EDUCATION: Associate Degree Food Sale & Distribution
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: CEO Formtech Solutions Inc.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: C.H. Graham Hose Company, Schenevus Valley Lodge 592 Masons, Schenevus Methodist Church, Town of Maryland Board, Town of Maryland supervisor, Foundation of Excellence board member.
FAMILY: Wife Shannon, daughter Holli, son Derek.
PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT: Less is more.
MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY: Rebuilding our infrastructure while keeping taxes in line. A County Manager would be a great start.
MY QUALITIES: Having served on my local government as Supervisor, it gave me an appreciation for those that serve. What it takes financially to run a municipal entity, and the importance of communication.
“The reason a lot of people don’t recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work.” Thomas A. Edison.
SCHENEVUS – Since the news broke on AllOTSEGO.com Thursday, Jan. 26, companies seeking distribution-center sites have already begun calling county Rep. Peter Oberacker to express interest, he told the 35 people who packed the Maryland Town Board’s meeting room this evening.
“We’ve been contacted,” said Oberacker, the Republican who represents the towns of Maryland, Worcester, Westford and Decatur. “Nobody’s committed, but we’ve been contacted.”
Still, he encouraged people not to get too excited yet about development of the 170-acre site on the east end of this hamlet at the I-88 exit, which could bring an estimated 250 to 500 jobs here. “It’s not going to be all unicorns and rainbows,” he said.
But upbeat townspeople were having none of it at the lighthearted 90-minute meeting, where attendees eagerly blue-skied about what might be.
Editor’s Note: This is the third of seven profiles, one each on the seven new members of the Otsego County Board of Representatives elected Nov. 3, that will appear each Wednesday up until they take office Jan. 1. Next week, David Bliss, R-District 5 (Towns of Middlefield, Roseboom, Cherry Valley).
By LIBBY CUDMORE • for AllOTSEGO.com
MARYLAND – “My wife told me I was looking portly, that I should take up running,” joked Peter Oberacker, Maryland town supervisor. “So I ran for office!”
Oberacker, a Republican, is the newlyelected Otsego County Board representative for District 6 – Decatur, Maryland, Westford and Worcester. He ran unopposed, hand-picked by Don Lindberg, who is retiring from the county board to become Worcester town supervisor.
“When he announced that he wouldn’t be running, he asked if I would be interested, and I told him ‘Absolutely not’!” he said. “I didn’t think I had the skill set.”
But Lindberg believed in him, and approached him again a few weeks later. “He told me I had the skill set he needed – I had a background in business and I had raised a family locally. He twisted my arm!”
COOPERSTOWN – After town garages failed to get road-salt orders in time for the Thanksgiving Weekend snowstorms, the county Board of Representatives is meeting as a “committee of the whole” at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday to ensure its new purchasing agreement with Onondaga County is working satisfactorily.
“When you start something new, there are always a couple of glitches,” said county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, who chairs the county board’s Public Works Committee.
COOPERSTOWN – Bill Mason, the retired DOT engineer who has served as interim county highway superintendent for the past four months, was appointed to a four-year term yesterday by the Otsego County Board of Representatives.
He succeeds Ron Tiderencel, who retired in April.
In an interview this morning, Mason said his first order of business will be to develop an “asset management program,” assessing the priorities for paving, sign replacement and major culverts. He noted staffing in the highway department is one-third of its peak, and equipment needs attention, and that the county board has voiced support for a four-year program of renewal.
COOPERSTOWN – County Rep. Jim Powers, R-Butternuts, denies he was the kingmaker – or queenmaker – in Wednesday’s split vote that allowed county Rep. Kathy Clark, R-Otsego, to remain chair of the county Board of Representatives for another year.
“This business of me being the kingmaker is baloney,” he declared when reached yesterday afternoon at his farm near South New Berlin.
Supporters of county Rep. Len Carson, R-Oneonta, said they had expected Powers’ support, but when he shifted his 503 weighted votes to Clark he ensured she would continue to serve as chair for another year.
Let’s not be prophets of doom, but we’re all thinking people who can more or less put the pieces of the puzzle together.
In her March 29-30 column, our colleague,
columnist Cathe Ellsworth, alerted us to an
Albany Business Review report that Upstate
New York lost 2 percent of its population
between 2011 and 2015. Seven counties gained population; 20 lost it.
In our general area, Tompkins County – home of Cornell and Ithaca College – surprisingly lost the second most, 5.1 percent or 5,294 people. Our Otsego County was 11th on the list, losing 2.26 percent or 1,408 people.
The next week on our front page came the story, “Utility Retreats From Gas Pipeline Upgrade,” reporting how the utility serving our county, NYSEG, has backed away from upgrading the DeRuyter natural-gas line that runs to Sidney and then Oneonta, even though it received a rate increase to do so a couple of years ago.
In the article, Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky reaffirmed NYSEG can’t provide enough natural gas – or electricity, either – that any new manufacturer of any size would require to move here.
A Chinese company looking to establish a manufacturing plant somewhere in the U.S. came calling a few months ago, Zakrevsky continued. “We had proximity to an Interstate, water, sewer – but we could not meet their energy demands, either electrical or gas,” he said. “…Without that power, we’re limiting our ability to compete.”
The news hook for the story was a meeting state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, hosted at his Albany office in mid-March for local business and community leaders to make a plea to NYSEG’s new president, Carl Taylor.
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.