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.
OTSEGO — Hundreds gathered outside the Susquehanna SPCA’s new facility in Cooperstown for a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday, July 17, which they say would help better service the needs of animals who are homeless and in need of caring adoptees.
In spite of the humidity — one young woman apparently fainted during remarks from State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland — the crowd was lively and enthusiastic, some bringing their own dogs to the ceremony.
Stacie Haynes, who as executive director has been at the forefront of this whole project, told the crowd this has been her “dream job” and joked she “hasn’t been home since.”
“I’m a dreamer and optimistic by nature,” Haynes said, but never imagined she’d be “standing on a multi-million dollar campus.”
Haynes thanked the “Shelter Us” capital campaign, which was largely responsible for raising the money necessary to build and open the facility, calling them an “all-star group.”
The Shelter Us Capital Campaign was able to secure a grant from the New York State Animal Capital Fund from the Department of Agriculture and Markets in order to move the facility to state Route 28 near Cooperstown.
An ongoing series of discussions surrounding the potential of a merger between Schenevus and Worcester central schools is culminating in a public forum that is to be held at 6 p.m., Monday, June 14, at Schenevus’s Draper School, according to a media release.
Discussions of a merger have been long underway in what is called “Merger Mondays,” a monthly meeting to discuss the possibility of the two schools merging.
A walking tour of SCS is also scheduled at 5 p.m., prior to the forum.
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.”
With four days to go until Election Day for federal and state offices, state Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy stopped in Cooperstown this morning to rally the local party faithful on the first stop of a Central New York tour. He decried “AOC Wannabes” and the state’s leftward shift, raising concerns about bail reform and plans to give illegal residents the right to vote. He was joined by the local GOP ticket (inset, right), led by state Senate candidate Peter Oberacker (center); from left are Assembly incubents John Salka, whose district includes Oneonta, Cooperstown and Richfield Springs; Chris Tague, who represents Cherry Valley, Roseboom, Decatur and Worcester, and Brian Miller, Springfield, Middlefield, Westford and Maryland. At lower right is Ryan Van De Water, the Republican lawyer from Poughkeepsie who’s challenging Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19. The contingent continued on to Oneida County. Flanking him are county Rep. Dan Wilber, Burlington, a former member of the famed Thunderbirds (note cap), and Bobby Walker, CCS grad now completing his degree at SUNY Albany. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Today, Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, signed a bipartisan statement opposing Governor Cuomo’s order allowing National Guard to remove ventilators from Upstate hospitals for transport to the New York metropolitan area.
“We stand ready to help our fellow New Yorkers,” said the signators, who included Delgado, “but moving needed ventilators from our region now would be devastating and counter intuitive to all data on the spread of COVID-19.”
COOPERSTOWN – Three key Republicans representing Otsego County issued a statement today calling Governor Cuomo’s plan to “seize” ventilators and PPE equipment from Upstate hospitals “dangerous” and “just plain wrong.”
They are county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, who is running to succeed state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and Assemblymen John Salka, R-Brookfield, whose district includes Oneonta and Cooperstown, and Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, whose district includes Cherry Valley, Roseboom, Decatur and Worcester.
WORCESTER – Kyle Van De Water, a lawyer, Army veteran and father of three triplets – his daughter, challenged since her days in the womb, has undergone 30 operations in her 10 years – received the unanimous backing of the Otsego and Schoharie county Republican committees’ executive committees here this evening to challenge freshman Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, in this fall’s election.
The straw poll, while expressing the executive committees’ consensus, must still be affirmed by a meeting of the two full county committees.
Meeting at Worcester’s White House Inn, executive committee members heard from both Van De Water and the other Republican contender, Ola Hawatmeh, a Poughkeepsie native and successful fashion entrepreneur in St. Louis, Mo.
This story’s been related in this space before: Congressman Tim Holden, a Democrat from Pennsylvania’s anthracite county, used to tell campaign crowds: “I’m the only one of 435 Congressmen who gets up every morning and says to himself, ‘What can I do for Schuylkill County today?’”
It’s also said that if you don’t appreciate what you have, you lose it.”
