News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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county board

‘I Think It Will Fly,’ Clark Says Of Tourism Initiative
COUNTY BOARD’S JULY MEETING

‘I Think It Will Fly,’ Clark

Says Of Tourism Initiative

All the tourism trends are positive, Jim Miles, The Otesaga's general manager and chairman of Destination Marketing of Otsego County, demonostrated in a details, data-intense presentation to the county Board of Representatives this morning at its July meeting. Afterward, board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego, said, "I think it will fly." However, the decision on whether to extend DMOC's contract for another three years must go back through the board's committee structure once again before a vote is taken, she said. DMOC is a private, non-profit, run by a board of directors of representatives from the tourism sector. Three years ago, the county privatized its Tourism Office and turned the promotion function over to DMOC in an effort – successful, according to Miles' report today – to increase bed revenues, which have risen 17 percent. Clark has been urging DMOC to expand its focus beyond Oneonta, Cooperstown and the Route 28 corridor, and today Miles and Ken Meifert, Hall of Fame VP, outlined initial steps to accomplish that. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
All the tourism trends are positive, Jim Miles, The Otesaga’s general manager and chairman of Destination Marketing of Otsego County, demonstrated in a detailed, data-intense presentation to the county Board of Representatives this morning at its July meeting. Afterward, board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego, right, said, “I think it will fly.” However, the decision on whether to extend DMOC’s contract for another three years must go back through the board’s committee structure once again before a vote is taken, she said. DMOC is a private, non-profit, run by a board of directors of representatives from the tourism sector. Three years ago, the county privatized its Tourism Office and turned the promotion function over to DMOC in an effort – successful, according to Miles’ report today – to increase bed-tax revenues, which have risen 17 percent. Clark has been urging DMOC to expand its focus beyond Oneonta, Cooperstown and the Route 28 corridor, which has delayed action on a contract extension.  Today Miles and Ken Meifert, Hall of Fame VP, outlined initial steps to accomplish that.  Between Miles and Clark is Carol McGovern, clerk of the board.   (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
County Board Vote Fails To OK Tourism Contract

County Board Vote Fails

To OK Tourism Contract

By JIM KEVLIN • for www.AllOTSEGO.com

COUNTY LOGOCOOPERSTOWN – Destination Marketing of Otsego County (DMOC) found itself in the middle of the political crossfire at today’s county Board of Representatives meeting.

DMOC is led by a board of volunteer directors from the hospitality industry who contracted with the county to invest part of the county’s bed-tax revenues to put “heads in beds” – i.e., tourists in hotels and motels.

The first three-year contract between DMOC and the county board is expiring, the efforts to renew the contract have failed, and did so again today at the county board’s June meeting.  The bipartisan split is another example that county Board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego, may be losing control of her majority.

Child Abuse Cases Rising, Otsego County Reps Told
COUNTY BOARD APRIL MEETING

Child Abuse Cases Rising,

Otsego County Reps Told

Bill Hayes, retired Bassett Hospital social worker and coordinator of Child Abuse Prevention Month – April – in Otsego County, tells the county reps at their monthly meeting this morning that 41 more cases of child abuse and neglect were reported locally in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter last year. While most of the reports are not life-threatening, they involve unnecessary physical abuse, neglect and poor judgment. One rising category is drug addicted mothers who delivered addicted babies who then must go through detox. He also asked the county board to study increasing salaries in the county Social Services Department's Children's Services unit, where only two of the seven caseworkers have deep experience because others have been lured to surrounding counties by "substantially better" salaries.
Listening to Bill Hayes, a retired social worker and children’s advocate, are, from left, county Rep. Andrew Stammel, D-Oneonta;  Deputy Board Clerk Jenna Utter, Board Clerk Carol McGovern, county Board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego, and county Reps. Len Carson, R-Oneonta, and Keith McCarty, R-East Springfield.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – Bill Hayes, retired Bassett Hospital social worker and local coordinator of National Child Abuse Prevention Month in Otsego County, told the county board at its monthly meeting this morning that 41 more cases of child abuse were reported locally in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter last year.

Most of the cases are not life-threatening; they involve unnecessary physical abuse, neglect and poor judgment, he said.

POWERS CHALLENGE TO CLARK FIZZLES

TAKING THE OATH

County Judge John Lambert this morning swears in the Otsego County Board of Representatives for two-year terms.
County Judge John Lambert this morning swears in the Otsego County Board of Representatives for two-year terms.   Front row, from left, are county Reps. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla; Len Carson, R-Oneonta; David Bliss, R-Middlefield, and Kathy Clark, R-Otego.  Behind them, from left, are county Reps. Jim Powers, R-Butternuts; Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland; Andrew Stammel, D-Town of Oneonta, and Kay Stuligross, D-Oneonta. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

POWERS CHALLENGE

TO CLARK FIZZLES

County Board Chair Reelected Unanimously

Kathy Clark, R-Otego, retakes her usual seat at the front of County Board chambers after her unanimous reelection. At left is Carol McGovern, clerk of the board.
Kathy Clark, R-Otego, retakes her usual seat at the front of County Board chambers after her unanimous reelection. At left is Carol McGovern, clerk of the board.

