News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Letters To The Editor

POLITICAL LETTER: Collier Can Be Our Voice In Difficult Times
MURPHY: Collier Can Be Our Voice In Difficult Times

To the Editor:

Now is a difficult time for us all.

There is such sadness, fear and for many people, a daily  struggle just to get by.

I have lived in this area for over 40 years and taught middle and high school students in Cooperstown school for 20 years. I know and celebrate the wide variety of people who live in this district. We are yearning for ethical and respectful political leadership. On June 26. we vote for our Democratic NY-19 Congressional representative.

I am voting for Erin Collier for Congress.

We live in a beautiful area, rich with history, including the wisdom of the Native People who wisely considered how seven generations to come would be affected by their decisions. Erin Collier has the long-range vision we need. She is an experienced economist with working-class communities. She understands the need for healthcare for all and believes clean renewable energy is our future.

There is a saying, “Women hold up half the sky.” Erin is an advocate for all of us, not just the powerful or the loudest. She understands the gender wage gap and the struggles of families and children. Over the years I have known Erin, she has always enjoyed friendships with a wide variety of people. She is not exclusive but inclusive. This is what we need in our Congressional representative.

I have known Erin since she was an 11-year-old student in my class.  I have observed her intellect, her open heart, dedication to purpose, willingness to work hard and her absolute joy in life.

I have seen many students over time find a place where their talents are needed. Many are in this community and many others are in places throughout the world enriching lives of others.

Erin is here now to serve our community.

I will vote for Erin because I know she can represent me in the many layers of working in Congress.

I will vote for Erin knowing that this era of sadness and fear will take a while to change and Erin has the skills and passion to speed us toward a time of balance.

This is a long journey. I begin with one step and will vote for Erin Collier.





Editor’s Note: Due to the large number of Letters to the Editor of Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal, all that didn’t make it into this week’s print editions will be published on before Election Day, next Tuesday, Nov. 7.  The polls will be open from 6 a.m.-9 p.m.  Click here for sample ballots.  This is the SECOND round, with more to follow.

BERLIANT: Glad For DiNapoli’s Support

HOHENSEE: Thank You, Andrew Marietta

WEINBERG: Gelbsman Saves You Money

FRAZIER: Tarbell Dedicated To Oneonta

WEINBERG: Gelbsman Saves You Money

WEINBERG: Gelbsman Saves You Money

To the Editor:

I have known Craig Gelbsman and the Gelbsman family for over 40 years. When Craig was elected to the Otsego County Board of Representatives I was extremely pleased.

Craig is always on top of the issues that matter to the residents of Otsego County. He is fiscally conservative and will not spend the taxpayers’ money without a thorough and thoughtful examination of the issues.

Craig has lived in this county his entire life. He and his wife, Mindy, are raising four wonderful children in Oneonta. Craig is a great example of a person that was born in Otsego County staying in Otsego County.  This is exactly the type of person we need to stay on the County Board.

Craig and I have had many conversations about waste and unnecessary spending in Otsego County and he is constantly fighting for what’s correct for county residents.

The following are just some of the many issues Craig has worked on:

  • Streamlining the budgeting process
  • Communication tower improvements and upgrades
  • Vehicle maintenance and leasing efficiency

Craig worked diligently for several years to have an effective and functioning shared services agreement. This purchasing agreement has saved the county hundreds of thousands of dollars and will continue to save the taxpayers money for years to come.

I urge you to support Craig in the upcoming election.




HOHENSEE: Thank You, Andrew Marietta

HOHENSEE: Thank You, Andrew Marietta

To the Editor:

This is not so much a letter of support as it is one of thanks, to Andrew Marietta for his service as Otsego County representative for District 8 and for his decision to seek re-election. Andrew’s community involvement, honesty, integrity, authenticity and unyielding commitment to serving county residents is admirable and impressive. I appreciate his challenging the status quo to make a positive difference. He’s a pragmatist who understands the challenges faced by Otsego County and he has shown an ability to listen and collaborate, regardless of political party.

I understand there is some question about Andrew’s attendance at county board and committee meetings – there’s really no need. It’s on the record that he has attended 89 of the last 94 meetings of the board or the committees upon which he serves. Hard to question 95 percent attendance (attendance of some other county reps might surprise you though!) But showing up at meetings is a low bar that Andrew clears with ease.
Andrew considers process, systems and opportunities for improvement. And we’d be hard pressed to find a person as committed to community service as Andrew with his current or past board membership on numerous worthy organizations. Additionally, his professional work has benefitted numerous nonprofits in our region that serve residents throughout the county and beyond.

