News of Otsego County

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Letters To The Editor

WILCOX: 2nd Amendment Relic Of Early Republic

LETTER from SAM WILCOX

2nd Amendment Relic

Of Early Republic

To the Editor:

Otsego County is facing a proposal to declare this county a “gun sanctuary.” This would mean that our county board would ban compliance with the Safe Act passed by the state Legislature in 2013.

That act promoted, among other things, background checks, banning assault weapons, and limiting ammunition. It was not anti-gun, rather it was pro-gun safety.

However, the Safe Act has been perceived as a violation of Second Amendment rights by citizens who feel that guns are a vital part of their protective system and feel their right to buy any gun and any amount of ammunition is being blocked.

They cite this Amendment as if it were intended to be unchangeable for all time. They seem unaware that the Constitution was drawn up in the turbulent period of seeking independence from England’s exploitive hold on its colonies in the New World.

Too, the war for independence relied not only on the Continental Army but well-armed militias.

Though the Constitution reflected important visionary, democratic rights, there were flaws in it such as lack of democratic regard for women and African-Americans. It was not a perfect, untouchable document. In fact, amendments were soon being made.

The Second Amendment was in the historical context of relying on well-armed militias to defeat lingering efforts of English troops to subdue the rebellious colonials, a condition that no longer prevails.

Yet, pro-gun citizens abetted by the National Rifle Association seem to believe the Second Amendment simply established forever the inalienable right to own guns and ammunition with no restrictions.

Fast forward, and we have a supposedly sane, First World country like the U.S. condoning its populace being armed by guns and unlimited ammunition, even those designed for warfare. This condoning of the vast arsenal of guns in our country ignores evidence that the more guns possessed in any country, the more deaths there will be by gunfire.
No wonder we are among the seven countries of the world with the highest rate of death by gunfire from murder, accident, suicide and mass shootings. It is as if we extol weapons of mass destruction.

Please, let us not take a step backward from the Safe Act by becoming a “gun sanctuary.” We accept many restrictions for car ownership and operation. Why? It lowers the motor vehicle death rate by making driving safer. Why should we not accept similar restrictions about guns?

SAM WILCOX
Cooperstown

DILLINGHAM: Fold Fracking Ban Into Governor’s Budget

LETTER from NICOLE DILLINGHAM

Fold Fracking Ban

Into Governor’s Budget

Editor’s Note: Since the print edition went to press, the Governor’s Budget, agreed to Wednesday, April 1, included a fracking ban.

To the Editor:

The emergency now unfolding due to the coronavirus is not the only global crisis we are facing. The threat of global warming also requires state-wide, indeed global, response. The damage climate change is causing should not be ignored in the hope that it will magically disappear. Perhaps we have learned this much.

Our governor has taken a leadership role in response to the current pandemic. He has also taken a leadership role in responding to the climate crisis. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) was passed last year setting ambitious goals to reduce fossil fuel use for electricity generation (70 percent non-fossil fuels by 2030; 100 percent by 2040).

The Governor now proposes a budget amendment to expedite implementation of the CLCPA known as the Accelerated Renewable Energy & Community Benefit Act. Adoption of the budget amendment will lead to accelerated state-wide permitting of renewable energy projects, specifically solar, wind, and related transmission infrastructure.

While CLCPA implementation is critical, this amendment as written raises concerns for erosion of Home Rule. I do not believe Michael Zagata (at one time an executive in the fossil-fuel industry, and briefly a DEC commissioner in the Pataki Administration) is the best qualified to advise on the merits of Home Rule. He fought Home Rule for years in the fracking debate. His attachment to it now is disingenuous.

Without a state-wide fracking ban, individual municipalities could permit fracking without regard to risks to neighboring towns. Similarly, Home Rule in renewable-energy development without state-wide support will be ineffective. The two must work together.

