Let US Decide How To Reopen, Oberacker Says


Let US Decide

How To Reopen,

Oberacker Says

He Votes Nay But, After Lively Debate,

Republicans, Democrats Come Together

The county board held its second monthly meeting via Zoom this morning, and how to end Governor Cuomo’s PAUSE was the topic of lively debate.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

County Rep. Peter Oberacker, who is also running for state Senate, said the county should prepared a reopening plan itself and present it to the state, rather than the other way around.

COOPERSTOWN – Otsego County shouldn’t be waiting for Governor Cuomo’s permission to reopen as the coronavirus threat wanes, says county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus.

Oberacker, who is also running for state Senate, was the sole “nay” vote as a resolution asking the governor to reopen the county “safely and as soon as possible” passed the Board of Representatives today by a 13-1 vote.

“Why can’t we go to our governor and tell him:  We understand it.  We need to open. Here’s our plan to move forward,” said Oberacker in an interview after the meeting. “Let’s put together a structured plan to reopen Otsego County.”

The resolution the county representatives passed was less specific.

Even then, it was OK’d only after a testy half-hour of discussion between Republicans who had developed the resolution, and Democrats who said they feared reopening too soon would put people at risk.

 “I understand the importance of getting back to work and the economy moving,” said Adrienne Martini, D-Oneonta, “but I don’t know if this is our call to make.  There is a plan, and it’s pretty clear what the state’s plan is. There’s no way to jump-start that plan.”

Board Chair David Bliss and Vice Chair Meg Kennedy adjusted the language, and the measure passed.

Said Vice Chair Meg Kennedy, C-Hartwick/Milford/New Lisbon, whose Administration Committee developed the resolution:  “Sometimes it helps to tell a person – or a governor – that we like your idea.  We want to underscore we want you to keep moving forward.”

Said David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, the board’s chairman: “Just about every county in the state is passing a similar resolution.”

Pass the resolution, said Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla: “It’s just about economics. When it’s safe, when it’s proper, when it’s feasible to open up, we can open up.”

Andrew Stammel

Andrew Stammel, D-Town of Oneonta, expressed concern the Admin Committee developed the statement instead of the Health & Education Committee, which he chairs: “What was being proposed was an issue of public health.”

‘Some things are bigger than Otsego County,” said Stammel. “Viruses are something that cross borders.  The state has the resources to monitor.”

“Leave it to the professionals,” added Jill Basile, D-Oneonta. “We are in support of the governor; I don’t think (the resolution’s) necessary.  It will lead to too much confusion.”

Jill Basile

Both Basile and Danny Lapin, D-Oneonta, objected to a clause, later removed, that said “we mourn the loss of our residents who have died … and those who are ill are constantly on our minds.”  She called it “insensitive.” He called it “gross.”

Bliss recalled that all members were invited to the April 23 Admin Committee meeting where the idea was first discussed.  “There was no discussion at the time,” he said.

In the end, though, consensus was reached.

At the outset of today’s discussion, Kennedy has suggested removing “and that the region encompassing Otsego County be designated as one of the initial regions to reopen to business.”

Clark Oliver

Then the words “and soon” were removed from another paragraph.

Clark Oliver, D-Oneonta, appeared satisfied with the eventual outcome, “I don’t think any of us are experts in the medical field.  We’re not asking to have any authority over the reopening.  We’re supporting the governor’s plan, actually.  It doesn’t say we know best.”

3 thoughts on “Let US Decide How To Reopen, Oberacker Says

  1. Dom

    Open up. Governor Cuomo an expect? There are certain politicians that just want to obstruct to make President Trump look bad.

  2. Terry Novorr

    Congratulations, clear-headed minds prevailed! Cuomo is only hated because he is so darn good at his job, and now the entire country and beyond know that fact.

  3. Phyllis and Michael Ardis

    Open up. We the people have common sense and good judgement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Prove you're not a robot: *