COOPERSTOWN – The only thing missing was white smoke coming out of the chimney at 197 Main.

The attempt by county Rep. Jim Powers, R-Butternuts, to replace Kathy Clark, R-Otego, as chair of the Otsego County Board of Representatives had completely fizzled by this morning.

The three-year chairperson was routinely reelected shortly after the county board’s reorganizational meeting was called to order at 10 a.m. today.

It was unanimous – 6,227 weighted votes to zero.  In the end, even Powers, bowing to the inevitable, voted for the woman he’s been trying to build a coalition against in recent days.

Stuligross: Meet In Evening So More People Can Attend

Stuligross:  Meet In Evening

So More Can Run For Office

Kay Stuligross
Kay Stuligross

ONEONTA – Many people are unable to run for the Otsego County Board of Representatives because it meets at 10 a.m. in the middle of the work week.

County Rep. Kay Stuligross, D-Oneonta, hopes to do something about it:  She is introducing a resolution at Wednesday’s county board reorganizational meeting to change the monthly meeting to sometime between 5-7 in the evening, so people who work 9-5 can participate.

The veteran representative said 26  counties in New York State, half the total, already have scheduled their monthly meetings in the evening.

AGAIN, POWERS TILTS AT CLARK

AGAIN, POWERS

TILTS AT CLARK

Board Reorganizes Wednesday 

Powers
Powers
Clark
Clark

By JIM KEVLIN • for AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Veteran county Rep. Jim Powers, R-Butternuts, is again seeking to bump county Rep. Kathy Clark, R-Otego, from the chairmanship, according to representatives whom he’s approached asking for support.

The Otsego County Board of Representatives, which Clark has chaired for four one-year terms now, will  hold its reorganizational meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the County Office Building on upper Main Street here.

Powers, a dairy farmer and beekeeper, again turned back a challenge from Democrat Theresa Winchester of Gilbertsville in the Nov. 3 election.  Clark, retired food services manager at SUNY Oneonta, again ran unopposed in the Otego-Laurens district.

Last year, Powers, who served as board chair in 2008 and 2009, also tried to take the chairmanship from Clark, even meeting with Democrats at county Rep. Kay Stuligross’ Oneonta home to try to form a bipartisan majority.   That effort failed.

Farewell Colleagues, Voters, Friends

Farewell Colleagues, Voters, Friends

A tearful county Rep. Linda Rowinski, D-Oneonta, bids farewell to her colleagues, friends and voters this morning at her final meeting of the county Board of Representatives. Five county reps are leaving the board at year's end: Rowinski, Janet Hurley Quakenbush, R-Town of Oneonta; Ed Lentz, D-New Lisbon; Don Lindberg, R-Worcester; Rick Hulse, R-Fly Creek, Betty Anne Schwerd, R-Edmeston. Beth Rosenthal, D-Roseboom, had resigned in October and moved to Albany. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
A tearful county Rep. Linda Rowinski, D-Oneonta, bids farewell to her colleagues, friends and voters this morning at her final meeting of the county Board of Representatives. Six county reps are leaving the board at year’s end: Rowinski, Janet Hurley Quakenbush, R-Town of Oneonta; Ed Lentz, D-New Lisbon; Don Lindberg, R-Worcester; Rick Hulse, R-Fly Creek, and Betty Anne Schwerd, R-Edmeston. Beth Rosenthal, D-Roseboom, had resigned in October and moved to Albany.  At left are Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, and County Attorney Ellen Coccoma.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
County Reps Vote To Restore 4 Of 26 Jobs Cut From Budget

County Reps Vote To Restore

4 Of 26 Jobs Cut From Budget

County Treasurer Dan Crowell discusses possible reductions of layoffs with county reps in this morning's work session. (Don Mathisen/AllOTSEGO.com)
County Treasurer Dan Crowell discusses possible reductions of layoffs with county reps in this morning’s work session.  Seated from left are County Attorney Ellen Coccoma, county Reps. Keith McCarty, Gary Koutnik and Craig Gelbsman. (Don Mathisen/AllOTSEGO.com)

By DON MATHISEN  • for AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Twenty-six county job cuts are down to 22.

A majority of Otsego County representatives today took an informal vote to restore three full-time jobs that would be eliminated if the 2016 tentative budget is passed by the full board.

During what was termed a work session on the budget, the reps also voted to restore one part-time position.

Stammel, Gelbsman Win; Malfunction Delays Coun

BULLETIN

Stammel, Gelbsman Win;

Malfunction Delays Count

Democrat Andrew Stammel defeated incumbent county Rep. Janet Hurley Quackenbush, R-Town of Oneonta, in today’s county board balloting, but county Rep. Craig Gelbsman, R-Oneonta, turned back a challenge from Democrat Amy HornburgHeilveil.

Returns were slow coming in on the District 8 race – Democrat Andy Marietta Vs. county Rep. Rick Hulse, R-Fly Creek – due to a machine malfunctioning at the Cooperstown polling place, St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” parish hall.

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