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News of Otsego County

Assemblyman Salka

New Senator Joining Salka To Stem COVID Overreach

New Senator Joining Salka

To Stem COVID Overreach

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Senator Oberacker and his wife Shannon smile at the end of his swearing-in New Year’s Day in Schenevus. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

This could be the begining of a beautiful friendship.

Fresh from his swearing-in as state Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, in his hometown fire hall at 1:08 p.m. New Year’s Day, the freshman signaled he is planning to collaborate with Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, on two key pieces of legislation:

One, as he promised during the campaign, Oberacker plans to introduce legislation mirroring Salka’s to overturn the Democrats’ bail reform, which has allowed suspects in petty and some less-petty crimes to be immediately released.

Two, the new senator is planning to carry the flag in the upper house for Salka’s counter-legislation to two Democratic bills requiring New Yorkers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or, in one of the bills, face possible detention. “That should be a personal choice,” said Oberacker.

“Peter and I have become good friends,” the second-term assemblyman said Tuesday, Jan. 5, the first day of the 2021 session. “I’m excited about having a member of the Senate to consider and possibly carry our legislation through this session.”

Both men appeared Tuesday morning via Zoom on the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s State of the State meeting.

Afterwards, Oberacker, his Chief of Staff (and former campaign manager) Ron Wheeler, and his Communications Director Jeff Bishop headed to Albany, where the senator has been assigned Office 506 in the Legislative Office Building in Empire State Plaza.

Salka was clearing his desk in his Oneida office, planning to head up to Albany Wednesday.

To help continuity between his predecessor, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who represented Otsego County in Albany for 34 years, the new senator will occupy Seward’s Oneonta office on South Main Street.

He has also kept most of Seward’s staff, except his chief of staff, Duncan Davie, the former Oneonta town supervisor, who retired.

Already, Oberacker said in an interview Monday, Jan. 4, constituents are calling, seeking his assistance.

On New Year’s Day, Maryland Town Justice Joseph Staruck swears-in newly elected state Sen. Peter Oberacker, whose wife Shannon
holds the Bible. Oberacker’s mother, Carol, also a town justice, served with Staruck. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

The foremost issue is COVID-fueled unemployment. “I’ve had many inquiries. A lot of folks are wanting to know what should they do, how they should go about it.” He convened a staff meeting that afternoon “to put together an action plan.”

The second issue came out of the Mohawk Valley, where RemArms, controlled by Roundhill Group LLC, described in news reports as “a group of experienced firearms manufacturing and hunting industry professionals,” is seeking to work around the United Mine Workers in reopening the Ilion plant.

The plant, which has traditionally employed many people from Northern Otsego County, was sold to RemArms when Remington was broken up under the supervision of U.S. Bankruptcy Court, according to www.syracuse.com.

Oberacker said he has been seeking to ensure to clear red tape and allow the plant to reopen as soon as possible.

The new senator attended two days of orientation at the state Capitol in mid-December, “to get to know my fellow senators,” and to get guidance from “the vast knowledge that incumbents have. It harkens back to being a freshman on campus.”

Asked about the chances of overturning bail reform, Salka pointed out that Upstate Democrats like Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-Marcy, support him, suggesting he may win votes from across the aisle on his measure.

“We’re hoping to present these bills” – bail reform and blocking mandatory vaccinations – “and get bi-partisan support,” he said.

Meanwhile, he pointed out, Job One will be “the 800-pound gorilla in the room – the $16 billion deficit,” which has risen from $10 billion in a year due to COVID challenges.

Dedication Of Rt. 205 Planned Monday In Honor Of Marine

Dedication Of Rt. 205 Planned

Monday In Honor Of Marine

Marine Sgt. John Kempe Winslow

HARTWICK – The dedication of a section of Route 205 through Hartwick in honor of Marine Corps Sgt. John Kempe Winslow, who died in Vietnam, is planned at 2 p.m. Monday south of the hamlet.

The dedication, which will be attended by state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, had been planned last spring, but was delayed by the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Seward and Salka introduced the legislation in June 2019.

Assemblyman Salka Hosts Bail-Reform Rally Locally

Assemblyman Salka Hosts

Bail-Reform Rally Locally

Lawmakers, Sheriffs, Prosecutors

Gather Thursday At County Jail

Salka

MIDDLEFIELD – Otsego County Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, is organizing at “Repeal Bail Reform” Rally at 10:30 a.m. this Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Otsego County Correctional Facility, next to the county’s Meadows Office Building in the Town of Middlefield.

In addition to state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, attendees include three other assemblyman, including Chris Tague and Brian Miller, who represent parts of Otsego County; four county sheriffs, including Richard J. Devlin Jr.; two district attorneys, including Otsego’s John Muehl, and county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, who is running for state Senate to succeed the retiring Seward.

