Rep. Powers Denies
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www. AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – County Rep. Jim Powers, R-Butternuts, denies he was the kingmaker – or queenmaker – in Wednesday’s split vote that allowed county Rep. Kathy Clark, R-Otsego, to remain chair of the county Board of Representatives for another year.
“This business of me being the kingmaker is baloney,” he declared when reached yesterday afternoon at his farm near South New Berlin.
Supporters of county Rep. Len Carson, R-Oneonta, said they had expected Powers’ support, but when he shifted his 503 weighted votes to Clark he ensured she would continue to serve as chair for another year.
In the end, Clark receive “aye” votes from only seven members – herself included – of the 14-member board, but the 3,341 combined weighted votes gave her the majority.
Five county reps voted nay, for 1,948 weighted votes, and two – county Reps. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, and David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Middlefield – abstained. The combined nays and abstentions totaled 2,887, only 454 weighted votes short of a majority.
Thus, Powers’ 503 votes held the balance. The past two years, Powers, a former chair himself, tried to line up enough votes to take the helm, but fell short.
In Thursday’s interview, Powers, a veteran representative who has chaired the board in the past, said he had an open mind when he entered the Republican caucus held before Wednesday’s reorganization meeting. In the course of the discussion at the caucus, he said, he determined to support the incumbent Clark for another term.