Those who claim that there will be no benefit to host communities as a result of expedited solar and wind development are also wrong. The budget amendment specifically provides that host communities will benefit through payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements and negotiated reduced electric rates. Landowners who lease their land will also receive substantial rental income. Finally, mitigation of climate change clearly will benefit all.

Conversion to renewable sources for electricity generation is a crucial state-wide initiative, like the state-wide ban on fracking. At the same time, the budget amendment should strengthen protections for prime agricultural land, wildlife habitat, tourism, recreational land use, and historic preservation, all matters of intense local concern.

Host communities should be accorded deference in siting based on these key local considerations. New York can and must lead in conversion to non-fossil fuels, while supporting existing state policies to protect Home Rule and local economic drivers.

NICOLE A. DILLINGHAM, J.D.
Board President, Otsego 2000, Inc.

NORTHRUP: Heroes Of The Plague

LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Heroes Of The Plague

To the Editor:

The humorist, Will Rogers, once said: “When all the filing stations on all the street corners are out of gas, then we’ll see what kind of people we’ve become.” It takes a pandemic to see what kind of people we’ve become and who the heroes are. Here’s my short list:

  1. The staff of Bassett Fox – for getting ready in time, working tirelessly and telling the truth, particularly Drs. Streck and Hyman, and all the doctors, nurses and staff that are working 10-hour shifts to keep us all safe.
  2. The local employers that are doing their best to keep their businesses going.
  3. Essential workers – who some of us used to take for granted – the pharmacy staff, the grocers, the farmers, the mechanics, the firemen, polices and EMS. The linemen and utility workers. The truckers and delivery men. All the postal workers. All the local government staff. The health equipment suppliers. Now we know who’s really important.
  4. Jane Clark and Leatherstocking Corp., for shutting down the tourist magnets to avoid over-loading Bassett.
  5. The Presutti Family – who had the foresight to build Dreams Park and used the same foresight to close it down to avoid burdening the area with sick tourists.
  6. Governor Cuomo – now officially “America’s Governor” for his leadership, his compassion and his insights.
  7. The manufacturers – who rose to the task of making the supplies needed on the front line
  8. The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta – for keeping us all posted, literally up to the minute on what’s going on in times of crisis, nothing is more helpful

When this pandemic is completely over – when there is an effective vaccine that will enable people to congregate safely in groups – most of us will remember what kind of people we were in a crisis and we will remember who the real heroes were: They are the people that we cannot live without. Remember that.

CHIP NORTHRUP

Cooperstown

LaCHANCE: During This Crisis, Reach Out To Elderly. Elderly, Accept Help
LETTER from CAROL LaCHANCE

During This Crisis,

Reach Out To Elderly.

Elderly, Accept Help

To the Editor:

As social distancing becomes a new way of life, I am fearful.

I don’t fear the coronavirus, but I fear the social isolation it is creating among us, especially the older population.

We live in a village, with surrounding communities, whose median age is over 50 years old. Of this group, more than half are over the age of 65. There are many who live alone, with few or no family and friends close by.

Going to the Cooperstown Senior Community Center, Clark Sports Center, library, restaurants, etc. provided them with social outings and contact, but now those are closed, and we are all told to stay home.

I write to encourage all of us, young and old, to become more aware of our neighbors, especially those older, as well as the activity in and around their homes.

Are the curtains open every day, or the lights on in the evening? Has the newspaper or mail been removed from the front stoop? Would getting groceries or medicine be a challenge for your next door neighbor?

We cannot assume each person in our community is fine. As the time of social distancing lengthens beyond two weeks into months, depression and loneliness will become our enemy, most especially for those living alone.

If you fall into the more mature adult category, you have lived the majority of your life not asking for, or accepting, help. This is not the time to let your pride get in the way. If you need assistance, reach out to your neighbors or friends. If your neighbor reaches out to you, say “yes – thank you.”

In an effort to be in touch, an email with thoughts and activities will be sent to all who receive the Cooperstown Senior Community Center emails, Monday-Friday. If you wish to be a recipient, send an email to: coopseniorcenter@gmail.com We will get your contact info and gladly add you to the list.

