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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, MAY 8
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, MAY 8

Hearing On Proposed CCS Budget

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BUDGET HEARING – 6:30 p.m. Learn about the proposed school Budget. Jr./Sr. High School Library, Cooperstown Central School. Info, www.cooperstowncs.org

HIP-HOP OPERA – 7 p.m. See the world premier of “Stomping Grounds,” a show that blends hip-hop and opera to tell a story about survivors of gentrification, the disruption of sacred land, and the fracturing of tradition and history by contemporary realities. SUNY Oneonta Center for Multicultural Experience. Info, glimmerglass.org/festival/second-stages-2017/stomping-grounds/

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The largest combined newspaper circulation and the foremost news website in Otsego County

By far, this quality print and electronic media buy is the most cost-effective way to connect you with the customers that you want most.

  • Hometown Oneonta is mailed to all homes and businesses in Oneonta (13820) and West Oneonta (13861). 100% penetration every week.
  • The Freeman’s Journal offers homes in Cooperstown (13326), the local zip code with the highest disposable income in Otsego County, and also circulates in the areas surrounding Lake Otsego.
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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, APRIL 6
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, APRIL 6

Fun At The Healthy Living Expo

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LIVING HEALTHIER – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Features fun activities, vendors, a Red Cross Blood Drive, presentations on subjects ranging from preventing Lyme disease to a Tai Chi demonstration. Admission, Free. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. Call 607-547-4230 or visit www.lheotsego.com

BENEFIT – 5 – 8 p.m. Spaghetti Dinner & Chinese Auction to benefit Cory Perrault and family while he battles cancer. Hartwick Fire Dept., 3088 Co. Hwy. 11, Hartwick. Call Beth O’Brien at 607-293-6046 or visit www.gofundme.com/the-perrault-family

Golly, Goodbye To All That Was 2018 – And Welcome To Whatever

Golly, Goodbye To All That

Was 2018 – And Welcome To Whatever

To the Editor:

2018 – Farewell. Actually, farewell is an optimistic term, but there is a better expression: good riddance.  Complaints about the past 12 months …

Unregulated patent medicine ads supposedly improving mental function; as well, pills that do miraculous cures and improvements (making “it” larger, disposing of wrinkles, growing hair). Since 1906, the government supposedly regulates such food and drug fraud. The agency is now narcotized by lobbyists and cash gifts.

Focus Indictments Put All Nursing-Home Operators On Notice

Editorial, June 29, 2018

Focus Indictments

Put All Nursing-Home

Operators On Notice

Now we know, lives indeed may be at stake.
Two top executives of Focus Ventures have been arrested on eight counts involving two residents of the county’s former nursing home, Otsego Manor. (The county sold the Manor to Focus in January 2014, for $18.5 million, and Centers Health Care bought it from Focus in January for an undisclosed sum.)
Five of the counts are “endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person.” The other three are “willful violation of health laws.”
Two patients were involved. The first, identified as M.B., was a celebrated case. She was left untended in a wheelchair throughout Memorial Day Weekend 2016. Several nurses and aides faced criminal charges as a result. The second, now known to be Robert Banta, longtime chair of the Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation board; the conservation center on Route 33, Town of Middlefield, is named in his honor. He fell on June 17, 2015, the night he moved into Focus, hit his head, and died a week later.
Arrested and arraigned May 31 in Otsego Town Court in Fly Creek were
Focus CEO Joseph Zupnik and Daniel Herman, a
partner in the company.
The company that operated Focus Otsego, CCRN
Operator, was also charged.

