Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh dedicated a tree on Brooklyn Avenue in Cooperstown in honor of Dennis Tallman, Friday, Oct. 15.
Family members of Dennis Tallman were present at the ceremony for Arbor Day, which normally runs on the last Friday of April but was delayed because of COVID.
“Dennis was an invaluable member of our Village who volunteered his time and service to make our Village a better place,” Tillapaugh said.
Dennis Tallman, who served on the village tree committee, worked to enhance “the natural beauty of our community and ensured that generations can benefit from and enjoy the trees he planted and nurtured.”
A Catalpa tree was planted in his honor which Tillapaugh said are “beautiful trees with large white flowers in Spring.”
COOPERSTOWN — When Hanna Bergene decided to run for a village trustee position and Jim Dean
announced he would step down to make way for her, it inadvertently led to a local first: a female majority board of trustees.
Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, who was first elected in 2018, and is the second female mayor of the village, Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk and trustees Bergene and Jeanne Dewey hold four of the seven votes on the local board, although with all seven members being part of the Democratic Party, there are not many political or ideological differences being debated in the village.
Instead, the four women are a majority part of Cooperstown’s expansive investments and infrastructure projects, working to shape the village for the 21st century and helping it get past the economic damage brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
TROLLEY TOUR – 1:30 – 3 p.m. Explore the architecture of Oneonta from it’s earliest days of European settlement to the exponential expansion of the Victorian era and the Railroad. Led by Dr. Cindy Falk, Cooperstown Graduate Program and professor of Material Culture at SUNY Oneonta. Registration required. Cost, $10/person. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination required. Presented by Otsego 2000. Pick-up and Drop-off at Riverside Elementary School parking log, 39 House, St., Oneonta. 607-547-8881 or visit www.facebook.com/otsego2000/
Explore the architectural gems found in the city of Oneonta. Trolley tour will be led by Dr. Cindy Falk, professor of material culture at SUNY Oneonta, and will visit the historic districts of Downtown Oneonta and Walnut Street, featuring examples from the first European settlement to the boom of the Victorian era, when the railroad came to town, and more. Registration, masks and proof of COVID-19 vaccination are required. The cost is $10 per person. Presented by Otsego 2000. Pick-up is at the Riverside Elementary School parking lot at 39 House St. in Oneonta. Tours are at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., Sunday, June 27. Call 607-547-8881 or visit facebook.com/otsego2000/ for information.
The village of Cooperstown will remove a controversial solar-powered speed limit sign from Pioneer Street.
The village’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday, April 26, to remove the sign, which was in front of 100 Pioneer Street and told motorists heading south on Pioneer if they were exceeding the village’s 30-mile-per-hour speed limit.
The meeting was held in person in the village ballroom at 22 Main St.
As part of the motion, the trustees agreed to relocate the sign to the southern entryway to the village on State Route 28.
The sign has drawn complaints from dozens of current and former village residents, complaining about the aesthetics of the sign and dismissing the need to put it in a residential area. Two residents spoke against the sign Monday, leading Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh to tell the crowd of about 15 people that the trustees would fix the sign problem later in the meeting.
“The intent of the meeting tonight will be to remove the solar-powered sign … and nothing will be on Pioneer.
For the sixth time in seven years, the Cooperstown Graduate Program has coordinated with the Army Reserves to do field training in the Cooperstown area.
According to CGP Professor Cindy Falk, about 30 soldiers from Fort Drum, six cadets from Syracuse University and six CGP students from her Culture and Collections class worked together on training exercises over a three-day weekend, from Thursday, March 25, to Saturday, March 27.
“We did what we have been doing since 2015,” Falk said. “We just had to do it differently this year.”
To accommodate coronavirus restrictions, the group had a hard cap of 50, Falk said, and the soldiers, cadets and students were kept apart as much as possible to avoid any health issues.
Beginning Thursday, March 25, the soldiers – reservists from the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion’s Alpha Company in Syracuse – did classroom training, with a remote seminar from Bassett Healthcare Network officials and in person lectures from the CGP and Fort Drum officials.
On Friday, the soldiers and cadets worked on a mass casualty and evacuation drill.
Newly elected Village Trustee Hannah Bergene was already sold on Cooperstown.
But her first Induction Weekend working for the Chamber of Commerce – in 2015, the Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez year – she got sold all over again.
Baseball fans were jammed onto the front steps of Chamber headquarters in that yellow-and-white cottage at 31 Chestnut St., trying to catch a glimpse of their heroes passing by in the Legends of the Game parade.
“They were so in awe,” said Bergene. “They had waited all their lives to come here. We” – who live here – “take it for granted.”
She maintained that excitement for her five years at the Chamber, where she rose to marketing director under Executive Director Matt Hazzard, and for the past two years as social media director at Paperkite Creative, the Internet marketing firm.
Tuesday, March 16, Bergene and Trustee Cindy Falk, the deputy mayor, ran unopposed and received 139 and 136 votes respectively. Both are Democrats.
She ran, Bergene said in an interview Saturday, March 13, “because Mac asked me too” – Trustee Mac Benton, 23, who with County Democratic Chairman Clark Oliver, 22, have been recruiting young people here, in Oneonta and countywide to run for office.
The new trustee, her interest piqued by her work at the Chamber of Commerce, had considered elected office at some point, but “in my mind, it was years in the future.
“But why not? Why not get involved?” she asked herself. “The village needs young people to attract other young people here.”
Saturday I had one of those “It Takes a Village” moments.
