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Politics

MARK DAVIES: ONEONTA COMMON COUNCIL, WARD 2

MARK DAVIES

ONEONTA COMMON COUNCIL, WARD 2

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE:  Oneonta 2nd Ward

Mark Davies

EDUCATION:

Ed.D. Educational Foundations, Rutgers University

M.Ed. Rutgers University

B.A. Stockton University

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:  Professor of Education, Hartwick College (17 Years); High School Social Studies Teacher (8 Years)

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:

Environmental Board  – 2013-present

Chair of the Environmental Board –  2015-present

Sustainability Task Force Chairperson – 2010-2015

County-wide Composting  Project 2014-present

County Energy Task Force, Co-Chair Environment Sub-Committee –  2019-present

City Comprehensive Planning Committee – 2017-2019

Board Member, Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) – 2017-present.

Board Member, Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) – 2009-2013

Oneonta Soccer Club Coach 2007-2011

FAMILY:   Married to Diana Portalatin for 29 years; son, Kai (22); daughter, Marly (20)

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT:

Elected officials need to represent the people and make decisions that are in the best interest of the people and enhance their quality of life.

MAJOR ISSUES FACING CITY OF ONEONTA:

Oneonta faces challenges in the years ahead:

  • With an aging infrastructure, updates and improvements need to take place.
  • Family housing is disappearing in the city, we need to explore strategies to increase middle-income and family housing to attract more families to Oneonta.
  • In order to attract businesses to Oneonta, we need to develop and implement a strategic plan for business development.
  • Given the realities of climate change, we need to vigilantly protect the environmental health of our community and reduce our carbon footprint.

MY QUALITIES:

I look for opportunities to collaborate with people, which often requires moving beyond differences and working to find common ground.  I start from a position of respect for all people in all of my interactions.  I enjoy the challenge of solving problems through developing creative or logical solutions.  I have always been guided by the simple idea that we have a responsibility to do what is best for people and best for the environment; because the people in our lives and the places we live are most valuable.

STATEMENT: 

I’m running for Common Council because I am deeply committed to serving the community, addressing our challenges, and working to secure a high quality of life for all community members without sacrificing our environmental health now and into the future.

KAYTEE LIPARI SHUE ONEONTA COMMON COUNCIL, WARD 4

KAYTEE LIPARI SHUE

ONEONTA COMMON COUNCIL, WARD 4

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE:  Center Street, Oneonta for over 30 years.

EDUCATION:  Oneonta City Schools (’05) and Academy of Art University in San Francisco (advertising)

Kaytee Lipari Shue

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:  Retail business leadership for over 10 years, most notably maurices at the Southside Mall for five years.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:  City of Oneonta sustainability taskforce alongside Mark Davies. First United Methodist Thanksgiving dinner volunteer for several years. Represented maurices as a local Chamber of Commerce member. Coordinator of numerous drives and events as Store Leader of maurices benefitting local groups – focusing on women, children, seniors and animals.

FAMILY: I have a husband, Jared, who is also an Oneonta native, and a son, Henry.

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT:  Council members should be elected to advocate for their constituents and ensure tax dollars are used to appropriately address community needs.

MAJOR ISSUES FACING CITY OF ONEONTA:  

I think it’s important that we are finding purposeful solutions for the future, rather than making potentially short-sighted decisions. For example, the DRI grant is an important opportunity and it’s crucial that we think about how the decisions we make now will age in the community we want to build.

It’s critical that we focus on growing the local economy by encouraging quality job creation and by reducing the tax burden on homeowners.

We need to facilitate a symbiotic relationship between the City and the colleges. We are a college town – so the students are a vital part of our city’s character, but our year-round residents who have invested in our community deserve respect. This is a continual issue for the residents of my district, so it’s important that we set expectations clearly so that we are all participating in a shared vision for our neighborhood. We should also tap into the college community when it comes to growing industry in our area, as supporting students with jobs in their field after they graduate will help them view (and treat) Oneonta as their home.

I’m also passionate about increased communication and transparency between City Hall and city residents so that everyone feels involved in the processes that impact our quality of life.

MY QUALITIES: strong communicator, results focused, driven, organized, and genuinely optimistic.

STATEMENT: 

When people I grew up with hear that I’m still in our hometown, a lot of them ask me why – and that is exactly why I’m running for city government. The perception among many is that Oneonta is a great place to grow up, but not a great place to stay.  We raise great kids, and so many more move here to go to college, but then most end up elsewhere because there isn’t anything to keep them here long term. It’s hard to find housing. It’s hard to find jobs. “There isn’t anything to do.”