On the one hand, there’s hope in this piece of bad news, hope that nursing-home operators can’t recklessly cut staff and not be held responsible for deadly consequences.
Two weeks before, another piece of bad news, that Centers, Focus’ successor, had unilaterally raised “private pay” rates from $320 to $510 a day, the highest in New York State – Long Island and New York City included – caused a sense of despair. (Since, Centers has rolled it back to $410.)
With federal reimbursement policies forcing public nursing homes into private hands, can nothing be done to ensure the new private owners provide satisfactory care to our most vulnerable fellow citizens?
Recently, Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta, vice chairman of the Otsego County Board of Representatives and chairman of its Human Services Committee, wrote a letter in response to an editorial urging the county board take more responsibility for the former Otsego Manor.
Having sold the Manor, he said, the county board no longer has responsibility for what happens there. This is not to beat up on Koutnik: His opinion is widely shared among county representatives.

The Zupnik-Herman arrests prompt us to repeat our point, and expand on it.
At the very least, the county board should have a representative at every meeting of the Centers (formerly Focus) Family Council. Medicaid regulations require nursing homes that accept federal reimbursement to have such councils. It is the only opportunity for the public to be briefed and ask questions of administrators.
Our state senator and assemblymen should do the same. And certainly, Congressman John Faso, R-Kinderhook, or any Democrat who might defeat him this fall should follow suit – after all, federal reimbursement policies forced the county to sell excellent Otsego Manor to profit-powered entities.
Since, who hasn’t heard stories with dismay about the degradation of service locally?

Regardless, the Zupnik-Herman indictments are excellent news, whatever the resolution of the court case.
The indictments, by the state Attorney General’s Office, send the message loud and clear: Top executives of nursing-home corporations may be exempt from the common decency in the search for profits, but they aren’t exempt from the criminal code.
What’s needed is whistle-blowers, not just private citizens, but the officials we elected to take care of us, who have greater clout in forcing action than the rest of us.
(In this case, that might indeed have already happened; if so, bravo.)

Bassett Getting Ready To Deter Coronavirus

Bassett Getting Ready

To Deter Coronavirus

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

CDC photo of the Coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – If you’re looking for masks and hand sanitizer to minimize the chances of contracting Coronavirus (COVID-19), you’ll have to look elsewhere – Church & Scott is out.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said David Adsit, co-owner and pharmacist. “As soon as the news broke, people started buying them up, and we can’t get any more.”

Though he had plenty of hand sanitizer in stock, by Monday afternoon, March 2, after the news broke that two people in Washington had died and the first case was reported in New York, he was sold out.

A second New York case, in Westchester County, was reported on Tuesday, March 3.

COVID-19 is a respiratory tract virus from a “well-known family” of viruses, according to Dr. Charles Hyman, senior attending physician, infectious diseases at Bassett Hospital. It is believed to have originated in bats before evolving to be contagious to humans.

Symptoms include a cough and fever, with some experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms. “People over 60 or who have underlying health issues are at the biggest risk of complications,” said Hyman. “And symptoms can range from mild to severe.”

The good news is that the mortality rate is only 1.4 percent, according to a paper published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, which studied 1,000 patients with the clinical characteristics of COVID-19.

“Prevention is still evolving, but the Centers for Disease Control recommends you take the usual measures to prevent viral respiratory infections,” he said. “Wash your hands frequently, avoid being in contact with people who are sick, but we know that’s all easier said than done.”

The difficulty, he said, is that the symptoms are very similar to the flu, and testing is not yet available unless the state orders it. Testing kits should be available to hospitals within the next few weeks.

“Unless you have a high fever, an unremitting cough or shortness of breath, you should just contact your care provider by phone,” he said. “But 95 percent of the cases we are likely to see will be extremely mild.”

Bassett has mobilized a team of infection prevention specialists to be ready if a case is identified in Otsego County. “We’re using the CDC paradigm of Identify, Isolate and Test,” he said. “We’re trying to identify what a person of interest might be and where they can be isolated if they do
present with severe symptoms.”

Oneonta High School is also taking precautions; in a letter sent to parents last week, Superintendent Thomas Brindley outlined the school’s stance on the virus.

“Please know that we, in any health-related case, work closely with the Otsego County Department of Health, (which is) working closely with the state Department of Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control relative to this illness,” Brindley wrote.

