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News of Otsego County

Elections

HAZZARD: Bergene Supported Businesses
LETTER from MATT HAZZARD

Bergene Supported Businesses

To the Editor:

It is a true honor to write to you today and encourage residents to get out and support Hanna Bergene as trustee for the Village of Cooperstown.

I had the distinct privilege to work alongside Hanna during her tenure at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce. For more than three years, Hanna worked diligently on behalf of both the businesses and residents of our community. On a daily basis her tireless work ethic and passion was on display, skills that she will bring with her to the trustee position.

In our next trustee, it is essential we have someone with a vision for the future of Cooperstown. Having been born and raised here, Hanna would bring her local knowledge and insight to the position. As a young professional, she has grown expediently, from her days at Stagecoach Coffee, to her role at the Chamber, she now serves as a key figure in marketing our county in her role at Paperkite Creative.

All of these experiences have positioned her as the right person at the right time to serve in this role.

While working together, we spoke frequently on the amazing opportunities and potential for our beautiful village. For key issues that have been discussed in this community for years, such as more affordable housing, creating a vibrant Main Street, and embracing younger generations, we need a Trustee that will go the extra mile. She has proven it time and time again with her volunteerism and involvement in local community groups.

For anyone that knows Hanna, her love for our community is evident, and I am confident that she will serve the entire community well.

MATT HAZZARD
Cooperstown

FALK: ‘It Takes A Village Moment’ Inspires Candidate Falk
LETTER from CINDY FALK

‘It Takes A Village Moment’
Inspires Candidate Falk

To the Editor:

Saturday I had one of those “It Takes a Village” moments.

I offered a ride to a friend to the vaccination clinic at the Clark Sports Center. Sitting with her in a folding chair on the gym floor, I remembered just how special our community is.

We have a teaching hospital right here in Cooperstown, we have an amazing recreational facility and, most important, we are blessed with people who care.

Our local community members helped spread the word about vaccine availability, assisted with online registration, provided rides, checked people in, gave shots, stood by in case of an emergency, and checked up on our friends and neighbors.

We live in a one-of-a-kind place that I am pleased to call home.

For the past nine years, I have been privileged to represent village residents on the Board of Trustees. This Tuesday, March 16, I will be running for my fourth term.

There is little hype about this election. My name and Hanna Joy Bergene’s will be the only ones on the ballot, and there are two open seats. There is no national election going on simultaneously and no COVID-induced change to the voting date as there was last year.

Honestly, it may seem like there is little reason to participate. But I am hopeful that in our remarkable village people still will make the effort to exercise their right to vote.

Polls are open noon – 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, at the fire hall, and absentee-ballot applications and absentee ballots can be picked up by 4 p.m. Monday, March 15, at Village Hall, 22 Main St.

The pandemic has been difficult on all of us individually and collectively. The village government is no exception to that – the last year has been trying, and the coming months will be critical as we begin to creep forward into a post-pandemic world.

I encourage you to take part in the democratic process as we enter this next phase, and I would greatly appreciate your vote on Tuesday the 16th.

CINDY FALK
Trustee, Deputy Mayor
Cooperstown

BERGENE: ‘Someone’ Who Cares Running for Village Trustee
LETTER from HANNA JOY BERGENE

‘Someone’ Who Cares
Running for Village Trustee

Bergene

To The Editor:

My name is Hanna Joy Bergene and I am honored to be running for village trustee alongside our current trustee/deputy mayor, Cindy Falk in the village election next Tuesday, March 16.

Many in the local business community may know me from my time working at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, Paperkite, Stagecoach Coffee and the Cooperstown Winter Carnival Committee.

I’ve called Cooperstown home my entire life. My parents, Gregory and Susan Bergene, both long-time employees of Cooperstown Central School District, taught me the value of a good work ethic and getting involved in your community from a young age.

As a village trustee, my goal is to make Cooperstown the best place it can be for all residents and businesses alike. I have thought long and hard, as well as asked a few close friends about what makes a great trustee. Some of the things that stood out to me are:

• Someone with a passion for public service.

