News of Otsego County


Otsego County Seeks To Supplement Struggling Local Emergency Services

Otsego County Seeks To Supplement
Struggling Local Emergency Services

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

Emergency medical services are struggling to respond to calls county-wide, leading Otsego County officials to consider stepping in with supplemental services.

“I’ve been in the service for 47 years. I have never seen it this bad,” said Rep. Dan Wilber, R-Burlington, Edmeston, Exeter, Plainfield, who is a member of the Edmeston Fire Department and Rescue Squad and the chair of the county’s Public Safety and Legal Affairs Committee.

Wilber said he and his fellow PSLA members have been listening to Otsego County Emergency Services Coordinator Art Klingler Jr. and Otsego County E-911 Director Bob O’Brien. Both men have been warning them that a generation of EMS workers are aging out of service or have been discouraged by the lengthy coronavirus pandemic.

“Now it has become very evident that we need to come up with something to assist the locals in the process,” Klinger told the county’s Board of Representative during a special presentation Wednesday, April 7.

The duo made a presentation asking the board to develop a plan for supplemental EMS help, with a county ambulance and/or an advanced life support fly car to assist with response and transportation to people in need of emergency health help.

All GOP County Reps Ready To Run Again

All GOP County Reps

Ready To Run Again

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Dan Wilber

COOPERSTOWN – All Republican members of the county Board of Representatives plan to run again this fall, according to Dan Wilber, R-Burlington, who has been designated to recruit candidates.

Wilber said his goal is also to run Republicans, who now control six of the 14 districts, in all district seats now held by Democrats.

Democrats control seven districts, although – with Conservative Meg Kennedy voting mostly with Republicans – they lack control of the board.

Village, County, City Completing Review Of Police Procedures

Village, County, City Completing

Review Of Police Procedures

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

With April 1 a few weeks away, it’s crunch time.

Following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis last spring, Governor Cuomo issued an order requiring all 330 communities in New York State with police departments to form Community Advisory Boards to review “policies and procedures” by that date.

That covers three governments in Otsego County:

• The Village of Cooperstown: Monday, Feb. 22, the Village Board approved its “Police Reform Plan” more than a month ahead of schedule, having completed the review and taking it to public hearing. The findings can now be forwarded to the Governor’s Office.

County Board Split On How To React To Capitol Attack

‘False Equivalency’ Or Not?

County Board Split On How To React To Capitol Attack

Editor’s Note: For an hour at its monthly meeting, Wednesday, Feb. 3, the Otsego County Board of Representatives debated two resolutions: H, condemning the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. And G, condemning both the attack on the Capitol and summer-long riots that followed George Floyd’s death.



Introduced by Republican Reps. Ed Frazier, Dan Wilber

Reps. Dan Wilber, left, and Ed Frazier.

WHEREAS, on January 6, 2021, pursuant to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the Senate met at the United States Capitol for a Joint Session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College; and

WHEREAS, the results of the 2020 election were lawfully certified by Republican and Democratic election administrators in all fifty states; affirmed in dozens of court cases; and formalized by the vote of the Electoral College; and

WHEREAS, thousands of individuals sought to and did, in fact, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts; and

Sanctuary Drive Hits Roadblock

Sanctuary Drive Hits Roadblock

D.A. Dismisses Idea; Reps Put Off Action

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

The 2A Sanctuary Movement’s effort to banish all gun laws from Otsego County appears at a standstill, at least for now.

“The county board has no real authority or jurisdiction,” county Rep. Dan Wilber, last week, told the county board’s Public Safety & Legal Affairs Committee, which he chairs. “Enforcement is left to the district attorney and the sheriff’s office.”

Wilber said he’s conferring with District Attorney John Muehl and county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. about what comes next.

Meanwhile, he delayed further discussion until the February PSLA meeting, and – picking up on the suggestion of county Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Fly Creek – said he will consider a public forum on the matter for 2021.

For his part, Muehl said later, “I think the county should stay out of it. The courts have found it unconstitutional. I can’t enforce a law that’s been found unconstitutional.”

Devlin said the PSLA Committee is “trying to put this off on John and myself. They don’t know what to do.”

Some PSLA members were expecting a legal opinion from County Attorney Ellen Coccoma on a draft resolution when it met Thursday, Dec. 10, but received a verbal report instead.

“The way I read it now,” she said, the proposed resolution “poses to make a declaration of unconstitutionality about particular laws. That is not an authority that the county board has. Under separation of powers, that decision is given to the courts.”

Muehl and Devlin take an oath “to uphold all the laws of the state,” she added, “which does not allow them to spend money that infringes on their oath of office.”

Gun Sanctuary Resolution Goes Before Committee



Resolution To Go

Before Committee

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

PSLA Chairman Dan Wilber

COOPERSTOWN – Below is the text of the resolution that would declare Otsego County a gun-law sanctuary, where the state’s SAFE Act would not be enforced.

The resolution will be considered Thursday by the county board’s Public Safety & Legal Affairs Committee.  Dan Wilber, R-Burlington, committee chairman, hasn’t been available to discuss the matter.