I am particularly grateful for Andrew’s transparency with residents in revealing how county committee structure is lacking, and leaves basic county business to County reps, many of whom change seats every two years. If the county always does what it’s always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always gotten – inefficient and costly governance. The current structure restricts our county reps ability to focus on policy development or the larger issues the county faces. This weakens both areas, disempowering department heads and stifling county operations.
Andrew’s experience and genuine commitment is allowing him to make the county stronger, more efficient and less costly. It seems the current system is failing, action is needed, and I’m glad Andrew is advocating for a better way.

Future success depends on embracing change – thankfully Andrew is stepping up to continue the task.
Thanks again to Andrew and, oh yeah, he’ll have my vote on Nov. 7.

Otsego Town Board

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



Editor’s Note: Due to the large number of Letters to the Editor of Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal, all that didn’t make it into this week’s print editions will be published on before Election Day, next Tuesday, Nov. 7.  The polls will be open from 6 a.m.-9 p.m.  Click here for sample ballots.  This is the first round, with more to follow.

KUZMINSKI: Vote For Democratic Slate

GEDDES-ATWELL: Vote Party, Not Person

WILBER:  Walker Disciplined, Experienced

HENRICI:  Marietta Brings Wisdom, Humor


HENRICI:  Marietta Brings Wisdom, Humor

HENRICI:  Marietta Brings Wisdom, Humor

To the Editor,

I am a political person who generally keeps her opinions to herself.  However, I don’t think I betray that persuasion in the least by endorsing Andrew Marietta for county rep – he is someone we can all stand behind with pride.

When I moved to Cooperstown nearly eight years ago, I began reaching out to anybody who was willing to listen, hoping to make connections and build a life here.  All roads led to Andy – he was seemingly involved in every aspect of public life.

Andy introduced me to the right people and I owe much of my success (if I can be so bold as to call it that) to his generosity.  Along my career path, Andy never wavered in his support, acting as an adviser and helping me get the exceptional training I needed to serve our community well.

And that’s really Andy’s objective:  He works hard every day to help make our community better and stronger.  It’s a simple mission and one to which he is wholly devoted.

That said, Andy is not someone filled with flowery inspiration or spouting pretty talk.  He is a man of precise action, strategy, and ethics.  Andy does his research and makes decisions based on practicality and the good of all people – the embodiment of a common-sense approach with heart.

Andy cannot be influenced by greed or power.  It’s not in his DNA.  He will always take the high road, even at his own expense.  He does not shy from a challenge, but he also chooses his battles carefully and errs on the side of a collaborative, peaceful approach.   Andy does what he says every day, applying his extensive knowledge and skills to make Otsego County a place where home and business thrive.

I am grateful to call Andrew Marietta a friend and colleague – his is a special mixture of wisdom, humor, expertise and dedication.  I encourage everyone to take a hard look at his credentials.  Whether you vote with your head or your heart (or both), you’ll know you made the right choice if you elect Andy.


Director of Education

Fenimore Art Museum

& The Farmers’ Museum

WILBER:  Walker Disciplined, Experienced

WILBER:  Walker Disciplined, Experienced

To the Editor:

I must take issue with your assertion that County Government does not work very well. You are at every board meeting, yet you still make this assertion. I can only assume that you are perhaps asleep in the back of the room. The list of accomplishments would put me over your word limit.

This is also great news that Andrew Marietta has determined the committee system does not work. Perhaps he should share that with the other 61 counties throughout New York, the state Senate and Assembly and the U.S. Congress, because they all use the same system. It’s called being responsible to the electorate.

The reason Andrew Marietta shares that opinion is because a governing board is a team sport and

Andrew is an “I” kind of guy. If Andrew took the time to learn about the committee system he might function better within that environment. But true to form, Andrew points out problem but never offers a solution.

Andrew reminds me of the dentist in the LieLock commercial. He only informs you have cavity, he doesn’t do anything about it.

I am eager to learn what his solution is to replace the committee system. Perhaps he believes the county manager would replace it. Just another example of his lack of understanding of government.

I was surprised to learn he also resurrected the county strategic plan all by himself. I and about a dozen other board members were not aware that it had been scrapped. Anyone who has worked on a town comprehensive plan knows that it takes a long time to finalize such a document. But then again, Andrew doesn’t attend his town meetings to know that.

Please vote for Tim Walker, a disciplined and experienced person who will be a team player to

Represent the Town of Otsego.


Otsego County

Board member

Town of Burlington


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

Performance-Review Missteps Show Need For County Reform

Performance-Review Missteps

Show Need For County Reform

Editor’s Note:  The letter was inadvertently not published in this week’s edition of Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal.  Letters to the Editor for publication in the newspapers may be send to

To the Editor:

I am writing to continue the discussion about future of Otsego County government operations and achieving success for taxpayers.

I have outlined the many challenges we face with our current county government operation.  The status quo is not working, and there is consensus that change must occur, but there is disagreement about the path forward.

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