Maryland Resident, Oneonta Realtor
Proposed As Oberacker Successor
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
SCHENEVUS – Republican county committee members from the county board’s District 6 met last evening and nominated Jennifer Mickle, a Town of Maryland resident and Oneonta businesswoman, to succeed state Senator-elect Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, on the county board.
The candidate, who also has experience in local government and community service, called it “a wonderful opportunity. I’ve always believed in public service and giving back to the community. I hope my experience will not only be a benefit to District 6, but to the county as a whole.”
District 6 is comprised of the towns of Maryland (including Schenevus), Worcester, Westford and Decatur.
Oberacker, who was elected Nov. 3 to succeed state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, in Albany, resigned Monday from the county board, creating the vacancy, according to GOP County Chairman Vince Casale.
“She just rose to the top,” said Oberacker, who proposed Mickle as his replacement, attended last night’s meeting, and said he supports her nomination to succeed him. “She asked all the right questions. She was very intuitive, asking about the budget, asking about where, in my opinion, I see Otsego County going.
“She was laser-focused. I think she’s going to be an exceptional board member.” he said.
For her part, Mickle, who operates Oneonta’s United Student Rentals with her husband, Ron, said, “As small business owners, we’re interested in county finances, and keeping taxes below the tax cap.”
The county board’s Administration Committee will consider Mickle’s nomination when it meets a 9 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 19) via Zoom. Casale said he expects the nominee will be available to answer the committee’s questions.
If the Administration Committee supports Mickle to succeed Oberacker, it can make a recommendation, and the full county board could confirm her at its Dec. 2 meeting. Since, without Oberacker’s weighted vote, neither party commands a majority, there would have to be some bipartisan support for the appointment.
On the Admin Committee, however, the chairman, Meg Kennedy, C-Hartwick-Milford-Mount Vision), and the three Republicans control 1,505 weighted votes; the two Democrats, 746 votes.
The county Democratic chairman, Clark Oliver, said he was surprised by the speed of Oberacker’s resignation and Mickle’s selection.
Having only learned of Oberacker’s resignation today, he said, “They would like not to give the Democrats the opportunity to come up with a candidate.” Still, he hopes to identify a prospect by tomorrow’s Admin meeting.
Raised in the Cooperstown area, Mickle said she is “a member of the first four-generation family to graduate from Cooperstown Central School.” Her niece, Clara Pokorny, will be the fifth generation.
After graduating from CCS, she attended SUNY Cobleskill.
She’s the managing partner in United Student Rentals, and is also an associate realtor with Bordinger Realty.
She chairs the Town of Maryland Board of Assessment Review, and also the Northern Otsego Relay for Life committee.
“Her business experience and her charitable contributions to the community give her a leg up,” said Milford Mayor Brian Pokorny, her brother. “I think she’ll do a great job.”