At Wistful Event, Seward Receives Standing Ovation

VIPS, 140 AT STATE OF STATE

At Wistful Event, Seward

Receives Standing Ovation

A visibly pleased state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, above, who announced last week he will retire at the end of the year after 34 years representing Otsego County in Albany, receives a standing ovation from the 140 attendees at the Otsego Chamber’s State of the State Luncheon today at SUNY Oneonta’s Morris Hall.    He is flanked by Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, right, and Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield.  Insert, left, Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, gave a thundering address after soliciting from the audience three reasons why people are leaving Upstate New York:  High taxes, over regulation and no jobs.  “Let’s address these three issues and bring people back to New York State,” said Tague, a leading Republican prospect to succeed Seward; he would face Jim Barber, a Schoharie farmer, who has won Democratic backing.  “I’d have big shoes to fill,” said Tague, then reported his shoe size as 14 1/2, triple E.   Seward said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back next year.”  He won’t be at the head table, he said, “I’ll be in the audience with you, asking tough questions.”  Also speaking were Mayors Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch of Cooperstown and Gary Herzig of Oneonta.  (Jim Kevin/AllOTSEGO.com)

COUNTY BOARD VIDEO: Delgado, Salka, Justice for Jill Focus When County Reps Meet

CLICK HERE FOR YOUTUBE VIDEO 

Delgado, Salka, Justice for Jill

Focus When County Reps Meet

Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, shakes hands with County Rep. Adrienne Martini, D-Oneonta, at the end of his surprise appearance at the Otsego County Board’s meeting on Oct. 2. The congressman discussed broadband, the opioid crisis and energy challenges facing the region. Also at the meeting, a resolution was passed supporting the goals of the “Justice for Gillian” campaign, and Assembly John Salka, R-Brookfield, briefed reps on issues in Albany that will have a local impact. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com video)
Who’s Who In County GOP At Salka’s Summer Festival

Who’s Who In County GOP

At Salka’s Summer Festival

Otsego County’s Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, top left, shares lessons from the campaign trail with attorney Mark Masler, Cortland, candidate for state Supreme Court judge for the Sixth Judicial District, which includes Otsego County, this afternoon at the freshman assemblyman’s first annual Fall Festival at Rustic Ridge Winery, Town of Burlington. In the background, Rob Norris of Leonardsville, right, and Tripp Swart, West Edmeston, provide the foot-tapping music; the musicians usually play with Loose Canon, a four-man band.  Inset, Army meets Navy, as Maj. Gen. (ret.) Tony German  of Oneonta, left, shares war stories with David Rees of Oneonta and Five Mile Point, a retired Navy man.  German, who stepped down as commander of the New York State National Guard in February, is running for 19th District congressman; in the 1990s, Rees ran for the Assembly seat Salka now holds.  Attendees ranged from state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and wife Cindy, to Bobby Walker, Fly Creek, the SUNY Albany senior who is president of the New York State College Republicans.   (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Huntington Library Wins Grant For Indoor, Outdoor Lighting

Huntington Library Wins Grant

For Indoor, Outdoor Lighting

ONEONTA – The Huntington Memorial Library has received a state grant to install energy-efficient and historically accurate outdoor lighting.

The grant is part of $600,000 in library grants Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, announced today for his district, including two others in Otsego County:

• To the Richfield Springs Public Library, to make the restroom ADA compliant

• To the Edmeston Free Library, for interior and exterior renovations

RSS Project Out, Salka Tells Foes

RSS Project Out,

Salka Tells Foes

Report: No State Funding

For Riverside Apartments

This is a rendering of Riverside Apartments provided by RSS, its prospective developer.

ONEONTA – Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, who represents Oneonta, has told local foes of Riverside Apartments that the state has denied funding to RSS’ 64-unit housing project at River and Duane streets, according to an email from Donna Harmer to fellow members of  Sixth Ward Neighbors United.

Cuomo Bypasses Dems To Provide Tuition Aid To Gold Star Families

SALKA PUSHED FOR BILL

Cuomo Bypasses Dems

To Provide Tuition Aid

To Gold Star Families

Assemblyman Salka

Bypassing his fellow Democrats in the Assembly, Governor Cuomo today ordered the state to begin providing tuition assistance to Gold Star Families, the spouses and children of soldiers killed in the line of duty.

Otsego County Assembly John Salka, R-Brookfield, who has been pushing the legislation, said the governor’s action “is simply amazing.”

He said, “From me and my peers in the Assembly Republican Conference, veterans organizations and even President Trump, the outpouring of support was staggering to ensure that the memory of our fallen heroes was honored. I thank everyone who joined their voices with mine, a great step for New York.”

Assembly Democrats had defended their move to block the GOP-backed bill because its costs had not been determined and it came up after approval of the state budget.

 Seward, Salka Regret NYC’s Loss Of Amazon

OPPOSITION BLOCKS 25,000 JOBS

 Seward, Salka Regret

NYC’s Loss Of Amazon

Salka
Seward

ONEONTA – Otsego County’s delegation in the state Legislature today expressed regret on news that Amazon has backed away from locating its second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.

“This is a lost opportunity for New York State,” said state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford.  “It is extremely unfortunate that a hostile political environment has resulted in the loss of 25,000 good paying jobs.  While I have been critical of the lack of transparency involved in the Amazon deal, I was ultimately supportive of the economic opportunities that were on our horizon.”

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