He recommended students who are feeling ill to stay home until they are fever-free for 24 hours, wash their hands frequently and disinfect most-used objects, including phones.

County Rep. Kennedy Right To Seek Faulty Policy’s End

EDITORIAL

County Rep. Kennedy Right

To Seek Faulty Policy’s End

State Law ‘Silent’ On Issue –

So Stick To What Law Does Say

Meg Kennedy said she will ask her committee to remove extra-legal limits on recording county board meetings

The end of what is, at best, an anomaly, may be in sight.
County Rep. Meg Kennedy, C-Mount Vision, says she plans to ask the Administration Committee she chairs to remove two extralegal
clauses from a policy it passed last month: “Use of Photographic Equipment and Recording Devices at County Meetings.”
The complete policy appears in the box below this editorial. The purported goal, “to allow meetings to be conducted in an orderly manner,” is unobjectionable, although no incident has occurred to spur that.
However, one provision, requiring photographers and videographers to “sign in” – to register with the government, Soviet style – is anathema to the press, and will be to the general public, too, as citizens increasingly use iPhones to record parts of meetings they find significant.
A second provision, unilateral “exclusion from the meeting at the discretion of the chair,” with no appeal or due process of any kind, is likewise worthy of Fidel Castro. Off with their cabezas!
Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal and www.AllOTSEGO.com raised these concerns with Robert Freeman, executive director, state Committee on Open Government, an arm of the New York Department of State, and he also concluded the policy is flawed. His full statement also appears below.

County Attorney Ellen Coccoma, at the Feb. 6 meeting of the Otsego County Board of Representatives, defended the policy she developed. But when asked about the two objectionable clauses, replied, “The law is silent on this.”
Put another way, the county attorney, whom the board depends on to provide accurate legal guidance, came up with two limitations on the freedoms of press and public that are not enabled in a guiding statute, the state Freedom of Information Act, on the books since 1977.
By doing so, she also may have opened the county board to financial liability: In an amendment signed into law in December 2017, the county would have to pay legal fees if a challenge “substantially prevailed,” which Freeman’s opinion suggests is possible.
And the Coccoma Protocol, if you will, is already having a negative effect on news coverage.
As a public service, AllOTSEGO.com has been videotaping monthly county board meetings for more than two years now, but board chair Dave Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, said the videographer would probably have to register, so the Feb. 6 meeting went unrecorded.
Kennedy’s Administration Committee meets at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22.
The question it must answer: Who should control news coverage of the county board and the $110 million government it controls? Independent news outlets and citizen watchdogs, or the county board itself?
The answer’s clear.

As can happen, one anomaly can draw attention to others.
At some point, the 14-member county board surrendered its policy-making responsibilities to its six-member Administration Committee.
In this case, when “Admin” met Jan. 29, the county attorney characterized “Use of Photographic Equipment and Recording Devices at County Meetings” as a routine matter, according to Kennedy. Five of the six committee members in attendance – County Rep. Andrew Stammel, D-Oneonta, had departed – passed it routinely, and it immediately became county board policy.
Look at the county board’s makeup: Four reps are in their first term; another five in their second terms. Most, you can be sure, were unaware the authority of their elective offices had been surrendered to a committee at some time in the past for forgotten reasons.
The full board should change the Rules of Order and take its authority back. If the 14 are to be governed by a policy, it should be presented as a resolution and be voted on by the
full 14.
Even the Administration Committee itself – Kennedy, Stammel and county Reps. Ed Frazier, Gary Koutnik, Keith McCarty and Peter Oberacker – no doubt agrees with that.

A final thought: Robert Freeman is available to give seminars on the FoI Act and open meetings. The county board should invite in him in to do one here. After all, you have to know the law to follow it.
The county attorney should be there, too.

 

 

COLUMN: If Facts Can’t Defuse Deniers, What Can?
The View From Fly Creek

If Facts Can’t Defuse

Deniers, What Can?

