The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Zoom town hall Tuesday, July 27, to discuss workforce needs for small businesses.
The participants included Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-New Hartford, and Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie.
The overall sentiments of the Zoom call echoed the reality of a huge problem with understaffing and the difficulties hiring employees in Otsego County.
Business owners spoke of restaurants being unable to service customers due to staff shortages and some businesses being forced to close early based on having no staff available.
Audrey Benkenstein, from Opportunities for Otsego, spoke about how many of her organization’s positions required advanced degrees and training, which made finding employees very difficult.
“We serve a vulnerable population and without staffing our programs suffer,” Benkenstein said. She said there were also lack of transportation options, lack of internet issues and lack of day care assistance available.
COOPERSTOWN — Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-NY19, appeared in Otsego County on Thursday, May 28, to speak about the money the county will receive from the American Rescue Plan, which he help shepherd through Congress.
Otsego County receive about $11.5 million, he said, half of which has already been delivered, with the other half to follow within a year. Other county towns and villages will also receive money from the act.
“Its been a joy,” Delgado said. “It’s a real testament to what government can do.”
Delgado also praised the bipartisan nature of the politicians that were gathered at the press conference, including State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-51st District, and State Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102nd District, and said it is how it should be in all forms of government.
“This is a big deal, people,” Delgado said. “We’re able to get real meaningful dollars to our community.”
Delgado also said that they had to make sure “we had flexibility” to get things done with “something more cooperative.”
“I call that direct democracy,” he said.
Delgado spoke on the importance of getting broadband for the county calling it a “basic necessity.”
Today, Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, voted to pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act, to ensure that all LGBTQ Americans are granted the full protections guaranteed by federal civil rights law.
The Equality Act extends anti-discrimination protections not just in the workplace, but in every place – in employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, and public accommodations.
“Our LGBTQ neighbors, friends, and family deserve access to the same rights and protections as every other American,” said Delgado.
ONEONTA – Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, will give the keynote address at the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the State breakfast, held over Zoom this year at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
According to organizer Alan Rubin, Interim President/CEO, Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, and Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102, are also confirmed to be in attendance, with more speakers to be announced.
The event, which is sponsored by Community Bank, is free.
In effect, the Republican Party this season failed to field a candidate against freshman Congressman Antonio Delgado in the 19th District, which includes Otsego County.
While a contest can sharpen an incumbent’s resolve, Delgado – except for voting “aye” on impeachment – has pretty much done everything right in his first term.
First, he’s been present, holding more than two-dozen town hall meetings district-wide, including at Oneonta, Cooperstown and Cherry Valley, and showing up with his family at such places as the Cooperstown Bat Company.
He was at a poverty summit at Foothills last year, and followed up with special funding to Opportunities for Otsego. That’s one of many examples of his attentiveness.
And he’s educated himself on farming, challenges facing small business, broad-
band and other regional challenges. Most astonishingly, he has sponsored legislation of sufficient breadth to pass the Republican Senate and get signed into law by the Republican in chief.
He’s certainly earned reelection, as the Republican Party and major GOP donors seem to have concluded, too.
As of Oct. 14, Delgado had raised $5,689,567 toward his reelection. His challenger, a Poughkeepsie lawyer, Kyle Van De Water, had raised $130,381; that’s 2.3 percent of his opponent’s take.
Van de Water was further damaged, as if that were necessary, by the Ola Hawatmeh sideshow. The St. Louis fashion designer, by way of Poughkeepsie, lost the Republican primary, but continues on as an independent. Her signs are everywhere around here, compared to few to none for Van de Water.
What’s that all about?
Looking ahead, a Delgado victory may work for us in another way.
If Joe Biden wins the presidency, our junior U.S. senator, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, has been mentioned for a Cabinet post. And Delgado’s been mentioned, if that happens, as the leading prospect to fill the Gillibrand vacancy.
Having one of two U.S. senators with such an understanding of Otsego County and the rest of the 19th as Delgado, and all the local contacts he’s developed in the past two years, can’t hurt us.
This may be his local swansong, anyhow. With New York State looking to lose two Congressional districts in next year’s redistricting, one scenario has Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney retiring, and his 18th District in the Hudson Valley being folded into Delgado’s 19th.
If that happens, it’s likely Otsego County could be folded back into a Central New York District – Democrat Anthony Brindisi’s (or Republican Claudia Tenney’s) Utica-based 22nd.
Thinking back on Sherry Boehlert’s and Mike Arcuri’s congressional tenures, that sounds pretty good. After all, the Hudson Valley is a long
BASEBALL – Noon. Virtual Voices of the Game to honor Hall of Fame 2020 inductee Ted Simmons who played alongside hall of famers Paul Molitor and Robin Yount for the Milwaukee Brewers. Join them as they reminisce about the Brewers team and their journey to the Hall of Fame. Visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-legends-of-the-game-Ted-Simmons?date=0 for details.
Today, I testified before Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Majority on the importance of my Fairness for Local Veteran Cemeteries Act, which would ensure #NY19 counties can qualify for VA funding to allow them to protect, support and maintain the final resting place of our nation’s heroes. Watch here ⬇️
Otsego County’s congressman, Antonio Delgado, D-19, today testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs on legislation to authorize the Veterans’ Administration to issue grants to counties to establish, expand or improve veterans cemeteries. “As the law is written, only state-run veteran cemeteries are eligible for the National Cemetery Administration’s Veteran Cemetery Grants Program,” Delgado said. “This prohibition cripples counties in states like New York that do not have state-operated veterans’ cemeteries, but rather county-operated facilities.” Today’s hearing was on Delgado’s Fairness for Local Veteran Cemeteries Act,