I offered a ride to a friend to the vaccination clinic at the Clark Sports Center. Sitting with her in a folding chair on the gym floor, I remembered just how special our community is.
We have a teaching hospital right here in Cooperstown, we have an amazing recreational facility and, most important, we are blessed with people who care.
Our local community members helped spread the word about vaccine availability, assisted with online registration, provided rides, checked people in, gave shots, stood by in case of an emergency, and checked up on our friends and neighbors.
We live in a one-of-a-kind place that I am pleased to call home.
For the past nine years, I have been privileged to represent village residents on the Board of Trustees. This Tuesday, March 16, I will be running for my fourth term.
There is little hype about this election. My name and Hanna Joy Bergene’s will be the only ones on the ballot, and there are two open seats. There is no national election going on simultaneously and no COVID-induced change to the voting date as there was last year.
Honestly, it may seem like there is little reason to participate. But I am hopeful that in our remarkable village people still will make the effort to exercise their right to vote.
Polls are open noon – 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, at the fire hall, and absentee-ballot applications and absentee ballots can be picked up by 4 p.m. Monday, March 15, at Village Hall, 22 Main St.
The pandemic has been difficult on all of us individually and collectively. The village government is no exception to that – the last year has been trying, and the coming months will be critical as we begin to creep forward into a post-pandemic world.
I encourage you to take part in the democratic process as we enter this next phase, and I would greatly appreciate your vote on Tuesday the 16th.
My name is Hanna Joy Bergene and I am honored to be running for village trustee alongside our current trustee/deputy mayor, Cindy Falk in the village election next Tuesday, March 16.
Many in the local business community may know me from my time working at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, Paperkite, Stagecoach Coffee and the Cooperstown Winter Carnival Committee.
I’ve called Cooperstown home my entire life. My parents, Gregory and Susan Bergene, both long-time employees of Cooperstown Central School District, taught me the value of a good work ethic and getting involved in your community from a young age.
As a village trustee, my goal is to make Cooperstown the best place it can be for all residents and businesses alike. I have thought long and hard, as well as asked a few close friends about what makes a great trustee. Some of the things that stood out to me are:
“I very excited,” Hanna Bergene, 29, above, said a few minutes ago as the Village Democratic Party caucused in the 22 Main ballroom and nominated her for one of two positions on the Cooperstown Village Board in the March elections. Also nominated for another term was Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, at left. In the foreground is Henry Bauer, who nominated Bergene. The new candidate, now social media manager at PaperKite Creative, had worked several years at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce. Inset left, Trustee James Dean, who is retiring April 1 after a decade on the board, accepts an energetic round of applause after Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, right, praisefully reviewed his tenure. At center in Trustee Joe Membrino. Henry Bauer’s brother, Ben, was also introduced this evening as the newest member of the Village Democratic Committee, signaling, together with Bergene, the arrival of a youthful wave in local Democratic politics. It appears the Republican Village Committee isn’t fielding a slate this election so, absent an independent candidate surfacing, Bergene and Falk appeared headed for election. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Following complaints that arose after last week’s snowstorm, the Cooperstown Village Board is once again debating snow removal from sidewalks in the village.
“There has often been a suggestion that the village take more responsibility for snow removal on sidewalks,” said Trustee Cindy Falk. “I think that those of us that have been involved in this discussion in the past understand that that needs to be done equitably.”
Cost is a factor, she said, and has stopped other municipalities in the past.
I grew up reading the newspaper much as you are now. There were no cellphones, no social media, and no 24-hour news networks. My worldview was shaped by rotary dials, printer’s ink, and
the 6 o’clock news.
I imagine many of you could say the same. Between 1990 and 2010, the federal Census showed that in the Village of Cooperstown there was an overall decline in every age group except for 50- to 59-year-olds. The sharpest decline (47 percent) was in the 30-to-39 age group.
My husband and I moved to the village with our young family in 2004, but our experience is far from the norm. The lack of young people in Cooperstown is a problem that we need to correct if our community organizations, schools and local government are going to thrive in the future.
This is where Trustee MacGuire Benton comes in.
I may not agree with MacGuire on every issue that comes before the Board of Trustees, but I always value his perspective. His experiences are often closer to those of my children and the graduate students with whom I work, the very people we need to help shape our plans moving forward.
For example, MacGuire saw the need to provide video access to village meetings even before the pandemic. In a desire to further government transparency and be more inclusive, he suggested policies last year that made the transition to online content easier when it became necessary due to the pandemic.
He recently pointed out the benefits of an official village Facebook page so that people do not have to turn to AllOtsego.com or Celebrate Cooperstown to get information about what is going on. Mac is committed to free and open communication and helping to make Cooperstown a place where young people of all backgrounds want to live.
On Sept. 15, something unusual happened: MacGuire Benton and Mary-Margaret Robbins – both eager to serve as village trustees – tied in a race for a seat on the board. Both have widespread support, each garnering 272 votes. And both undoubtedly love our Village and want what’s best for it.
However, if you are still undecided about whether to vote or for whom to vote in the run-off election on Sept. 29, I urge you to look to the future. Ensure there is a voice in village government that represents the next generation. Vote to re-elect MacGuire Benton noon-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, at the fire hall, or by absentee ballot prior to the 29th.
COOPERSTOWN – Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk is alerting downtown merchants to the new HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program, which is offering grants of $5,000 to $15,000 to brick-and-mortar small businesses in commercial districts as they enter the next phases of reopening across the country.
The grants would be available to such businesses in downtown across Otsego County.