The coronavirus has provided each one of us an opportunity to rekindle what was once the way of life, “neighbor helping neighbor.” It’s what will keep us connected, safe, healthy and smiling – a caring community.

Stay well.

CAROLE LACHANCE

Acting CSCC Executive Director

Cooperstown

SMITH: Constitution Gives Us The Right To Do What Makes Sense
LETTER from PATSY SMITH

Constitution Gives

Us The Right To Do

What Makes Sense

To the Editor:

I’m afraid that Mr. deBlieck (Letter to Editor, March 19-20) doesn’t understand what the U.S. Constitution actually says and does. Like the power to declare war and raise taxes, the power to organize and arm militias is explicitly reserved to the Congress of the United States.

Don’t believe me? Read Article One.

There are no provisions that allow the “entire population to form a militia.” Moreover, the Constitution
authorized the militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions and not to “secure the liberty of the place in which they live.”

Don’t believe me? Read Article One.

Today, everyone has an idea of what the Second Amendment means – with many Americans believing that it allows a citizen to have any kind and keep as many guns as one wants.

Let’s start with phrase “the People.” Read the Preamble of the Constitution – it says, “We, the People.” The Second Amendment allows the People (a plural usage), not individuals, to keep and carry arms when serving in the militia. Period.

Don’t believe me? Read the Preamble and the Second Amendment back-to-back.

More to the point, Congress passed laws in 1792 and 1903 delegating the authority to organize militias (and after 1903, the National Guard) to the respective states but not to individual citizens.

Don’t believe me? Read the laws.

As to the kind of weapons, in my opinion, no one needs assault weapons, which are specifically designed to kill humans with a massively high volume of firepower.

I am not an anti-gun nut. When I was younger, everyone seemed to have a gun to go hunting, and many kept their guns strapped to the back window of their truck. No one was worried about that – least of all me. Even my family kept shotguns and pistols (with a license to carry). And no one was worried about that – least of all me.

But the gun lobby, especially the National Rifle Association (NRA), has gone far beyond the America of my childhood by advancing unrestricted gun ownership.

Today, why do you think there are so many guns?? I believe that it’s all about money – the NRA’s constituents are in favor of gun control, but the NRA itself has become a powerful and influential money-maker.

Guns are sold not only to our citizens (many – about 40 percent – without a background check), but they are also sold around the world to our allies and to our enemies. Oh, that glorious money!

Our country is awash in uncounted guns. Stop to think about the things in our lives that are so destructive –and big businesses and institutions (like the NRA) are the ones making money off everyone in our country (not only guns, but alcohol, drugs, gambling, cigarettes, and vaping).

If we enforced proper and effective laws that made gun purchases legal and fair, we would not have many of these problems. Too many people go underground for their guns – and therein lies one of the biggest problems we currently have.

Gun Control does not mean people are going to take away your guns. It means that proper and effective control over the purchase of weapons best serves honest and fair Americans.

Moreover, it also means that individuals respect what our Constitution actually says and not misstate the words for their own personal satisfaction and gain.

PATSY SMITH
Cooperstown

NORTHRUP: It’s Right To Close Schools; Dreams Park Must Be Next
LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

It’s Right To Close Schools;

Dreams Park Must Be Next

To the Editor:

Schools are the absolute best places to transmit airborne diseases, almost as effective as cruise ships.

In the average size high school, there are over 750,000 contacts a day at less than 10 feet that can potentially transmit an airborne disease such as the flu or COVID-19. And that does not include making out behind the stadium.

The fact that children don’t get as sick as adults with COVID-19 makes them ideal transmitters of the disease. To gramps and granny.

So closing the schools is step one in fighting the spread of airborne diseases. Good on Cooperstown Central, the Hall of Fame and the Clark Sports Center for shutting down or limiting access. Cooperstown should be where epidemics, not people, go to die.

