News of Otsego County

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



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

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

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. So, if you’re thinking of making the most of those new dispensary products online and opening a dispensary in order to cash in on this change in legislation, keep an eye on rules and regulations as they emerge, so that you’re not hit with fines before you have even begun.

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.

On Spending, Pot, LGBTQ Rights, Cuomo Charts Path


On Spending, Pot, LGBTQ Rights, Cuomo Charts Path

Editor’s Note: With Democrats taking control of the state Senate Jan. 1, 2019, Governor Cuomo’s party now controls the state Legislature and his office for the first time in years, prompting him not to wait of the traditional State of the State message, but to issue a first-100-days “Justice Agenda,” a call to action for the state’s Democrats.  Here are the 20 points:

►Ensure a Progressive Tax System, maintaining millionaire’s tax, permanently capping property-tax increases at 2 percent.

►Cut Middle-Class Taxes while Fighting to repeal SALT, the federal limits on state and local deductions.

►Protect Quality, Affordable Health Care by ensuring the health exchange and coverage of pre-existing conditions will be protected at state level.

►Codify Reproductive Rights by passing the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act within 30 days to protect Roe v. Wade protections.

►Enshrine Gender Equality into Law, by passing Equal Rights Amendment to add sex as a protected class.

►Combat Gun Violence, by passing bump-stock ban, extending waiting period to buy a gun from three to 10 days.

►Expand $150 Billion Infrastructure Plan, adding $50 billion for new airports, bridges, train stations across state.

►Ease Traffic in NYC Business District by overhauling Mass Transit Authority.

►Ensure Education Equity by
increasing funding for poor schools.  (A coalition of public educations is seeking a $2 billion increase)

►Pass a Dream Act, to ensure a higher education system that opens the door of opportunity to everyone.

►Launch the Green New Deal,
to make New York’s electricity 100-percent carbon-neutral by 2040 and put state on path to eliminating carbon footprint.

►Ensure Clean, Safe Drinking Water for All, by investing in our water infrastructure and clean our water for our children and our children’s children.

►Improve Our Democracy, by enabling voting by mail, early voting, same-day and automatic voter registration, synchronizing federal and state elections, and make ►Election Day a state holiday to ensure as much participation as possible.

►Increase Trust in the Democratic System, by closing the LLC loophole, banning corporate campaign contributions, overhaul our campaign finance system and ending outside income for lawmakers.

►Protect Public Sector Unions, by expanding protections for public sector labor unions at the local level, and to ensure workers have labor rights in the gig economy.

►Keep Housing Affordable, by reforming rent regulations, including ending vacancy decontrol, repealing preferential rent and limiting capital improvement charges to protect affordable housing and respect tenants’ rights.

►Pass the Child Victims Act, to ensure those who abuse our children are  accountable criminally and civilly.

►Protect LGBTQ Rights, by codify the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act into state law and end conversion therapy.

►Legalize Adult Use of Recreational Marijuana, ending the disproportionate criminalization of one race over another by regulating, legalizing and taxing adult use of recreational marijuana.

►Ensure Fairness in the Criminal Justice System, by ending cash bail and enacting speedy trial and discovery reforms.

From the Governor’s Office – Governor Cuomo outlines the 20 points in his “Justice Agenda” for the first 100 days of Democratic control Dec. 17 at the Roosevelt Institute in Albany.






Fernandez Concedes, Thanks Supporters


Fernandez Concedes,

Thanks Supporters

He Calls Devlin To Congratulate Him

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.COM

Bob Fernandez on Election Night.

OTEGO – Despite the final outcome, county sheriff candidate Bob Fernandez gave thanks all around for a hard-fought campaign that came to an end yesterday afternoon.

“I was honored to have the chance to run for sheriff in Otsego County and I would like to thank all of the bipartisan support for our campaign,” he said in an e-mail. “I also would like to thank the campaign team itself … (and) the Democratic committee, which allowed me to run on their line.”

Delgado Decries Greed To 120 Fans At SUNY

Delgado Decries Greed

To 120 Fans At SUNY

Appearing before an applauding crowd of 120 at SUNY Oneonta’s HIRC Lecture Hall One this evening, Democratic Congressional candidate Antonio Delgado declared that, with the arrival of “greed,” the the country’s modern-day problems began.  Today, he said, 80 percent of Americans are sharing 10 percent of the wealth; 40 percent of the Farm Bill his opponent, Republican incumbent John Faso, R-Kinderhook, voted for benefits only the 3 percent of farmers – wealthy agribusiness.  Some 50 percent of Americans, he said, lack the cash reserves to write a $500 check.   Delgado, who was unable to attend the one debate the Oneonta and Cooperstown Leagues of Women Voters had attempted to organize in Otsego County, was here at one of “community forums” that his campaign is organizing around the 19th Congressional District. (Jim Kevlin/
2 County LWVs Plan Double-Header Debate

2 County LWVs Plan

Double-Header Debate

Devlin v. Fernandez, Seward v. St. George

COOPERSTOWN – A double-header debate has been scheduled for Oct. 22 at The Fenimore Art Museum’s auditorium, a collaborating of the Oneonta and Cooperstown League of Women Voters chapters.

At 6:30 p.m. incumbent county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr., the Republican nominee, and Democratic candidate Bob Fernandez will debate.