‘What is Truth?” Pontius Pilate famously asked. Lately, it seems a bigger question than ever. If, like me, you surf between conservative and liberal websites, Fox News and CNN/MSNBC, talk radio and PBS, Sean Hannity and Alan Chartock, you know that you’re getting radically different, irreconcilable
versions of the truth on virtually any subject.

It’s scary.

The other day, driving down Fly Creek valley, it was Glenn Beck on the radio making fun of people worried about climate change, something President Trump calls a “hoax.” Trump, in a recent tweet, approvingly quoted a renegade Greenpeace activist, Patrick Moore, who says:

“The whole climate crisis is not only Fake News, it’s Fake Science.”

There are policy implications as well. The New York Times reports that the Trump administration is planning to alter the reporting of the government’s “National Climate Assessment” to eliminate projections for the years after 2040. That’s when the worse consequences of greenhouse gas emissions are expected to kick in.

Many conservatives reduce climate change to nothing more than liberal propaganda: a tactic by the left to frighten people into submission while providing a handy excuse to centralize government power and move towards socialism.

Call this Climate Change Denial. One is reminded of other, similar Denials, including Holocaust Denial, the denial that priests ever abuse children, or that smoking causes cancer.

What these denials all have in common is a rejection of overwhelming factual evidence. Photos, documents, and testimony about Nazi extermination camps are brushed aside or said to be fakes.

Accounts of child abuse are dismissed as preposterous. The established correlation between smoking and lung cancer is reduced to speculation.

In the case of climate change, the documented accelerating effects of humanly generated greenhouse gases warming the planet are simply ignored.

This in spite of a near consensus among climate scientists.

An oft-quoted statistic states that something like 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the evidence shows that human activity – using fossil fuels – is the main factor driving climate change.

This near-scientific consensus is blown off by climate deniers. One wonders if they would reject a medical diagnosis given by 97 percent of doctors, or legal advice given by 97 percent of lawyers. That would be considered, by most of us, classic cases of denial.They key tactic of deniers is to find any dissenting opinion at all, and use that to argue that the issue in question remains unsettled.

If you’re an addicted smoker, if you benefited by the appropriation of Jewish property during the war, if you’re a church trying to avoid scandal, or if your economic security depends on the continued use of fossil fuels, then you have an incentive to deny that smoking causes cancer, that the Jews were dispossessed and murdered, that priests molest children, or that humanly created greenhouse gases cause global warming.

Deniers come down on the side of calling something into question just because it’s been disputed. It’s a clever strategy that substitutes opinion for evidence, and it’s become a staple of fake news. It turns into denial when it persists in the face of overwhelming evidence.

This allows climate-change deniers, Holocaust deniers, child-abuse deniers, cigarettes-cause-cancer deniers, and other deniers to sound reasonable. I have my opinion, you have yours, they say, while subverting the truth.

Denial isn’t a monopoly of conservatives, to be sure. Many liberals, for instance, deny that globalization has dramatically increased economic inequality, or that open borders have negative consequences, or that there are gender differences, or that Trump voters are anything other than stupid, misguided “deplorables.”

Indeed, who among us hasn’t fallen into denial at some point in our lives? If I’m focusing here on climate change Denial, it’s because climate change is arguably the most disruptive challenge we face. It’s a denial we can no longer afford.

Absolute certainty isn’t required to make informed, rational decisions. What’s necessary is an objective, reliable standard of evidence, not uniformity of opinion. There will always be outliers who reject objective standards, out of fear, greed, or sheer craziness.

In such psychological states, objectivity itself is denied. Truth, by contrast, is what we normally observe in our common experience, including what we are most likely to experience in the future. We ignore it at our peril.

Adrian Kuzminski, retired Hartwick College philosophy professor and Sustainable Otsego moderator, lives in Fly Creek.