GREEN: Candidate Sees Bigger Picture
LETTER from SUSAN GREEN

Candidate Sees Bigger Picture

To the Editor:

It is with great enthusiasm that I write this letter of endorsement for Hanna Bergene, candidate for Trustee for the Village of Cooperstown.

I have known Hanna for over six years, first when I was a board member for the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce while she was the director of marketing and events. Hanna’s work ethic and dedication impressed me in all of our interactions; she was prepared and professional at all times. She was particularly successful in executing the Chamber’s many events, which required a lot of collaboration, creativity, and dedication.

For the past two years I have been fortunate enough to have Hanna join the team at Paperkite as our social media manager. She has added tremendous value to the agency with her creative approach and ability to see the bigger picture for our clients and agency to achieve results.

It is these qualities that I believe will make her an effective and successful trustee.

Having seen Hanna operate in these roles over the years, I know she will bring the same dedication, creativity and vision that the job requires.

Hanna Bergene for Trustee!

SUSAN GREEN
CEO, Paperkite

KAVANAGH: With Governor In Trouble, Candidates Surface For ’22
LETTER from KENNETH J. KAVANAGH

With Governor In Trouble,
Candidates Surface For ’22

To the Editor:

What an incredible piece of work Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin most certainly is.

His recent announcement of his intentions to run for governor truly takes the cake. If they can’t come up with a better candidate on either side of the aisle, we’re all in trouble.

Zeldin’s voting record underscores the pathos of his case. He has voted against the Equality Act, Paycheck Fairness, background checks and reproductive rights.

He owns one of the worst (if not THE worst environmental ratings) in the entire New York congressional delegation as per The League of Conservation Voters. He is a true darling of the NRA, which readily pumps tons of money his way.

In no uncertain terms one need not look too hard for a better gubernatorial candidate . Hopefully his is nothing less than a lost cause.

KENNETH J. KAVANAGH
Cooperstown

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Dr. Seuss Joins Mr. Potato Head
FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Dr. Seuss Joins Mr. Potato Head

If you haven’t heard, Dr. Seuss is being canceled.

The same boneheads who claim that the “mister” in Mr. Potato Head is overly “exclusive,” that Aunt Jemima syrup encouraged racial stereotyping, that math is a vestige of White supremacy and that gender reveal parties are “transphobic,” want you to find racism in the pages of “Hop on Pop.”

This is absurd, of course, and makes Democrats who applaud such virtue signaling look stupid. But the urge to condemn people who challenge the woke mob and cancel every icon of American life – the founders of our nation, the historical monuments that adorn our cities, the books we grew up reading – has reached a tipping point.

Even the famously left-wing Bill Maher is calling for an end to the excess, telling his TV audience, “Cancel culture is real, it’s insane and it’s growing exponentially.”

LIZ PEEK,
Fox News

THIS WEEK — February 25, 2021
Herzig To Retire

Herzig To Retire

Despite COVID-19, Much Let To Do,
Mayor’s Decision Firm: It’s Time To Go

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

With would-be successors able to circulate petitions in the next few days, six-year Mayor Gary Herzig Tuesday, Feb. 23, announced what many expected and others anticipated with regret: He will retire when his term ends on Dec. 31, 2021.

“During the past six years, by working together, the people of Oneonta have achieved remarkable progress,” he said in a statement, “in developing new housing options, supporting our local businesses, and strengthening our infrastructure while continuously improving upon our high quality of life.

“Even an unprecedented pandemic was not able to slow us down,” he said.

He vowed to spend his final “10 months working harder than ever” on opportunities that “will certainly present themselves in the post-COVID world.”

The political community was prepared for the announcement, with Common Council member Luke Murphy, in charge of the Democratic campaign, saying he expects a candidate, perhaps a woman, will announce by the end of the week.