‘Non-Partisan’ Sustainable Otsego Again Endorses Only Democrats

‘Non-Partisan’ Sustainable Otsego

Again Endorses Only Democrats

COOPERSTOWN – Sustainable Otsego, “an authorized non-partisan political action committee,” has again endorsed all Democrats in the Nov. 6 election.

The environmental group endorsed:

  • Democrat Antonio Delgado of Rhinebeck vs. U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook.
  • Democrat Joyce St. George, Margaretville, vs. state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford.
  • Democrat Chad McEvoy of Westford vs. Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-New Hartford.

Faso Discusses Tariffs, Opioids, Ag-Worker Drought At Richfield

Faso Discusses Tariffs, Opioids,

Ag-Worker Drought At Richfield

Congressman John Faso, R-Kinderhook, talks with Richfield Town Supervisor Paul Palumbo, center, and Fred Eckler during a campaign stop this evening at the Richfield Springs Central School cafeteria. In response to what 19th Congressional District farmers are telling him, Faso said he’s working on legislation to “normalize the status of agricultural workers” so there are sufficient to plant and harvest crops, in part by moving oversight for those jobs from the Department of Justice to the Department of Agriculture. On opioids, he said he supports a grant to the Ellenville Regional Hospital in the Catskills to guide addicts treated in emergency rooms into counseling. He also reported that 30 percent hikes in aluminum tariffs are being felt in the district by, among others, a 50-employee manufacturer in the Hudson Valley that builds pergolas and outdoor furniture for the rooftops of highrises in Manhattan and Washington D.C. Coming from St. Johnsville, where he visited a high-tech textile factory, Faso headed up Route 20 to meet constituents in Carlisle. He said he “confidant, but not over-confident” about turning back a challenge from Democrat Antonio Delgado in the Nov. 6 general election. (Jim Kevlin/
Richfield Springs Rotary Hosts Faso This Evening

Richfield Springs Rotary

Hosts Faso This Evening

John Faso

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-19th, will make a campaign stop at 5:30 p.m. today at Richfield Springs Central School at the invitation of the local Rotary Club.

He will speak and answer questions for an hour.

His Democratic challenger, Antonio Delgado, spoke at the Richfield Spring Public Library on Aug. 23.  The general election is Nov. 6.

At GOP HQ, High Spirits


At GOP HQ, High Spirits

Otsego County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. receives a hug from his wife Laurie and good wishes from friends and family a few minutes ago at Republican election headquarters in Cooperstown after learning he had turned back a GOP primary challenge from retired state trooper Bob Fernandez, 1,700-1,316. Asked if he had a message for voters, Devlin said, “I’m very pleased with their support. This shows I am doing my job properly. Now, we’ll gear up for the general.” Devlin will face off again in the general election Nov. 6 against Fernandez, who has obtained the Democratic ballot line. (Jim Kevlin/
As County’s Polls Close, Heavy Turnout Reported

As County’s Polls Close,

Heavy Turnout Reported

Election official Sue Straub begins the final paperwork as polls in today’s New York State Primary came to an end 18 minutes ago, with a heavy turnout reported. She is flanked in Cooperstown’s polling place – St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” church hall – by John Rudy and Betsey Snyder. Poll Inspector Tom Lyon reported 417 ballots cast in all (although there were 19 spoils). Turnout was double what it usually is in an off-year primary, he said. There were 289 Democratic ballots cast and 146 Republican ones. Democrats were voting on governor, three statewide races, and Bill Magee vs. Dan Buttermann for state Assembly. Republicans were voting on just one race, county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. vs. his challenger, retired state trooper Bob Fernandez. At Foothills in Oneonta, steady voting throughout the day was also expected. Countywide results are expected after 10 p.m. Liz Callahan, who rushed home from a meeting in Binghamton, cast the final vote at the Cooperstown polling station. (Jim Kevlin/
On Democratic Ballot Line, Fernandez Not ‘Endorsed’

On Democratic Ballot Line,

Fernandez Not ‘Endorsed’

Democrats Debate Over ‘Distinction’ In Sheriff Race

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

The candidates are Bob Fernandez, left, and Richard J. Devlin, Jr.

COOPERSTOWN – While Democrats have allowed Republican and county sheriff’s candidate Bob Fernandez to run on the Democratic ballot line in the Nov. 6 general election, it seems they fell short of an outright “endorsement.”

“Mr. Fernandez has not received the endorsement of the OCDO,” Mike Henrici, the Democratic county election commissioner and county committee secretary emailed after this week’s Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal hit the streets.  “…He does not appear as an endorsed candidate on the OCDC website or anywhere else.  In fact, no motion has even been made in the committee to even consider an endorsement.”

Delgado, Faso Due In County For Richfield, Oneonta Events

Delgado, Faso Due In County

For Richfield, Oneonta Events

The candidates in this fall’s campaign for Congress from Otsego County’s 19th District will be making local public appearances:

  • Today, Democrat Antonio Delgado will conduct a meet and greet at 7 p.m. at the Richfield Springs Public Library, 102 Main St., sponsored by the Rotary Club.  Free; public welcome.
  • Friday, Republican John Faso, the incumbent will be in Oneonta at 5 p.m. for a fish fry to benefit Ed Telfer at the Vets’ Club, 278 Chestnut St. Telfer was injured in a motorcycle accident two weeks ago.
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