County’s GOP Chairman Reacts: Mueller Report’s 5 p.m. Transmittal Suggests It Has ‘Little Information’

MUELLER’S WORK IS DONE

GOP Chair Skeptical;

Democrat Anticipates

Release Of Particulars

Vince Casale
Aimee Swan

The reactions of Otsego County’s top Republican and Democrat differed to the news Special Counsel Robert Mueller has completed his investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential campaign and transmitted his finding to the Justice Department.

Given the news was not released until 5 p.m. on a Friday suggests it “contains little information the author wants people to know,” said county Republican Chairman Vince Casale, Cooperstown, when asked for his initial reaction to the news.

ERNA: ‘Be Afraid, But Do It Anyway’

INTRODUCING ERNA

‘Be Afraid, But

Do It Anyway’

By ERNA MORGAN McREYNOLDS  • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

One day a woman who had sat next to me at a fundraising dinner called me. She wanted me to be the speaker at an event for women alumnae from NYU. How could I resist? She titled it, “An Interview with a Financial Superstar”.
She asked about my growing up outside a little village in Upstate New York. How did you go from no hot running water in your home to being on the Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors list?

Editor’s Note: Erna Morgan McReynolds, managing director of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Oneonta before her retirement last year, has agreed to write an occasional column for our newspapers. Here, she introduces herself. Enjoy!

Good fortune blessed me. Or I thought it did. As a child I thought I was lucky. Wouldn’t it have awful to be poor in the city? Instead I grew up in a village of 300 and went to a small central school where teachers and villagers alike could look after every child.

Knowing that our family was poor, a teacher helped me get jobs cleaning houses and serving at soirées for the wealthy society of the village.

During my high school years I worked at the grand summer home of a descendant of the founder of the village. Mr. and Mrs. G. gave me special standards.

She dogged my steps as I dusted and polished with her white glove ready to pick up any speck of dust. Her husband led me to his library for 15 minutes every day. He wanted me to learn about music as diverse as the Welsh National Choir to the Brandenburg Concertos.

They gave more. On my day off each week they had me sit with them at their grand dining room table for lunch. I had prepared those gourmet meals using the Cordon Bleu cookery course they bought me.

They taught when and how to use all of those forks and knives and spoons and eat strange foods. Mrs. G called them “alligator pears.” Now I call them avocados. And I know how to do more with them than guacamole. Sometimes my knees shook under the table trying to do everything just right.

As a high school senior, my English teacher persuaded me to write an article which landed a scholarship at a journalism course.

Terrified.

Yet somehow I finished that course thinking I could be God’s gift to journalism. I took a series of jobs when women couldn’t be journalists but only were secretaries, nurses or teachers. I became a sports reporter while going to college, then a radio news director and advertising sales woman at a local station. By selling ads to pay the bills for a group of weekly newspapers, I became a reporter/editor.

Want to know scary? A girl who couldn’t even dribble a ball covering soccer and basketball? Going into rooms filled with cigar smoke, politics and men who sometimes leered.

Next with the naivety of under 20s I emigrated to New Zealand, where I became a reporter for the morning paper in the capital, Wellington. This was the era when there were no real women reporters. There were two others in the newsroom: the women’s page editor and another woman who never saw the light of day working overnight as a sub-editor.

Getting a “round” or a beat was for men. But I became what no man would – the energy reporter. That was 1973 – the year of the oil crisis. Good fortune again. I was in the right place at the right time.

After all of those front page leads, I landed a job as a radio/TV reporter at the NZBC. Great tales attached to both jobs. Then on to London. By age 23 I produced the news and current affairs show which boasted the largest audience in Europe.

Lured back to the U.S. by the most persuasive man I ever met – my husband of 35 years – I became a news producer at 30 Rock, NBC. Scary too. Would I be good enough?

My final career, I thought. Then another piece of good fortune. Lured back to Otsego County by that persuasive man, we built one of the largest investment advisory practices in the country. One of three top teams in America. We advised foreign governments’ social security funds and thousands of individuals.