Step 2 is closing down any other large gathering place of kids, such as the Dreams Park.

If COVID 19 is not under control by May, the Dreams Park should not be allowed to open in June.ronavirus, Cooperstown news, Otsego County news

The vulnerability, the potential weak link in any pandemic are the hospitals. They have to be protected at all costs. Bassett has to be protected. And the best way to protect Bassett is to avoid over-burdening it with sick tourists from around the world.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

FALK, CROWELL: CGP Helps Guardsmen Save Historic Resources
LETTER from CINDY FALK, DAN CROWELL

CGP Helps Guardsmen

Save Historic Resources

To the Editor:

Earlier this month, the Cooperstown community welcomed a group of soldiers from the 403rd Civil Affairs battalion for their monthly training. The visit is part of an ongoing partnership between this unit and SUNY Oneonta’s Cooperstown Graduate Program.

CGP students develop a program about the protection of cultural heritage (think of the Monuments Men during World War II), and the soldiers learn about museum collections and visit the Hall of Fame as well as training with the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade from the New York Army National Guard, which brings Blackhawk helicopters.

Both the soldiers and CGP students and recent graduates participate in a scenario that requires them to think on their feet about how to care for museum collections in times of conflict.

This training event requires numerous collaborations, and we would like to thank the Clark Sports Center, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Bassett Healthcare, Clark Estates and Jane Forbes Clark for the use of facilities; members of the Cooperstown Fire Department for preparing hot food at the end of a cold day; John Odell for sharing his knowledge of baseball’s tangible history; and the CGP students who lent their enthusiasm and creativity to make the exercise a success.

We are happy that our community is able to share its many resources with those who serve our country.

CINDY FALK
Professor, CGP, SUNY Oneonta

DAN CROWELL
Major, Army Reserves

GIBSON: Flippant Headline On Serious Topic
LETTER from TIMOTHY GIBSON

Flippant Headline

On Serious Topic

To The Editor:

I find it unruly that Tom Morgan would headline his column (“Nothing to Fear but Flu Itself”) attached to the coattails of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (a man crippled by the polio virus and consistently polled as one of America’s five greatest Presidents) in an attempt to attract reader attention to a very deadly and communicable virus and at the
same time disparaging legitimate responses to it.

Mr. Morgan tritely lures his reader into believing coronavirus is the culprit in a massive statistical death toll only to reveal, alas, he is referring to the common flu virus. Point made, if only to assuage the fears of everyone who has to deal with this other unknown killer but no, his real emphasis is to blame the media for hyping this national emergency for the sake of advertising dollars. Really, Mr. Morgan – the cheap shot ‘blame-game’ for something this serious?

Perhaps Mr. Morgan should confine his pat beliefs within the purview of which he proclaims to know (finance) and leave the spheres of medicine and journalism to those who do know.

TIMOTHY GIBSON
Oneonta

Editor’s Note: Mea culpa. The editor – identified in masthead on Page 4 – actually writes the headlines.
Sorry, Tim and Tom.

WELCH: Let’s Focus On Most Vulnerable
LETTER from GERRY WELCH

Let’s Focus On

Most Vulnerable

To the Editor:

In the case of the Coronavirus, governments are opening a multi-front war by initiating massive quarantines that are inadvertently weakening the entire system.

Suggestion: Governments focus attention on protecting the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

Do not, however, defeat the economic support system that feeds and supports us by not allowing life to continue as close to normal as possible.

Other than the aforementioned resolve, treat this virus as you would a serious flu and work on producing vaccines. It is no longer survival of the fittest, it is now survival of the most unfit. If the bar was a limbo bar it would be set so high as to be over most people’s head.

Should the virus mutate and become more serious, then let us cross that bridge if we should come to it.

