COOPERSTOWN – In the run-up to taking office, county Rep.-elect Andrew Marietta, D-Town of Otsego, has had a chance to chat with County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner about the DMV dilemma.
It’s this: The state requires counties to have Departments of Motor Vehicles, but is sending license renewals to drivers directly, urging them to renew by mail with Albany or online. “If you do your renewal online,” said Marietta, “we don’t capture any of those revenues.”
So money that could be spent locally – in local establishments, to better fund county operations, or even to keep the tax rate down – is lost.
Most people don’t know that, said Marietta. That’s his point. And his first goal on taking office Jan. 1 as the county rep for the Town of Otsego, which includes Cooperstown west of the Susquehanna River, will be better communications.
As one of only four Democrats to the Republicans’ 10-rep majority, it’s unclear what role Marietta will be able to play in county affairs at first. But he can put his constituents in the information loop immediately.
He plans to launch an e-mail newsletter for the people in his district, and report on county board proceedings promptly. Voters will be able to sign up for the newsletter at an upgraded version of http://andrewmarietta.com/, his campaign website.
I have a bachelor’s degree in history and certificate in business administration from Creighton University. Furthermore, I earned a master’s in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. I also have my NYS insurance broker’s license.
Following graduation from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, I worked in marketing and fundraising at the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum. I transitioned to the New York Council of Nonprofits, and for the past decade, have assisted Otsego County organizations in the areas of governance, strategic planning, marketing, revenue generation and risk management. In addition, I am a licensed broker, providing insurance assistance and guidance.
My knowledge and expertise have provided me with the opportunities to establish connections throughout the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Council. I have traveled all over NYS and learned communities everywhere face common struggles and there is no silver bullet solution.
I have also invested in Cooperstown. I own and operate three buildings with fifteen apartments. I understand that rebuilding our population is crucial to our area’s future success.
I have been involved with the community, serving six years on the Cooperstown Chamber Board, with two years as the Board President. I see the value of the Chamber to businesses and community, and recently rejoined the Board. A strong Chamber means success for everyone. I have worked in marketing and tourism, and recently provided assistance to the New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network and Museum Association of New York.
I am nearing the end of my 4th year on the Cooperstown Central School Board. I presently chair the PR Committee and serve on the Personnel Committee. I am a past Chair of the Cooperstown Winter Carnival Committee. I also serve on the Board of Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network, a service organization helping families in Otsego and surrounding counties.
My wife, Melissa, and I have two daughters: Caroline (9) and Charlotte (5).
IN TWO OR THREE SENTENCES, EXPLAIN YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT:
.My philosophy regarding Otsego County government is focused on transparency, clear communication and partnership. Presently, there is a lack of communication coming from our County leadership, which is problematic and creates a transparency issue and mistrust. It is essential that we immediately strengthen the County’s communication and publicity mechanisms to clearly inform residents about general operations and Representative decisions. Restoring trust and confidence is dependent on accessibility of information. Furthermore, government can better leverage this information to develop partnerships amongst County departments, other municipalities, outside organizations, businesses and the community. A primary focus of government should be to partner and collaborate with businesses and community members within Cooperstown and the Town of Otsego.
WHAT ARE THE THREE MAJOR ISSUES THE OTSEGO COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES FACES, AND HOW WOULD YOU ADDRESS THEM?
The most important issues for me in running for County Representative District 8 are economic development, partnership and planning. Our County leadership is failing to utilize are most important assets. As County Rep, I will work closely with and support Otsego Now to strengthen the collaboration between the County and other business support organizations, including the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce and Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. I will not create redundant efforts, but leverage available resources and partnerships to achieve economic success and enhance our community. I understand and have worked in our local tourism sector and know the tremendous value and impact of Destination Marketing and fully support renewing their expiring contract in 2016. Most importantly, I will advocate for partnerships that benefit our County, like creating a group purchasing program for all of Otsego County’s towns and villages, instead of the short-sighted and poorly executed Onondaga purchasing effort. The County needs to take a leadership role to better serve our municipalities and encourage collaboration and innovation amongst businesses and communities, and this will be my focus.
As we face a fiscal crisis, it is essential that we take decisive steps to encourage business development. Instead, our County leadership proposes drastic cuts and enrolling County employees in welfare programs, all the while touting supposed millions in savings and bed tax funds never to be delivered. Furthermore, a weak and insufficient County planning process lead by our present leadership offers us only more of the same. I propose leveraging the MV500 collaboration and its various experts to help Otsego County develop a roadmap and vision for future success. Let’s leverage County resources and the grassroots efforts of MV500 and Cooperstown Comprehensive Plan to chart a better future for Cooperstown, the Town of Otsego and the County.
WHAT QUALITIES/EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE THAT MAKES YOU THE BETTER CHOICE IN THIS RACE:
I first moved to Otsego County, coming to Cooperstown to attend the Cooperstown Graduate Program and then joining the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum to work in tourism and revenue development. I came to learn about how Cooperstown and the Town of Otsego, including our many museums and other tourist attractions and small businesses, are economic drivers for the County. I transitioned to the New York Council of Nonprofits, and now have been working for over a decade helping strengthen and support the essential organizations that support our social safety net and cultural activities in the community. I came to understand the infrastructure needs of our community and how we come together to support each other. I started my own business, taking multi-unit buildings in Cooperstown and improving them to offer quality 12 month rental housing. I came to see the importance of small business to Cooperstown and the Town of Otsego and the impact of investing in the community. I joined the Cooperstown School Board and worked in partnership with my fellow board members and the administration to achieve significant health insurance savings, open the school for paid enrollment and better leverage Cooperstown Central School as an asset for the County. I learned about the importance of education to our community and providing the tools and resources our school needs to make our students more successful and attract more residents.
In all my interactions and community involvement, I have learned our success is interconnected. Furthermore, I understand the planning process and have worked with organizations throughout our community to map out a vision and plan for the future. There are no silver bullet solutions for Otsego County. As a business owner, father, community member, and candidate for Otsego County Representative, I will bring the change and investment in future we need in Otsego County.
IS THERE A STATEMENT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH VOTERS?
As a collaborator, I will work behind the scenes to strengthen our community, leveraging the assets we have to achieve the best return on investment. I am dedicated to improving the quality of life and economic impact of Cooperstown and Town of Otsego by building upon Otsego County’s opportunities. I have the right experience. I have the right entrepreneurial skills. I’m the right choice for Otsego County Representative.
COOPERSTOWN – Andrew Marietta, regional director of the New York Council of Nonprofits for the past decade, announced a few minutes ago he is running for the county Board of Representatives in District 8, which includes the Town of Otsego and Village of Cooperstown west of the Susquehanna River.
At Democrat, he is challenge Rick Hulse Jr., the Republican incumbent.
“At the county, we have to go up a level and make more impact,” said Marietta, who was selected by an independent panel of judges earlier this year as one of The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta’s “20 Under 40” outstanding citizens. “What’s the best way to connect the dots?” he asked.