COUNTY BOARD REORGANIZES
Dem Koutnik Paired With Republican
In Succeeding Kathy Clark, Ed Frazier
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego County Board of Representatives this morning elected David Bliss, the former Middlefield town supervisor just elected to his second term, to be its chairman this year.
Unanimously, the reps then appointed Democrat Gary Koutnik, the veteran representative from the City of Oneonta, as the vice chair.
The absent county rep was Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, who departs as board vice chair. It was said he had to take his wife to the hospital.
The pairing of a Republican chair with Democratic vice chair is unusual but not unprecedented: Republican Sam Dubben and the late Rich Murphy, a Democrat, shared the leadership in 2010; and Republican Don Linberg was chair and Ron Feldstein vice chair in 2007.
Four new county reps, Michelle Farwell, D-Morris; and three from the City of Oneonta, Danny Lapin, Adrienne Martini and Liz Shannon, took their seats today after a swearing in by county Judge Brian Burns.
The county board is now in executive session, requested by Shannon. The particulars of the session were not made public, but the request came after county Rep. Keith McCarty, R-East Springfield, said his Public Safety & Legal Affairs Committee had recommended reappointment of Ellen Coccoma as county attorney.
Coccoma has been perceived as a staunch ally of Clark, the county board chair who was replaced today.