Our community has so much potential. We could absolutely be a destination for other families like mine to put down roots; to live, work, shop, dine, and proudly call Oneonta their home. In recent years, we have taken steps toward that potential, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I’m motivated to dig in, work hard, find solutions to our challenges, and be involved in these decisions that will shape the future of Oneonta.

As a lifelong resident of the Fourth Ward, you can trust that my perspective on issues will come from a place of deeply held personal understanding.  I’ve been here through the ups and downs in our community, and I can relate to many of the concerns of my neighbors. Now, more than ever, city residents are voicing their opinions, hoping to be heard by those making decisions on their behalf – and I would be excited and honored to be their representative.

I can be reached via email at LS4Oneonta@yahoo.com for further discussion.

I hope to earn my neighbors’ support in the Democratic primary on June 25th!

JERID GOSS: ONEONTA COMMON COUNCIL, WARD 4

JERID GOSS

ONEONTA COMMON COUNCIL, WARD 4

Jerid Goss

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE: Ford Avenue

EDUCATION: Bachelor of the Arts

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Sales, administration, entrepreneurial

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT: Social rights, individual freedoms

MAJOR ISSUES FACING CITY OF ONEONTA: Shrinking tax base, businesses closing, green energies

MY QUALITIES: Driven, communicative, fact-based logic

STATEMENT: My primary goal is to encourage startup businesses which will ultimately serve to increase tax base, create jobs, and raise median income. In the mean time, we’re going to take great care of the businesses we still have!

SETH CLARK: ONEONTA COMMON COUNCIL, WARD 2

SETH CLARK

ONEONTA COMMON COUNCIL, WARD 2

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE: Oneonta

EDUCATION: BA in English, MFA in music

Seth Clark

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 24 years experience in the local business community.  Manager of Peter Clark Student Rentals 1995-2010, Owner of various rental properties 2010-present.  College music instructor 1994-1995.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Steering Committee, Oneonta Comprehensive Plan re-write 2017-2019.  I have been deeply involved with the Oneonta small business community as part of my day-to-day professional life since 1995.

FAMILY: Peter Clark, father, Angela Clark, mother.  My father is one of the most successful businessmen in the history of Oneonta.  Some people seem to think that should count against me in this race. That’s just silly.

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT: I don’t care whether we have small government or big government, but we definitely should have COMPETENT government.  That means we listen to our citizens.  That means we don’t put a huge income-restricted housing project in a neighborhood that is overwhelmingly against it.  That means we recognize that the local small business community is struggling, and we address the needs this struggle brings to light.  That means we embrace our local student population as full-fledged citizens of our community, citizens to be respected.  They are, after all, half of the citizenry.  That means we promote new job opportunities intelligently, because we recognize that there is terrible income inequality even in our small community, and that such inequality is thoroughly unacceptable.  And that means we have leaders who understand the workings of our local economy, leaders that understand what grows the economy and what hinders it.

MAJOR ISSUES FACING CITY OF ONEONTA: Over 60 small businesses have closed since the DRI initiative was announced three years ago.  We have, in that time, spent between 1.5 and 2 million dollars on consultants (mostly from outside Oneonta).  We have shameful income inequality.  According to the information I can get from the local school system, fully half of the families in this area are food insecure.  And the city government needs leaders, like myself, who understand the needs of local business and the local economy.

MY QUALITIES:I understand the local economy very, very well, because I have been studying it for the past 25 years.  Studying the economy is part of my job.  Other than that, patience is a virtue.  Impatience is also a virtue.

STATEMENT:  Oneonta is in a period of rapid flux.  The small businesses that weave our community together are certainly on thin ice.  Many of the leaders currently in City Hall want to score cheap political points by creating a false sense that it’s “us” (the year-round residents) versus “them” (our college students).  That kind of rhetoric is completely unproductive.  We need leaders who understand business, understand higher education, understand housing, and how housing availability is effected by the local economy.  If we keep waiting around for the DRI money to materialize and for the rail yards to be developed, we will all grow old waiting while the Oneonta that we know and love disappears beneath our feet.

