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Common Council

Council’s Legislative Committee Discusses Noise, Disturbances and Short-Term Rentals

Council Committee

Focus: Town-Gown

Chairman John Rafter Aims To Focus
On Neighborhood Noise, Apartments

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Council member
John Rafter

ONEONTA – Town-gown relations – noise and mischief in neighborhoods, and the large number of shortterm rentals in the city – are on Common Council member John Rafter’s agenda this year.

And it’s now on the agenda of the council’s Legislative Committee, whcih he chairs, and which met last night for the first time in 2019.

Rafter told committee members – Council members Dave Rissberger, Michelle Osterhoudt and Joe Ficano – they need to assess whether the “Social Host” law, passed last March, is working; and whether a register of rentals might help City Hall identify problem properties.

First Oneonta Common Council Meeting of 2019 Opens On Somber Note

First Common Council Meeting

Of 2019 Opens On Somber Note

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Common Council opened its first meeting of 2019 on a somber note, with Mayor Gary Herzig calling for a moment of silence in honor of former Oneonta firefighter John D. Heller, who lost his life while rescuing his fiancée and four nephews from a house fire last Saturday, Dec. 29.

Herzig said about Heller, “I think we can all feel that we do have a true hero among us and can be very proud of him.”

Common Council Votes To Name Airport In Sam Nader’s Honor

Council Names City Airport

After Ex-Mayor Sam Nader

“This was the single greatest point of pride in my dad’s life,” said former mayor John Nader, as he accepted a plaque this evening after Common Council unanimously voted to rename the Oneonta Municipal Airport as The Albert S. Nader Regional Airport. Nader, president of SUNY Farmington, who drove up for the event,  read a statement from his father, who remarked, “I regret that I am unable to be with you tonight, but I want to thank each and every one of you for bestowing this honor on me.” The vote was broadcast on the city’s Facebook page, allowing Sam to watch from home. With Nader is Mayor Gary Herzig, who presented the idea to Council just before Thanksgiving. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

In Renaming Airport, City Council Praises Nader As Visionary Leader

In Renaming Airport, City Council

Praises Nader As Visionary Leader

Sam Nader

ONEONTA – A motion to rename the city airport as “Albert S. Nader Regional Airport” in honor of the former mayor praises his “thoughtful foresight” and “patient leadership.”

Common Council is due to act on the resolution when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, according to the agenda released this afternoon.

Christened at the time by one local newspaper as “Nader’s Folly,” creation of the airport in 1966 resulted in 30 years of daily passenger service between Oneonta and LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

Herzig Will Ask Council To Name Airport For Sam Nader

Herzig: Name Airport

To Honor Sam Nader

Former Mayor Sam Nader, left shares a laugh with current Mayor Gary Herzig at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Oneonta Municipal Airport, which Nader himself championed, on Sept. 17, 2016. In December, Herzig will ask Common Council to approve re-naming the airport in Nader’s honor.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Mayor Gary Herzig will ask Oneonta Common Council to approve the re-naming of the Oneonta Municipal Airport in honor of Sam Nader at their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

“At our airport, I recently participated in the first graduation of Oneonta Job Corps’ Drone Operator program,” said Herzig.  “While doing so, I could not help but think that this event would never have taken place if not for Mayor Sam Nader’s determination to realize his vision of an Oneonta Airport.”

When Nader ran for mayor in 1962, he supported a new airport, which newspapers at the time called “Nader’s Folly.”

“I said the issue was more important than any individual, and I would risk defeat to have an airport,” Nader said in an interview with the Hometown Oneonta in September 2016.

Dog Park, Housing Top Comprehensive Plan

Dog Park, Housing

Top Comprehensive Plan

Council member Russ Southard, Sixth Ward, converses with Mayor Gary Herzig and GOHS executive director Bob Brzozowski about the future of Oneonta as a second open house was held to gather community input on the city’s Comprehensive Plan earlier this evening. Curated recommendations, including a dog park, green-energy initiatives, increased moderate and low-income housing, as well as enhanced arts and recreation offerings, were put forth for visitors to support with check-marks and sticky notes.  The study will also be available online through the city’s website, and once the feedback is gathered, the Steering Committee will compile the results to take to Common Council, who will take a vote. Herzig anticipates action on the final plan will begin in early 2019. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Man Honored For Aiding Chief Brenner in July 4th Fight

Man Honored For Aiding

Police Chief In Fight On 4th

Franklin Weideck, Wells Bridge, receives a certificate of commendation and a commemorative law enforcement medallion from Police Chief Doug Brenner during tonight’s Common Council meeting. Weindeck came to Brenner’s rescue after an intoxicated man began to attack him during the Fourth of July festivities. (Ian Austin/ AllOTSEGO.com)

By CATHY NARDI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – An ordinary citizen risked injury to help the city’s police chief in a dangerous situation, and tonight Common Council said thanks.

Franklin Weideck, Wells Bridge, was attending the Hometown Fourth of July celebration in Neahwa Park when he saw Police Chief Douglas Brenner on the ground struggling to control a violent suspect.

“I was aware of an individual who seemed to have a little bit too much to drink,” Brenner said. “I wandered off of the beaten path to keep an eye on him.  I saw people around this guy. He had fallen and he had gotten up and tried to sit on a rail and fell off of that and bloodied his nose.”

Supervisor, Fire Commissioner Due To Brief City On District Dissolution

Supervisor, Fire Commissioner Due

To Brief City On District Dissolution

ONEONTA – Town Supervisor Bob Wood and town Fire Commissioner Al Rubin will report on the prospective dissolution of the town fire district when Common Council convenes its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall.

The town fire commissioners and City Hall have been stymied for more than two years on a contract that would allow the city’s Oneonta Fire Department to continue providing professional services to the town’s Southside business strip and  well-populated neighborhoods contiguous to the city.

Council Member Eyes Short-Term Rentals

Council Member Eyes

Short-Term Rentals

Frazier at the July 30 meeting of the Common Council. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

By PARKER FISH • Special to AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – With the end of the 2018 tourist season quickly approaching,  Common Council member Michele Frazier is getting ready to tackle the city’s short-term rental laws.

Room-sharing apps such as Airbnb and VRBO have raised concerns across the city about the standing short-term rental policies.

Council Approves Nick’s Application

City Council OKs

Nick’s Diner Plan

$230K CDBG Application Albany-Bound

With daughter Amiley and wife Sheena tearfully hugging him, Rodney Thorsland celebrates the approval of his CDBG grant application, moving him one step closer to solidifying the $230,000 grant. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

By PARKER FISH • Special To www.AllOTSEGO.com

Oneonta’s Eric Dohner spoke out in opposition to Thorsland’s grant application, saying that he was “personally offended” by the application.

ONEONTA – The audience filled the seats and spilled out into the hallway as the Common Council again debated, then approved Nick’s Diner’s application for a $230,000 CDBG grant.

The vote enables Nick’s prospective owner Rodney Thorsland’s to submit the application to Albany for its approval.

Thorsland’s request has been hotly debated in the past three Common Council meetings, with several community members speaking against the proposed grant at the past two Common Council meetings.

“As a businessman who has invested one and a half million dollars of my own money in local business, I find it personally offensive that the city would even consider supporting giving a grant to a business that is not unique to the community in any way,” Dr. Eric Dohner, who operated New York Skin & Vein, said this evening.

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