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.
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.
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
DISTRICT 10, Burlington/Edmeston/Pittsfield (unopposed)
COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE: Burlington Flats
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
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.
MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY:
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.
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.
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.”
Editor’s Note: This is the final of seven profiles of the seven new members of the Otsego County Board of Representatives elected Nov. 3, and who take office Wednesday, Jan. 6. Review all the profiles at www.allotsego.com
BURLINGTON – A former code officer for the county and an employee of the state Department of Transportation, Dan Wilber, knows how the government works. “And I know how it should work!” he said.
It was this idea that inspired him to run for District 10 county representative, a race he won against Democrat Russ Bachman and incumbent Betty Anne Schwerd, who ran as an independent. “I thought it was time for a change,” he said. “I thought we could use some fresh ideas, fresh people.”
An Ulster County native, Wilber enjoyed an active and varied career before settling in Burlington in 2004.
He was fire chief with the Phoenicia Fire Department, a corrections officer at the maximum security prison in Ellenville, Security & Fire Safety director for the state Office of Children & Family Services, and a photographer with the Air Force Thunderbirds.
He also owned two vacuum-cleaner stores in Danbury, Conn. And Fishkill, as well as worked for his wife Alison’s Motorola franchise.
EDUCATION: Graduated Corning Community – Fire Protection
Currently Assistant Director NYS DOT Safety & Health
Former County of Otsego Codes Director
Former Director of Security & Fire Safety NYS Children & Family Services
Former Owner Operator of successful family businesses.
Served in the United States Air Force to include the Air Force Thunderbirds
Former Town Justice, Burlington, 6 Years
Former President Otsego County Magistrates Association
Volunteer Firefighter 39 years
Member of Edmeston Fire Department and Rescue Squad
Former Fire Chief of a Three Department District
Relay for Life Volunteer
FAMILY: Married to Alison Kramer Wilber
Two Children Daughter Rose – CPA Son Ayden – Masters of Kinesiology
IN TWO OR THREE SENTENCES, EXPLAIN YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT.
Government should be by the people for the people. Government should reflect the wishes of the constituents represented.
WHAT ARE THE THREE MAJOR ISSUES THE OTSEGO COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES FACES, AND HOW WOULD YOU ADDRESS THEM?
• Increased County spending. I will hold the line on spending and require justification for increased budget lines. Being a former department head, I have participated in the budget process and I understand the budget process.
• Rising Property Taxes and the inability of our residents to to keep up with those taxes. I will work to maintain low taxes and respect the 2% tax cap.
• Search for innovative ways to strengthen our economic development to increase the tax base, create jobs and grow businesses. Our young people need meaningful employment opportunities here in Otsego County.
WHAT QUALITIES/EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE THAT MAKES YOU THE BETTER CHOICE IN THIS RACE
I have both private sector business experience and government management experience to include being a former department head within Otsego County. I understand how government should operate and how business does operate.
IS THERE A STATEMENT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH VOTERS?
I pledge to serve the people of Otsego County with integrity and respect. I will be open to new ideas no matter who presents them.