News of Otsego County

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Al Rubin

Dissolution Tabled

Will Fire District

Survive? A Stormy

Meeting; No Answer

Unable To Agree, Fire Commissioners

Table Dissolution.  But For How Long?

Hands go up around the room as Commissioner Michelle Catan asks by show of hands who would support a contract with the City of Oneonta. (Parker Fish/

By PARKER FISH • Special to

Attorney Terry Hannigan explains to the crowd how the current fire contract is set up.  He said it takes advantage of town residents. (Parker Fish/

ONEONTA – The Town of Oneonta Fire District lives to see another day.

With a motion on the table to dissolve the fire district,  Fire Commission chair Johna Peachin moved to table it at the end of a stormy meeting this evening.

The tabling passed unanimously, delaying action on dissolving for now – but for how long?

The commission has been in negotiations with the city for over two years on renewing a fire contract that expired at the end of 2016; state Supreme Court Judge Michael V. Coccoma imposed a two-year extension to allow coverage to continue while negotiations continues.

The contract enables the city’s professional Oneonta Fire Department to provide coverage to the town, primarily Southside and the east and west ends.

Fire Commissioners To City: Let’s Talk

Fire Commissioner

To City: Let’s Talk

Al Rubin, commissioner for the Town of Oneonta Fire Commission, stands and addresses Common Council this evening, encouraging the City to talk with him to negotiate a formula for long-term fire coverage. Despite being elected to the position, talks between the two have been stalled, due to the chair of the fire commission not supplying the paperwork authorizing Rubin’s position to negotiate. (Ian Austin/


ONEONTA – Following two years of stalemate, the Town of Oneonta Fire Commission reached out to the City of Oneonta to re-open talks about the contract with the town Fire District.

“We feel the contract is very important,” said Town Supervisor Bob Wood said. “We would like to encourage you to talk, especially with Commissioner (Al) Rubin. He has expressed a strong intention in finding a formula that is fair, one we can go forward with.”

Supervisor, Fire Commissioner Due To Brief City On District Dissolution

Supervisor, Fire Commissioner Due

To Brief City On District Dissolution

ONEONTA – Town Supervisor Bob Wood and town Fire Commissioner Al Rubin will report on the prospective dissolution of the town fire district when Common Council convenes its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall.

The town fire commissioners and City Hall have been stymied for more than two years on a contract that would allow the city’s Oneonta Fire Department to continue providing professional services to the town’s Southside business strip and  well-populated neighborhoods contiguous to the city.

Comprehensive Steering Committee Revises Vision Statement

Comp Plan Committee

Revises Vision Statement

Oneonta resident Al Rubin, a member of Oneonta’s Comprehensive Master Plan Revision Committee, discusses the wording of the current vision statement, which appears at the beginning of the comprehensive plan. Rubin is the chair of the steering committee tasked with creating the comprehensive plan.  At right is committee member Seth Clark. (Parker Fish/

By PARKER FISH • Special to

LEAF Director Julie Dostal reads the revised vision.

ONEONTA – The city’s Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee agreed nothing should be left to interpretation in new plan:  It met for an hour tonight to simply re-word the vision statement.

The vision statement summarizes the characteristics of the city, and what the future should be. In essence, the vision statement summarizes the entire comprehensive plans in a few short sentences.

“In my line of work, this is what we would call a mission statement, rather than a vision statement,” said LEAF Executive Director Julie Dostal, committee  member.

Rubin, Catan Elected Town Fire Commissioners

Rubin, Catan Elected

Town Fire Commissioners

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – With 82 votes for Al Rubin and 83 votes for Michelle Catan, the two join Johna Peachin, Ron Peters and Fred Volpe on the Town of Oneonta Fire Commission.

Voter turnout was higher than normal in an election that can attract results in the single digits,  with both candidates supporting paid fire protection from the City of Oneonta.

‘Happy Christmas!’ Calendar Begins In This Week’s Papers

‘Happy Christmas!’ Calendar

Begins In This Week’s Papers

Lots of news, from former Oneonta Mayor Kim Muller’s prospective elevation to county Democratic chair to folk artist Lavern Kelley’s entry into the Library of Congress. But this edition also marks the beginning of this year’s “Happy Christmas” calendar – with 53 (count ’em, 53) holiday-related events listed in the next 10 days. Get in the spirit of the season, and here’s home. Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal will be on newsstands this afternoon around the county.
Mayor Herzig Appoints Comprehensive Plan Committee

Mayor Appoints Committee

To Revise City’s Comp Plan

Mayor Gary Herzig announces the nine members of the steering committee for the city’s updated Comprehensive Plan (Ian Austin/
Council Member Russ Southard, Sixth Ward, will serve on the committee.


Special to

ONEONTA – Council member Russ Southard, Sixth Ward, Greater Oneonta Historical Society Executive Director Bob Brzozowski, developer Seth Clark and Destination Oneonta’s Rachel Jessup were all named this evening to the Steering Committee to update the city’s comprehensive master plan.

“This is the group that will facilitate the update to the 2007 comprehensive plan, incorporating the City’s vision, addressing the railyards and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative,” said Mayor Gary Herzig.

A&D’s Al Rubin: Competition Welcome, But Safety Required

A&D’s Al Rubin: Competition

Welcome, But Safety Required

Alan Rubin, president of A&D Transportation Services, appeared before Common Council this evening to suggest drafting of a series of safety regulations for any company coming in offering rides. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – Al Rubin, president of A&D Transportation Services and an adopter of Uber-like Red Route, wants to make sure that, if Uber, Lyft or other ride-sharing companies do come into Oneonta, that local riders will be safe.

“You want to know who’s operating in your city,” he told Common Council during the public hearing on the city’s Taxi and Livery code earlier this evening.  “You want to regulate against surge pricing, make sure these companies are going to help police if they need it.”

On WAMC’s ‘Morning Headlines’, Editor Tells Of Uber-Like Ride-Sharing In Oneonta

On WAMC’s ‘Morning Headlines’, Editor

Tells Of Uber-Like Ride-Sharing In Oneonta

All it takes is an iPhone to participate in Oneonta’s new ride-sharing system, as demonstrated by A&D Transportation President Al Rubin, right, and dispatcher Patrick Meredith. ( photo)

In today’s weekly report, “Morning Headlines,” on WAMC, Northeast Public Radio, Jim Kevlin, editor/publisher of (and Hometown Oneonta & the Freeman’s Journal), reported on Red Route, an Uber-like ride-sharing system being pioneered in Otsego County by A&D Transportation Services.

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