GERRY WELCH
Cooperstown

deBLIECK: ‘Right To Bear Arms,’ An ‘Unalienable’ Part Of U.S. Constitution
LETTER from GARRETT deBLIECK

‘Right To Bear Arms,’

An ‘Unalienable’ Part

Of U.S. Constitution

To the Editor:

It seems writing this out shouldn’t be necessary. 2AS, spelled out is “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”

The word “sanctuary” meaning a place of safety, refuge and protection. The Second Amendment is one of 10 listed “unalienable” Rights written in our Constitutional Law. So, put together, it is a cause of protecting and safeguarding an American Right. So where is the problem?

Perhaps a proper start is identifying that the origin of the Bill of Rights is grounded on the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration lists 27 transgressions of Great Britain against the Colonies. These transgressions manifested by virtue of violating basic rights of the people. As the Declaration states, “…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”…” That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Therein lies the necessity of the Bill of Rights. Rights which function as what government is prohibited to violate.
If there is ever a word among all written within the Constitution, I cannot imagine any more actively ignored than “infringed.”

Taken straight from the Merriam-Webster dictionary; “to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another.”

Enter now the nonstop obsession toward “gun control” laws. By their very definition, manifest as infringements. For decades, we have, as a people, generally permitted various gun control laws. But over the past few years in particular, it seems like the sun cannot set without some other invented form of gun regulation or prohibition.

The straw that broke the camel’s back has been the proposed draconian prohibitions, bans and ever more gun controls in the state of Virginia. This was compounded by various federal government politicians who removed their masks and called for outright gun bans. Further, Governor Cuomo has in mind yet another chain of regulations and prohibitions. The Bill of Rights be damned. We, of 2AS, stand united claiming, “Enough Is Enough!”

There seems so much that the “anti-gunners” do not understand concerning the function of the Second Amendment. One prime example is the phrase “no sanctuary for guns”. And another manifested as a statement decrying America embracing a “gun culture.” Whether these people were misinformed or deliberately deceived, they are clearly embracing what the Right isn’t.

This may come as a surprise to some, but the foundation of the Second Amendment is NOT about guns. It is about ensuring a balance of power “to the security of a free State.” Thomas Paine expressed it in this way, “The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute in arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside.”

In other words, if all firearms on this earth were to evaporate into thin air, would we still need a Second Amendment? The answer is yes, because arms of other forms (axes, knives…etc) remain. Imbalances of power can still exist. Human history is filled with examples where oppression, ages before any firearm came into existence, could have been avoided.

But firearms exist in the modern world. Therefore, a balance of power can only be achieved by virtue of equal firearm possession between the governing and the governed. This is less a “culture” than it is a free civilization necessity. Supporting gun bans will not make the guns disappear. Rather it creates a power imbalance. “Peace” exists only at the pleasure of the powerful. History teaches this a fool’s errand.

GARRETT deBLIECK
Unadilla

KATZ: Give Mayor Help She Needs To Complete Work At Hand
LETTER from JEFF KATZ

Give Mayor Help She Needs

To Complete Work At Hand

To the Editor:

Under the leadership of Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, the good work of the village government has continued. The enormous wastewater treatment plant rebuild has begun, as has the Doubleday Field renovation.

Add to that the fantastic update of Pioneer Park and the TEP Main Street project and the village has never looked as good, or been taken care of so well.

This is not easy work and takes a mayor and Board of Trustees (including Joe Membrino and MacGuire Benton, both running for reelection) dedicated, both in spirit and in time, to getting the job done.

I was speaking with a Main Street business owner recently who had had an epiphany – it wasn’t so long ago that improvements to the village infrastructure were few and far between.

He was now so used to the constant work being done to bring the village to the improved condition it deserves to be in that he’d forgotten that this wasn’t always the state of things.

Let’s keep that constructive progress going by voting for Tillapaugh, Membrino and Benton. Election Day is March 18.