During those 30 years I became a Girl Scout Woman of Distinction and a Maker – one of a select group of women who “make things happen” along with women like Melinda Gates and Hillary Clinton. Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year. Part of the Barron’s Hall of Fame Advisors. And I spoke at the United Nations in the room where the General Assembly meets. Where they have all of those headpieces that translate to your language.

When my interviewer asked the audience for questions, the first one was … how did you do all of this? What gave you the courage?

The answer: I have no courage. I have been afraid of everything I have ever done.

When Jim Kevlin suggested writing a column – I didn’t think I could do it. I was terrified, but Jim said I could do it so…and more to come.

A French teacher I had once told me I could speak French but that I am a perfectionist. Hope she was right!

Cooperstown Woman On Flight With Atta

CHRONICLES OF 9/11

Cooperstown Woman

On Flight With Atta

‘He Was Looking At Me With Hatred,’

Alena Krug Remembers 18 Years Later

By JENNIFER HILL • Exclusive to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Mohamed Atta, the man Alena Krug saw on the flight out of Minneapolis.

COOPERSTOWN – When Alena Krug saw the pictures of the hijackers on the 6 o’clock news on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, she froze.

Alena Krug

She recognized one of the men: They had been on the same flight out of Minneapolis just three days earlier.  She remembered him because he had stared at her so intensely on the plane that it had unnerved her.

His name was Mohamed Atta.

“I was very late for the flight on that Saturday because I was at a volleyball tournament all day in the Twin Cities,” said Krug, who coached University of Wisconsin-Superior’s team at the time.

Questions Are Neutral. Answers, Not So Much

COLUMN

Questions Are Neutral.

Answers, Not So Much

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Socrates with his mouth open: Asking a question, no doubt.

Asking questions: It’s a method of teaching that goes back to earlier than 399 B.C. and Socrates, the seminal thinker who laid the foundation for much subsequent Western thought.

Hence, the Socratic Method.

The idea is that a question, in itself, is neutral; at worst – or best? – a provocation to think. It’s the resulting answers to the question that aren’t neutral. The hope is that, tested by argumentation, open debate will lead to the best consensus.

So it’s with some surprise that the www.AllOTSEGO.com Poll, begun in February with the question, “Do you want marijuana stores operating in Otsego County?” has become controversial. There’s a Facebook component for further debate.

For Now, Only Choice In Sheriff’s Race Is For Due Process

Editorial for September 7, 2018

For Now, Only

Choice In Sheriff’s

Race Is For Due Process

A letter to the editor the other week drew on the Biblical injunction, “The son shall not suffer for the sins of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquities of the son.” And surely that’s as it should be.
That said, it’s legitimate for open-minded citizens to question how county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. has handled the situation involving his son, Ros, a correctional officer in the jail his father administers since it surfaced in January 2017. At the least, the situation is an awkward one; at worst, a dangerous one.
In effect, according
to a court decision on a
related matter made public on March 31, 2017, Ros Devlin told a fellow C-O he was thinking of committing suicide in front of his disciplining supervisor at the county jail, after first creating a diversion by shooting up an Oneonta or Milford school. (To read the decision for yourself, type “devlin judge’s order” in the search line at www.AllOTSEGO.com)
From the beginning, the sheriff has stood steadfastly by his son, who was suspended for more than a year – albeit, with pay; since March, without pay – by the Otsego County Board of Representatives.
The sheriff claimed a “witchhunt” was in progress; that his downfall was intended, not his son’s.