The vignette and the aphorism are germane today, with the prospective year-end retirement of state Sen. Jim Seward,
R-Milford, and now, with the emergence of county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, as his prospective successor – and, so far, his only prospective successor from Otsego County.
Oberacker put it well: “It’s been reassuring to have a state senator who knows us by name.”
If he knows us by name, he greets us on the street, he listens to our opinions and, when we need his help, he responds.
To Otsego County citizens, there is no greater issue in this fall’s election than to keep the 51st State Senate District represented by a local man or woman. (Wait, wait: After all, regardless of how the county votes, New York State will go for the as-yet-unnamed Democrat.)
In last week’s article on Republican Assemblyman Chris Tague’s prospective run for the 51st, it was pointed out that no mention was made of Jim Barber, the Schoharie farmer and son of former Ag & Markets Commissioner J. Roger Barber, the prospective Democratic standard bearer.
In our defense, that part of the article dealt with trying to identify in-county successors to Jim Seward.
But we’ll admit that Barber simply didn’t figure in our, granted, somewhat parochial, ruminations.
Of course, former Oneonta Mayor John Nader, now SUNY Farmingdale president, came to mind, as did the charismatic Dan Crowell, former county treasurer and a military man.
Mayors Herzig of Oneonta and Tillapaugh of Cooperstown are prospects and, even moreso, Tillapaugh’s predecessor, Jeff Katz, still in his 50s and with plenty of brains and drive.
Come on, Democrats, put your best (local) foot forward.
Regardless, Peter Oberacker is a fine prospect.
On the one hand, he’s got a down-home personality, a friendly smile and welcoming demeanor.
He’s easy for everyone to talk to, evident in his repeated election in the Town of Maryland and, now from his Maryland/Westford, Worcester/Decatur district on the county board.
On the other hand, he can operate in sophisticated circles as well, working for Fortune 500 U.S. companies and German food-processor Budenheim.
He’d be equally comfortable on the sidewalks of Edmeston and Albany’s plush Senate chambers.
Plus, he has ideas and the oomph to move them forward, evident in championing the 30-job distribution center on Schenevus’ I-88 exit.
Let’s get behind an Otsego County successor to Senator Seward.
So far, Oberacker’s the only one. Other ones may emerge. But if they don’t, he’ll do fine.
SCHENEVUS – County Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, who is also president of FormTech Solutions, a national food research consultancy, is exploring running for the 51st District state Senate seat to succeed James L. Seward, he said yesterday.
Last evening, Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, considered the front-runner for the nomination. pulled out, saying he has commitments to fulfill in his 102nd District job.
Otsego County GOP Chairman Vince Casale said he will be introducing Oberacker to other county chairmen in the nine-county district over the next two weeks to firm up support for the candidate.
COOPERSTOWN – CCS grad Bobby Walker, now a student at SUNY Albany, is running for state chairman of the New York Federation of College Republicans.
A Cooperstown native, founder of the Otsego County Young Republicans, and recently director of social media for Republican Marc Molinaro’s gubernatorial, race, he has served the federal as executive director, and is running on the Restore NYFCR ticket.
At Oneonta’s First Night, Greg Lee and other members of his Cosmic Karma Fire troupe, left, spin flames for onlookers outside Foothills’ Atrium. At right, the Elite Dance Company’s Dejalei Champen and Emily Kane hoist Lillian Stalter up in the air.
Rod Roberts, above, swings Cuca, his wife of 36 years, around the dance floor to “What a Wonderful World.” At right, tiger-faced Leah Puylara and Owen Meade, and his Aunt Lisa Foster, all from Milford, pause for a souvenir photo.
SWEARING IN – 1 p.m. State Sen. Jim Seward, Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr., County Judge John Lambert, Coroners David Delker & Christian Shaefer, County Judge Brian Burns to administer the oath. Public welcome. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta.
COBLESKILL – New Year’s Day, newly elected Assemblyman Chris Tague will be making two vows.
At 5 p.m., he will take the oath to uphold the laws of New York State in representing the 102nd Assembly District, which includes the towns of Cherry Valley, Roseboom, Decatur and Worcester in Otsego County.
He will then take the marriage vows, signaling the beginning of wedded bliss between Tague and Dana Buzon of Schoharie.