JEFF KATZ
Cooperstown

TILLAPAUGH: Vote So Work Can Get Done
LETTER from ELLEN TILLAPAUGH KUCH

Mayor Tillapaugh: Vote

So Work Can Get Done

To the Editor:

Since 2011, I have been honored to serve my hometown community in village government. First elected as a trustee in 2011, I was appointed deputy mayor in 2014 and served in that capacity until my election as mayor in 2018.

Over the past nine years, I along with fellow elected officials have worked to stabilize the village’s finances. We are proud that for seven budget years, since our 2013-14 budget, there has been no increase in the tax levy. It has remained at $1,779,194 and represents a tax rate of $5.21 per $1000 of assessed value. The current budget is on the Village’s website (cooperstownny.org) under “Government” and the “Board of Trustee Meetings” drop down menu. The tentative budget for 2020-21 was completed this month, and again proposes no increase in the tax levy.

At the same time, by developing new revenue sources and successfully securing grant funding, the Village Board has been able to undertake significant and long overdue infrastructure improvements in our community.

Projects include:

• The $1.2 million Pioneer Street project completed in 2018, replaced sewer & water lines, street pavement and curbing on Pioneer, from Otsego Lake to Elm Street.

• The $9.1 million Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade began in September 2019, and is scheduled for completion in December 2020. Funded by grants and Environmental Facilities Corp low interest financing, there will be no increase in water/sewer rates for Village residents. This replacement of the original 1969 facility (originally designed to serve for 25 years) will meet village needs for decades.

• The $2.4 million Downtown Pedestrian Improvement Project (federal TEP grant) funds new Main Street sidewalks and provides for signage, street benches, tree plantings, decorative lamp posts and compacting trash receptacles. Begun in the fall of 2018, this project will conclude this spring with work at the Main-Chestnut intersection.

• Last fall, Pioneer Park was upgraded with the installation of ADA compliant brick pavers, a performance stage area, improved lighting and re-configured plant beds.

$5.8 million in improvements are underway at Doubleday Field. By May 15, the week prior to HOF Classic Weekend, two major phases of the project will be complete – the Main Street entrance/parking lot redesign and the 1939 Grandstand renovations. Work will continue on the new 3rd base bleachers and building.

We are pleased to have been awarded the Village’s first Community Development Block Grant, to support a local business, the Cooperstown Distillery, in expanding their operation. Additional grant funded projects to commence this spring involve the Willow Creek culvert, the Village Hall skylight, and Mill Street.

I am honored to serve as mayor and to devote time and leadership to our community. I would appreciate your continued support on March 18 in the Village Election.

ELLEN TILLAPAUGH KUCH
Mayor
Village of Cooperstown

PAULITS: Disenfranchised, We Should Be Allowed To Contribute
LETTER from JOHN PAULITS

Disenfranchised, We Should

Be Allowed To Contributed

To the Editor:

Re Mr. Kuzminski’s suggestion that politics and political donations be local, I’d like to point out that legislators from Alaska to Florida vote on laws affecting Cooperstown.

If a Senate or House member from any state consistently votes on items damaging to Cooperstown’s best interest, there should be no reason to ignore that. Indeed, it should be an incentive, to help elect a legislator more sympathetic to local interests.

Voting for a far-off legislator isn’t possible, but contributing to his/her campaign is. Not to do so for the reasons stated in the essay would be purity at its worst.

JOHN PAULITS
New York

COLONE: Want One Oneonta? City Must Use Assets As Leverage v. Town
LETTER from ALBERT COLONE

Want Single Oneonta?

City Must Use Assets

As Leverage v. Town

To the Editor:

No municipality should extend its services beyond its boundary lines!” That was the opening statement made by Wade Beltramo, general counsel for the New York Conference of Mayors inside the City Council Chambers on March 28, 2017.
The general counsel was invited by the City of Oneonta to give a presentation on municipal annexation.

I bring it up in that the last edition of your newspaper was loaded with extremely positive articles, most surrounding the
commercial promise of expanded downtown market-rate housing. We’d all love to see that!