Scheduled for noon, the meeting may be viewed via Zoom on the county’s Facebook page.

According to other committee members, PSLA has been awaiting a legal opinion from County Attorney Ellen Coccoma.

Here is the resolution:

Petitions Signed By 3,295 Seek Gun Sanctuary


Petitions Signed

By 3,295 Seek

Gun Sanctuary

Chairman Bliss Refers Issue

To Public Safety Committee

County Rep. Rick Brockway, R-West Laurens, reads a statement from Otsego 2AS this morning asking the county board to create a sanctuary from gun laws. At left is county Board Chair Dave Bliss; at right, Vice Chair Meg Kennedy. The meeting was conducted via Zoom.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego 2AS movement arrived this morning in the county Board of Representatives’ chambers.

County Rep. Rick Brockway, R-West Laurens, presented petitions on 2AS’ behalf with 3,295 signatures calling on the county board to declare Otsego County a gun-law sanctuary, where the state’s SAFE Act, consider one of the toughest such laws in the country, would not be enforced.

“To be sure, fighting in support of freedom is never easy,” said Brockway, reading a statement provided by 2AS organizers.  “Yet fighting for freedom has always been the preferred side of history.  Which side you are on will soon be revealed.”





With One Abstention, One Nay, Reps

Petition NYS Board, Back Seward’s Bill

County Rep. Dan Wilber, R-Burlington, makes a motion to urge the state Parole Board not to grant parole to David Dart, convicted in the 1989 slaying in Oneonta’s parking deck. In the foreground is Keith McCarty, R-East Springfield. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – With board Vice Chairman Gary Koutnik abstaining, and another Democrat voting nay, the county Board of Representatives today asked the state Parole Board “to deny the release, conditional or otherwise,” of David Dart, convicted of slaying 18-year-old Jill Gibbons with a “Rambo-style knife” in the Oneonta Municipal Parking Garage in 1989.

The resolution, passed 12-1-1, also put the county board on record supporting a bill, S4354, introduced several times by state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, to increase the time between parole hearing for “violent crimes” from two to five years.

Wilber Re-Appointed, Vacancy Filled

Wilber Re-Appointed,

Board Vacancy Filled

Sitting at the seat that he was re-appointed to in this morning’s meeting, Dan Wilber, R-Burlington, expressed appreciation at his colleagues’ support. (Parker Fish/

By PARKER FISH • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – County Rep. Dan Wilber, R-Burlington, was unanimously reappointed today by his colleagues to fill the vacancy created when he forgot to sign his oath of office statement in January.

When Wilber discovered earlier this month that his paperwork was incomplete, his seat on the board was immediately vacated.

EXCLUSIVE FRONT PAGE! Streck Back On The Job At Bassett County Rep Forgets To Take Oath Morgan Stanley Star Is Retiring Gene Bettiol Fondly Remembered
Failing To Sign Oath, Wilber Must Be Appointed By Board

Failing To Sign Oath, Wilber

Must Be Appointed By Board

Dan Wilber

COOPERSTOWN – Missing the deadline to sign his oath of office, county Rep. Dan Wilber’s election to a second term representing District 10 – Edmeston, Burlington, Exeter and Plainfield — is in doubt.

His erstwhile colleagues on the Otsego County Board of Representatives must now vote to reappoint Wilber to his former seat for him to continue serving.  The board’s Administrative Committee approved such a resolution at today’s meeting, which must be acted on by the full board when it meets Wednesday, May 2.

It was not immediately clear if Wilber will have enough support for that to happen, or if another candidate will emerge for the job.



WILBER:  Walker Disciplined, Experienced

WILBER:  Walker Disciplined, Experienced

To the Editor:

I must take issue with your assertion that County Government does not work very well. You are at every board meeting, yet you still make this assertion. I can only assume that you are perhaps asleep in the back of the room. The list of accomplishments would put me over your word limit.

This is also great news that Andrew Marietta has determined the committee system does not work. Perhaps he should share that with the other 61 counties throughout New York, the state Senate and Assembly and the U.S. Congress, because they all use the same system. It’s called being responsible to the electorate.

The reason Andrew Marietta shares that opinion is because a governing board is a team sport and

Andrew is an “I” kind of guy. If Andrew took the time to learn about the committee system he might function better within that environment. But true to form, Andrew points out problem but never offers a solution.

Andrew reminds me of the dentist in the LieLock commercial. He only informs you have cavity, he doesn’t do anything about it.

I am eager to learn what his solution is to replace the committee system. Perhaps he believes the county manager would replace it. Just another example of his lack of understanding of government.

I was surprised to learn he also resurrected the county strategic plan all by himself. I and about a dozen other board members were not aware that it had been scrapped. Anyone who has worked on a town comprehensive plan knows that it takes a long time to finalize such a document. But then again, Andrew doesn’t attend his town meetings to know that.

Please vote for Tim Walker, a disciplined and experienced person who will be a team player to

Represent the Town of Otsego.