Probe Of Cuomo Administration Must Run Its Course

FALL from GLORY

Probe Of Cuomo Administration Must Run Its Course

Editor’s Note: By covering stories other big newspapers have ignored, the New York Post, founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton, is regaining some of its luster. In this latest editorial on the Cuomo Administration’s latest crisis, it questions whether campaign contributions played a role in the March 25 order requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients. Also, below, is a sampling of editorials on the issue.

The New York Post’s Saturday, Feb. 20, front page, reporting on a stormy press conference the day before.

Governor Cuomo is trying to rage his way through the horrific nursing-home scandal, vowing to “take on the lies and the unscrupulous actors” even as he repeats his own lies blaming the feds for his fateful March 25 mandate that homes accept COVID-contagious patients. Will the feds let him get away with it?

New Yorkers who lost family members in nursing homes were cheered by news of a federal probe into the matter. But the Biden Justice Department might buy his effort to blame the Trump administration, even though it’s transparently false.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Disagree? You Must Be Crazy

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Disagree? You Must Be Crazy

There are millions of Americans, almost all white, almost all Republicans, who somehow need to be deprogrammed. It’s as if they are members of a cult,” Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson said of Trump supporters on Jan. 12.

Former CBS news anchor Katie Couric agreed.

“How are we going to really, almost, deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump?” she asked Bill Maher.

And both CNN and Vanity Fair ran interviews with Steven Hassan, former Moonie and author of “The Cult of Trump,” discussing the best way to help Trump cultists escape the supposed abusive authoritarian who supposedly rules their minds.

…Defining political dissent as a psychological problem is a Soviet trick. They invented a new disease, “sluggish schizophrenia,” and explained that even though the subject might not display any symptoms of ordinary schizophrenia, his unfounded allegations against the government showed it was gradually coming on.

Only a madman could possibly dislike the Soviet idyll. American Marxists think the same: only a brainwashed cult-member could possibly support Trump.

JANE STANNUS
The Spectator, Feb. 2, 2021

Trump 2020 Billboard Going In April, Rome Sign Reports

Trump 2020 Billboard Going

In April, Rome Sign Reports

New Customers Bring Controversy To End

For the portion of the public upset by the “Trump 2024” sign on Route 28 north of the Village of Milford, help may be on the way.

Anna Johnson, Rome Sign Co. business manager, said the billboard’s current renter has a contract that runs out in April, and a new customer has picked up the contract, so “Trump 2024” may be gone by the end of that month, “depending on the weather.”

Meanwhile, the company has a contract with the “Trump 2024” customer – it was “Trump 2020” until the Nov. 3 election – that it is bound to honor, and will honor, Johnson said.

Meanwhile, “everyone’s called me” about it, she said, particularly since the Milford Town Planning Board last month threatened to fine the village if it wasn’t removed. (The billboard is in the town, but on property owned by the village.) It turns out the town Planning Board lacks jurisdiction to fine anyone.

Over the period of controversy – the billboard’s been up for a couple of years – Johnson said she’s been approached a couple of times by people offering to take out long-term contracts, simply to get the message removed.

Local Governments Should Tend Our Roads, Not Our Minds

Local Governments Should

Tend Our Roads, Not Our Minds

Do we really expect our local elected officials to tell us what to think? Quite the opposite, probably.

And yet instead of focusing on paving streets, keeping tax at a reasonable level, and providing whatever might be considered essential services, they seem increasingly determined to do just that.

Three examples popped up in the past few days that suggest this may be spinning out of control, including at the February meeting of the county Board of Representatives, where discussion of two proposed resolutions on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol ate up an hour of rancorous debate.

A few days earlier, it surfaced that two unspecified Milford Town Planning Board members had threatened to fine the Village of Milford if it failed to remove the “Trump 2024” on Route 28 across from Wood Bull Antiques. (The billboard is in the town, but on property owned by the village.)

“Trump 2024,” the billboard on Route 28 north of the
Village of Milford, may be coming down in April. Not due to protests: The contract is running out and Rome Sign Co. has a new customer.