Devlin
Fernandez

If Ezekiel was right
about sons and fathers, his declaration should be equally valid for wives
and husbands.
That said, it’s legitimate for open-minded citizens to question the role of Kathy Clark, R-Otego, former county board chair – and a tough-minded and determined one – in engineering her husband, Bob Fernandez’s, challenge to Devlin after Fernandez’s retirement from the state police.
In New York State, the sheriff’s position – as with county clerk – is a constitutional office, filled by election, not appointment by a county board. There’s good reason for ensuring a sheriff’s independence: to keep law enforcement and politics separate.
Clark championing of her husband sought to breach that sensible divide.
Further problematic was the engineering of Fernandez’s Democratic endorsement. It grew out of a longtime personal friendship between Kathy Clark and Oneonta’s former Democratic mayor, Kim Muller, who for the time being is county Democratic chair. (She expects to step down when the county committee meets in early October.)
There’s no secret. Both acknowledge close ties between their families going back decades, when their children played in the same soccer league. Still, as you can imagine, the Fernandez endorsement has caused a rift among the Democratic rank and file.

For his part, Devlin has argued he didn’t trust the county board, under Kathy Clark’s chairmanship, to fairly investigate his son.
To his credit, when David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Middlefield, succeeded Clark this past Jan. 3, Devlin then reached out to Bliss, and in March agreed to recuse himself, allowing the board chair to order a medical examination of the son to determine if he is fit to continue as a jail guard.
The good news is: A process is in place. In interview this week, Bliss said the medical examination by a downstate physician who specializes in matters involving law-enforcement personnel is expected by mid-month.
Once the report is submitted, Bliss, in consultation with the county’s personnel lawyers and County Attorney Ellen Coccoma will decide on an appropriate course of action. He said he will keep county reps advised of developments and welcome inputs.
If the decision is made to discipline Ros Devlin, “the officer still has rights,” the board chair said. The younger Devlin could challenge any decision in court. Meanwhile, he will remain off the job without pay.
The bad news, from the perspective if the electorate, it’s unlikely the situation will be resolved before the Nov. 6 general election, Bliss said.

All this matters right now because the first match-up between Devlin and Fernandez comes Thursday, Sept. 13, in a local Republican primary. (That’s Thursday, not Tuesday, which is 9/11 and Rosh Hashanah.) The polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. across Otsego County for registered Republicans.
The vote will not necessarily settle anything. If Devlin, endorsed by the Republican county committee last March, wins, Fernandez has the Democratic county committee endorsement; he will appear on the Nov. 6 general election ballot anyhow.
If Fernandez were to win the Republican primary, Devlin would still appear on three lines – Conservative, Independent and Reform – on the November ballot.

The world is an imperfect place, as we know from our lives and experiences. We often have to choose between imperfect options, and this is one of those cases.
Yet, on the one hand, there is due process, independent of Sheriff Devlin’s control, that we can hope will resolve thinking people’s concerns – either clearing Ros Devlin, or removing him from his position permanently.
On the other hand, there is no due process, only cronyism and the potential that an alliance between husband and wife will inject politics into law enforcement.
For now, the only option is to vote for due process. For the time being, that option is Richard J. Devlin Jr.

 

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6

Violin Concerto With

Catskill Symphony Orchestra

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CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. Start performance season with award winning Violinist William Hagen performing Violin Concerto by Felix Mendelssohn with Catskill Symphony Orchestra. Ballroom, Hunt College Union, SUNY Oneonta. 607-436-2670 or visit catskillsymphony.net/news-events/upcoming-events.html

TRACTOR FEST – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Explore world of tractors, from through exhibits, demonstrations, activities for young and old, more. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org/Tractor-Fest

Gilbert F. Sherman, 90; WWII Veteran, Wilber Bank Loan Officer

IN MEMORIAM: Gilbert F. Sherman, 90;

WWII Veteran, Wilber Bank Loan Officer

ONEONTA – Gilbert F. Sherman, 90, a World War II veteran and retired Wilber Bank loan officer, passed away on May 12, 2017 at Fox Nursing Home.   Previously, he lived in Milford.

He was the husband of the late Jane (Schempf) Sherman. He was born on April 21, 1927 in Middleburgh, son of the late Lee and Edith (Fryar) Sherman. He graduated from Milford Central School in 1944. Gil served in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific during the World War II Army of Occupation as a radio man on a B-17.

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