Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, making the vote 12-2 for Bliss.  Bliss’s vice chairman, Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta, was unanimously reelected to that post.

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.

BLISS DECLARES EMERGENCY IN OTSEGO COUNTY

BLISS DECLARES

EMERGENCY IN

OTSEGO COUNTY

Order Brings Local Agencies

Into Line With NY Measures

David Bliss

COOPERSTOWN – At 10:54 a.m. today, county Board Chairman David Bliss issued a State of Emergency for Otsego County, effective immediately, and remaining in effect for the next 30 days.

Also issued was an order in support of the state and county Health Departments’  recommendation on Friday to close schools, which local school superintendents have already announced.

Public Health Director Heidi Bond and her staff have “been working overtime to keep up with the latest information,” Bliss said, and he encouraged citizens, if they have any questions, to first check www.otsegocounty.com/

In Memoriam David S. Wilshere, 78  August 28, 1943 – February 4, 2022

In Memoriam

David S. Wilshere, 78

 August 28, 1943 – February 4, 2022

David S. Wilshere

COOPERSTOWN – David Sprague Wilshere, a long-time resident of Cooperstown who served as caretaker of Doubleday Field for many years, passed away late Friday night, February 4, 2022, at his home on Curry Road in Hartwick with his wife, Meme, by his side.  He was 78.

Born August 28, 1943, in Iowa City, Iowa, David was a son of Vernon S. “Whitey” Wilshere, a left-handed pitcher who played for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics in the 1930s, and Betty Jean Munden Wilshere, a painter and Emergency Room RN at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.

When he was four-years-old, David and his family moved from the mid-west to his father’s hometown of Skaneateles, where David attended a one-room schoolhouse. In 1953, they moved to Cooperstown and settled into their home on Chestnut Street.

A graduate of Cooperstown High School, Class of 1961, David excelled in sports and was a letterman in baseball, football, wrestling and track.

In September of 1961, David enlisted in the United States Navy, and proudly served his country during a tour of duty at the NATO base in Naples, Italy. During this time his wife and daughter joined him. He received his honorable discharge from active duty in the military on August 10, 1964, and was released from the reserves in August 1967.

David Jones March 10, 1942-July 28, 2020

IN MEMORIAM

David Jones

March 10, 1942-July 28, 2020

David Jones

COOPERSTOWN – David Jones, husband of Lynn Richards Jones, passed away peacefully on July 28, 2020, at his home in the Village of Cooperstown. A retired English and American Studies teacher, he taught at the Millbrook School in Millbrook, and the Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 78.

Born on March 10, 1942, in Albany, David was one of three children of Louis Clark Jones, Ph.D., and the former Hazel “Billie” Williams. The family moved to Cooperstown in 1947, not long after his father was named director of the New York State Historical Association.

IN MEMORIAM: Sandra J. Bliss, 70, Teacher, Civic Leader

IN MEMORIAM: Sandra Bliss, 70;

40-year Teacher, Civic Leader

COOPERSTOWN – Sandra Jane Bliss, 70, a teacher and the first director of the Mohawk Regional Teacher’s Center, died peacefully Monday evening, Aug. 27, 2018, surrounded by her loving family at her home on County Highway 33 following a courageous battle with cancer.

Sandy was born in Cooperstown on Nov. 12, 1947, the daughter of Claud and Anna Bliss. She graduated from Cooperstown Central School in 1965 and SUNY Oneonta in 1969, received her Masters in Education from SUNY Cortland in 1974, and began her 40 year teaching career at Frankfort-Schuyler Central School in 1969.

Sheriff, Bliss Reach Accord On Devlin Son

Sheriff, Bliss

Reach Accord

On Devlin Son

Medical Examination Agreed Over

Deputy Suspended More Than Year

By JIM KEVLIN  • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Chairman Bliss
Sheriff Devlin

COOPERSTOWN – A breakthrough has been agreed to in the case of county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr.’s son Ros, a correctional officer at the county jail who has been under suspension since January 2017.

The sheriff has agreed to recuse himself under Section 72 of state Civil Service law, which will allow county board Chairman David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, to order a medical examination of the son, Bliss confirmed a few minutes ago.

The examination could determine whether the younger Devlin can return to work, or could open the way for his eventual dismissal.

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