Let’s get back to basics. State law that created counties describes such as “formed for the purpose of exercising such powers and discharging such duties of local government and administration of public affairs as may be imposed or conferred upon it by law.” Pretty work-a-day, as it should be.

County Board Split On How To React To Capitol Attack

‘False Equivalency’ Or Not?

County Board Split On How To React To Capitol Attack

Editor’s Note: For an hour at its monthly meeting, Wednesday, Feb. 3, the Otsego County Board of Representatives debated two resolutions: H, condemning the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. And G, condemning both the attack on the Capitol and summer-long riots that followed George Floyd’s death.

RESOLUTION NO. G

RESOLUTION: CONDEMNING VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES AND REAFFIRMING THE BOARD’S COMMITMENT TO THE RULE OF LAW, FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS, AND THE PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER

Introduced by Republican Reps. Ed Frazier, Dan Wilber

Reps. Dan Wilber, left, and Ed Frazier.

WHEREAS, on January 6, 2021, pursuant to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the Senate met at the United States Capitol for a Joint Session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College; and

WHEREAS, the results of the 2020 election were lawfully certified by Republican and Democratic election administrators in all fifty states; affirmed in dozens of court cases; and formalized by the vote of the Electoral College; and

WHEREAS, thousands of individuals sought to and did, in fact, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts; and

From Nixon To Biden, Pastor Hasn’t Missed One

INAUGURATION #13

From Nixon To Biden, Pastor Hasn’t Missed One

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

 

At Donald Trump’s Inauguration in 2017, Pastor Paul Messner sought out two local boys from Laurens, brothers Keith Winslow, left, and Andrew Winslow, members of the National Park Service police, who work with other agencies to ensure monuments on The Mall are safe during events. The Presidential Inauguration every four years is the NPS’ largest event. The brothers are currently assigned to the Delaware Water Gap.

It began “almost on a lark,” but has gone on now for 48 years.

On Jan. 20, 1973, the Rev. Paul Messner, now pastor of the Church of the Atonement here and the county’s three other Lutheran churches in Hartwick Seminary, Laurens and West Burlington, had just been released from the Air Force and was living in Washington D.C., a poli-sci student at American University.

When he woke up that morning, an Air Force buddy who was visiting, Brad Crail, asked, “What do you want to do today?”

Before you know it, “almost on a lark,” the young men were driving up Independence Avenue to the Capitol in Crail’s red Toyota to see what they could see of President Richard M. Nixon’s second Inauguration.

Compared to more recent mass Inauguration gatherings – a stark exception, of course, being President Biden’s minimalist ceremony last month – it was intimate, with a crowd of maybe 20,000-25,000 people.

“It wasn’t a huge affair,” Messner said. “We just walked up.”

Trump ’24 Billboard Redebated

Trump ’24 Billboard Redebated

Planning Board Isn’t Proper Forum, ZEO, Town Attorney Find

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Gone, Not Forgotten

It’s unclear whether a Town Planning Board effort to have the “Trump 2024” billboard on Route 28 removed is going anywhere.

The town Planning Board was expected to take the issue up Monday, Feb. 1, but the meeting at the town hall in Portlandville was cancelled due to the snowstorm.

Meanwhile, Town Zoning Officer Barbara Monroe drew a line in the sand, saying she has the sole authority to levy fines when zoning violations occur, not the Planning Board.

I have no intention of writing a violation on that sign,” at least for now, she said Monday.

Tuesday, Town Attorney Hyde Clarke, while saying his advice to town bodies is covered by attorney-client privilege, said Monroe’s right.

“It’s not really a planning issue,” he said. “The town has zoning regulations.”

And Town Clerk Rosemary Aborn and Zoning Board of Appeals chairman Al Bullard both said they’re not aware the issue is on this month’s agendas of the town board or ZBA.

“It sounds like a Demo-cratic plot,” said Bullard.

Events were set in motion two weeks ago, Village Mayor Brian Pokorny said, when two town Planning Board members approached him, advising him to remove the billboard or face fines; no amount was specified.

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