With all the positive articles, the one which caught my eye, the one which I believe would have the greatest impact on growing the Oneonta economy was the article on extending the City sewer line from the city/town boundary line out to Oneonta Plaza to facilitate a possible move by the Brooks BBQ sauce-bottling plant into that mall. A great idea! To me it was the singular article that would do the most good for Oneonta.

But, recall the words of Counsel Beltramo, “No municipality should extend its services beyond its boundary lines!” So, I would strongly suggest the city agree to extend its sewer line to serve all of the area along Route 7 all the way to the Price Chopper Mall or beyond, conditioned on the town working with affected property owners to secure agreements to be annexed into the city.

The town does not own a sewage treatment system of its own, so if the town is to provide sewer to the Oneonta Plaza and/or points to the east, the town supervisor and the town board have to strike an agreement with the city.

So rather than pontificating through the local media about extended sewer services into the town, something the town can’t do on its own, Town Supervisor Bob Wood and other town leaders should immediately negotiate with Mayor Herzig and city leaders. If sewerage is to be extended into the town, it’s not a town decision, but rather the city’s. Let’s face it, the city has supplied a variety of public services into the town, with little if nothing in return; in the 1950s, city water was extended to the West End, where the city continues to pay taxes to the town of about $70,000 a year ($40,000 in property taxes on the land at the watershed and $30,000 per annum for the water infrastructure into the West End).

In the early 2000s, the city extended its sewer system to the Southside business district to help mitigate its ongoing fresh-water contamination issues; add to that, the city underwrites the largest local share of the costs for a public bus system that extends into the town, as well the city pays $70,000 every year to promote travel to the area where most of the motor inn/restaurant/retail beneficiaries are located in the town.

So, as you can see, the city has had a big heart in assisting the town over the many years; all the while the town got richer at the expense of the city. Not too smart! That trend needs to change, NOW!

Supervisor Wood would do well to see the wisdom in supporting the common good and agree to an arrangement, where the city extends sewer services into the East End and in working hard towards securing properties served to be annexed into the city.

The city might be wise to also agree to extending public safety and others valued services out that way; where perhaps a 20-year prorated property tax structure could be established to fund the service program, making it practical financially for all concerned.

If he hasn’t already done so, Supervisor Wood should immediately meet with Mayor Herzig to put this all important issue on the table. The town can’t do the project without the leadership of the city, so move on with extension of sewer services to the Town’s East End with the provision the affected area be annexed into the city. And while they’re at it, consider the same action on Oneida Street, out through the West End to the multi-acre vacant lot between Routes 7 and 205. The area’s economy would get a very positive jolt in growing city/town commerce. The city needs to start acting on every issue that comes its way, evaluating them all based on what’s best for city coffers and with highest consideration for the taxpayers of the city!
Two Oneonta governments are unsustainable!

ALBERT COLONE
Resident, City of Oneonta

MacMILLAN: Reserve Village Flagpole For The Stars & Stripes
LETTER from ROGER MacMILLAN

Reserve Village Flagpole

For The Stars & Stripes

To the Editor:

I am opposed to flying the rainbow flag from the Cooperstown village flagpole during Pride Month this June.

Let me make myself clear, I have many friends who have their personal orientation and I fully support them in every sense of the word. As such, it is none of my business concerning their individual persuasion.

However, I believe that the American flag flown from the central village flagpole represents all of us citizens and should not promote a particular minority or cause.

I have been informed that presently “on the books” is a decision by the trustees to fly the rainbow flag on the village flagpole this coming June. The decision by the trustees to do so may be revisited once the new board is elected next week.

I know that Mary Margaret agrees with me concerning the above, so I urge you to vote for her to keep the U.S. flag alone on the village flagpole.

In a previous letter I explained my many reasons for my preference for her and I am voting for Mary Margaret. Remember, every vote counts, so vote in this coming election.

ROGER MacMILLAN
Cooperstown

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