Big Guys Keep Little Guys From Thriving, Delgado Says

Big Guys Keep Little Guys

From Thriving, Delgado Says

By JENNIFER HILL  • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Congressman Delgado

ONEONTA – Coming off a week of “Town Halls,” with students, small-business owners and farmers,  U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado,  D-19, said in a teleconference press briefing this morning that while there were “critically important” national issues, most people in his district want to know “how do we improve the area.”

In discussing how to improve the area, Delgado often framed his responses in big corporations/industry/Washington insiders versus the little guy: i.e., his constituents. He cited a poll published yesterday in the Washington Post that found 60 percent of Americans feel that way.

Sixth Ward Will Fight River Street Housing Project

THE TARGET: RSS PROPOSAL

50 Neighbors

Uniting To Fight

Housing Project

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Fran Colone convened the meeting of 50 neighbors to organize against the RSS project proposed for the Sixth Ward. “There are multiple bad reasons for the project,” Colone said. (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO.com)

ONEONTA – Christened “Sixth Ward Neighbors United,” River Street residents and businesspeople met for more than two hours with  city, county and state elected officials at the Sixth Ward Athletic Club Thursday evening  to discuss strategies to oppose RSS’s housing development in their neighborhood.

“There are multiple bad reasons for RSS’s project,” said Fran Colone, a vocal critic of the housing development proposal since last October. “So, we’re turning up the heat and upping our activities.”

“It is bad for Oneonta’s economy, it’s bad in terms of energy services – Oneonta is already energy-strapped; it’s going to increase demand for services here.  Oneonta’s fire department is already understaffed,” Colone said.

Plan ‘Transformative,’ But Details Still Fuzzy

Plan ‘Transformative,’

But Details Still Fuzzy

Nothing On File, And Officials Unclear On How $225K Will Be Used

Ian Austin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA – Cherie Welch, Oneonta, strolls down Main Street toward the Westcott Lot, passing 218-224 Main St., whose owner WHH Realty received $225,000 for a “Transformative” project. No further details are available.

By LIBBY CUDMORE
& JENNIFER HILL

ONEONTA – The DRI Project Selection Committee called the project “transformative” and awarded it $225,000.
But it turns out few details are available on what WHH Realty Corp., owned by city Planning Commission chair Anna Tomaino and her husband, Jimmy T’s proprietor Jim Tomaino, plan for 218-224 Main St.
Asked for details, Project Selection Committee chair Kim Muller, the former mayor, texted, “Some of the information you are looking for may be confidential … I’m trying to figure what level of detail I can share.”
She referred questions to the Tomainos and Mayor Gary Herzig.
Anna Tomaino said, “We want to develop that space for more businesses to move into. We want to see Main Street grow.”

HOMETOWN ONEONTA – Mayors Herzig and Muller announce the first DRI grants Tuesday, March 5, at Foothills.

County Passes Climate Smart Pledge, 12-2

2nd Time Around,

Climate-Smart Idea

Wins County’s OK

Frazier, Clark Vote Nay, But Hope

Is To Gain Access To State Grants

County Rep. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, argues against approving a state “Climate Smart Community Pledge,” saying it would “tie the hands” of businesspeople. (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Failing to do so two months ago, the county Board of Representatives today voted 12-2 to enact a state-sponsored “Climate Smart Community Pledge.”

County Reps. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, and Kathy Clark, R-Otego, who had questioned it last time, when it was referred to the Solid Waste & Environmental Concerns Committee (SWECC) for further study, opposed it again.

Criticism Sours $2M Grants For Downtown

Criticism Sours $2M Grants For Downtown

Railyard Naysayers

Sink Mayor’s Bullish

State Of City Speech

Mayor Herzig

By PATRICK WAGER
& JIM KEVLIN

ONEONTA – In his 2019 State of the State speech, Mayor Gary Herzig Tuesday, March 5, said everyone wants to get to “net zero,” but – “please” – don’t oppose a plan for the D&H railyards “to create much-needed jobs.”
Particularly, “while we go about enjoying our indoor tennis courts, gyms, swimming pools and theaters – all heated with gas. These are not the values of the people of the City of Oneonta,” he said.
The plea fell on 112 sets of deaf ears.

Laurens’ Ric Brockway Challenges Kathy Clark

Laurens’ Ric Brockway

Challenges Kathy Clark

By JIM KEVLIN

Ric Brockway is identified on his Facebook page as “an outdoor columnist and adventurer.”