Otsego County

Board member

Town of Burlington


questionnaire 2017 — dan wilber


DISTRICT 10, Burlington/Edmeston/Pittsfield (unopposed)


EDUCATION:  Fire Protection – Water Based Suppression Systems; Hazardous Materials



  • USAF Photographer, four years; USAF Thunderbirds, 1979 to 1982
  • Photographer, New York State National Guard, four years


  • Officer/Fire Safety Officer, state Department of Correctional Services
  • Director of security/fire, Main Office, state Office of Children & Family Services
  • Family-owned Two-Way Radio Dealership, Motorola
  • Owner/Operator, multiple retail stores
  • Director, Otsego County Code Office
  • Assistant Director, Employee Safety, state Department of Transportation
  • Code Compliance Manager, Aviation Bureau


Volunteer Fire & Ambulance Services, 42 Years:

  • District Chief, three departments
  • Fire Instructor
  • Currently Member of Edmeston FD and Rescue Squad

Former Town Justice – Town of Burlington

Lions, Relay for Life

FAMILY:  Wife of 16 years, Alison; daughter, Rose; son, Ayden; mother Betty, 91, resides with us

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT: Government should be kept small providing essential services the people cannot provide for themselves.


  • Opioid Crisis
  • Lack of Major Employment Opportunities
  • Insufficient infrastructure to attract new business to include internet and energy.
  • Unfunded New York State Mandates

MY QUALITIES: Willingness and desire to work with all parties, across party lines to reach consensus to get things done.

STATEMENT: Otsego has made great strides in accomplishing major milestones.  We need to continue this momentum and continue on.  Some recent achievements include:

  • Invested millions of dollars into an outdated, crumbling 911 communication system to get our residents emergency help when they need it.
  • Completely upgraded our E-911 call center and E-911 Backup Centers to elevate service and reliability. The center is state-of-the-art.
  • Implemented long overdue infrastructure upgrades in the County’s IT Department.
  • Commissioned consultants to guide the county through the development of the Otsego County Strategic Plan
  • In 2018 we will invest in our fire training center with a new “burn building” supporting our firefighters to prepared to protect their residents when needed
  • All County unionized bargaining units are currently under contract.
  • Saw the construction of a solar farm on County property in Laurens that will generate $40,000 worth of energy savings annually for the County.
  • Voted to budget monies to upgrade and renovate the jail to satisfy Commission on Corrections.
  • The county worked with NYMIR, our insurance carrier, to set up a Safety Committee that reviewed procedures and policies on how our departments function. Otsego County earned the distinction of a statewide Safety Award for 2017 from NYMIR.
  • As a member of Public Works Committee advocated for Highway Infrastructure spending to be exponentially increased in the last two years. 25 County roads have been paved in October alone.
  • The Shared Services agreement with Onondaga County Purchasing Department has saved the County hundreds of thousands of dollars. We contracted with Onondaga, and they ensure that our purchases are legally compliant and we get the best possible price and service for our money. Department. Other counties are now attempting to duplicate this successful model of shared services.
  • A new Vehicle Lease and Maintenance Program recently proposed by Public Works and adopted by the Administration Committee will reduce vehicle costs and minimize repair expenses.








Marietta’s Resolution From Floor

‘Disrespectful,’ Frazier Declares

Chiding Democrat Marietta for seeking a decision on moving toward hiring a county manager are, from left, Republicans Dan Wilber of Burlington, Ed Frazier of Unadilla, and Kathy Clark of Otego, the board chair. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

County Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, rises to make what turned out to be a controversial motion. Seated is Meg Kennedy, R-Mount Vision.

COOPERSTOWN – County Rep. Andrew Marietta’s attempt to introduce a resolution to hire a county manager quickly blew up into high drama and parliamentary gamesmanship a today’s county Board of Representatives meeting.

The vote itself was quickly derailed.

Marietta made a motion, Kay Stuligross, D-Oneonta, seconded it, and Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, with some prompting from County Attorney Ellen Coccoma, quickly said, “I’m objecting to the presentation of the resolution.”

Frazier’s objection, according to Coccoma’s ruling, required a two-third vote for the resolution to move forward.

The 7-5 vote favored the resolution.  But the weighted vote went the other way, 3,408 against versus 2,856 for.  Either measure, though, fell short of the two-thirds mark.

Jail Sprinkler System Faulty, Sheriff Reports

Jail Sprinkler System

Faulty, Sheriff Reports

But Repairs May Not Happen Until 2018

Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. reports on challenges at the county jail to the county board’s Public Safety & Legal Affairs Committee this morning. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – The sprinkler system in the Otsego County jail is faulty, Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. told the county board’s Public Safety & Legal Affairs Committee this morning, but repairs may not come anytime soon.

“What I was told, if the system is activated, it will probably clog,” he told the committee at its monthly meeting.  Although it’s unclear how effective the sprinklers are, he said the alarms would probably allow all the inmates to be evacuated in time.

Committee member Dan Wilber, R-Burlington Flats, reacted:  “This is an extraordinary situation.”

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