LAURENS – Ric Brockway is used to climbing mountains.
At 60, he put on a backpack and hiked the 120-mile Northville-Placid Trail through the Adirondacks.
Two years ago, at 70, he climbed the 35 tallest Catskills, winning membership in the 3500 Club.
This year, he’s taking on another challenge: Running against former county board chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego-Laurens, in the June 25 Republican primary.
With his wife, Laurens Town Justice Patricia Brockway, retiring this year, “now’s my time,” said the candidate, who describes himself as an “outdoor columnist and adventurer” on his Facebook page.
“I’ve always been under the impression,” he said in an interview. “If you don’t like what’s happening, you change it. It’s time I voiced my opinion on a few things.”

Vice-Chair Koutnik Planning To Retire From County Board

ELECTION SEASON BEGINS

Vice-Chair Koutnik

Planning To Retire

From County Board

Clark Oliver, Young Democrats’ Chair,

Looking To Succeed Veteran Lawmaker

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Oliver
Koutnik

ONEONTA – Today is the first day petitions may be circulated for this fall’s local elections, and a surprise has already surfaced: Gary Koutnik, Democratic vice chair of the Otsego County Board of Representatives, plans to retire. This time of life comes to everyone at different points, but whatever age you are when you decide to leave work, take a look at these retirement tips to see how to make the most of it.

The news surfaced in a press release from Clark Oliver, who chairs the county’s Young Democrats organization, announcing he plans to run in Koutnik’s District 11 in Oneonta.

Former Reporter Plans To Run From 6th Ward

Former Reporter Plans

To Run From 6th Ward

Mark Boshnack

ONEONTA – Mark Boshnack, retired Daily Star reporter, this afternoon said he plans to run for the Sixth Ward Common Council seat being vacated by Deputy Mayor Russ Southard.

His announcement sets up a contest with Scott Harrington, who announced Friday he is seeking the Ward 6 seat. With Mark Davies announcing this morning he will vie against Seth Clark for the Ward 2 seat, at least two of five vacancies will be contested in November.

Davies Announcement Sets Up First Contest For Common Council

Davies Announcement

Sets Up First Contest

For Common Council 

Professor, Businessman To Vie In 2nd Ward
Davies

ONEONTA – The first contest in November’s Common Council election surfaced a few minutes ago.

Mark Davies, the Hartwick College professor who chairs the city’s Environmental Board, announced he will be running to represent Oneonta’s 2nd Ward on the Common Council, replacing Melissa Nicosia, who isn’t running again.

His announcement sets him up against Seth Clark, a Democrat who announced over the weekend he is running for Nicosia’s seat.

3 More Candidates Running For 5 Slots On Common Council

3 REPUBLICANS, 2 DEMOCRATS

3 More Candidates

Running For 5 Slots

On Common Council

Seth Clark, Jerid Goss, Joshua Bailey

Joining Len Carson, Scott Harrington

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA  ­–  A “Fusion Ticket” has surfaced over the weekend – Democrats Seth Clark and Jerid Goss, and Republican Josh Bailey – aiming to run for Common Council in Ward 2, 4 and 8 respectively.

Along with Republicans Len Carson (in Ward 5) and Scott Harrington (Ward 6), who announced plans to run Thursday and Friday, the emergence of the Fusion Ticket means at least one person will be running in November for Common Council slots in five of the eight wards where Council members are planning to retire.

CLICK HERE FOR MAP OF THE 8 WARDS

 

Oneonta Needs to Prepare for State’s Legalization of Marijuana, Mayor Says

Oneonta Must Prepare

For State’s Marijuana

Legalization, Mayor Says

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Mayor Gary Herzig said Oneonta should start preparing legalization of marijuana. (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO.com)

ONEONTA – The legalization of marijuana is coming soon to the state and Oneonta should begin preparing for it. Similarly to the montana marijuana laws, then once the use of medical marijuana becomes legal in Oneonta, then there will also be rules to follow, in order to comply with the industry and the law.

That was Mayor Gary Herzig’s big news from the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) in Albany, specifically in the meeting of the Community Development Committee of Mayors. which Herzig co-chairs.

“This is something that is coming,” the mayor told Common Council’s Community Development Committee at its meeting this evening. “It…could impact our future and we should start thinking about it, positively or negatively. I don’t have judgement on it either way.” Soon, anyone who is a user of medical marijuana will be able to look into something like speed greens online, if they do not have time to visit a dispensary. But until then, everyone who live in Oneonta will have to wait until this becomes legalised. This may have been a long time coming.

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