ONEONTA – The topic of OH Fest – SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College’s collaborative spring event – led to a heated exchange between 3rd Ward Council member David Rissberger and 5th Ward Council member Dana Marie Levinson two weeks ago at a Common Council meeting.
Talking led to shouting between the two until Mayor Gary Herzig stepped in to bring order to the discussion. Two weeks later, Rissberger apologized at last night’s Council meeting for his conduct, yet reaffirmed his belief that OH-Fest should be held off city property. It is currently held in Neahwa Park.
COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE: Morgan Avenue, Oneonta, Ward 5
EDUCATION: Mercy College
Currently LTA at Greater Plains Elementary School
Past: Senior loan officer with Citibank ; Finance Manager with Carsdirect.com
Otsego County Democratic Committee Ward 5 Representative
Chairperson for the OCDC Funding Committee
Secretary of Greater Plains PTO
President of Throggs Neck Association for the Education of the Exceptional
FAMILY: I have been happily married to my husband Richard Levinson for 14 years. We have four miraculous children. Donald, Delilah, Dahlia and Dannah keep us on our toes and inspire us daily.
IN TWO OR THREE SENTENCES, EXPLAIN YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT.
I believe to help with change for the better you need to be a part of it. I hope to do the best job possible if I get the seat on council. I will be the voice for the people, only after listening to my constituents concerns and opinions. I believe we need to open the door to better communication between the council and the people it represents.
WHAT ARE THE THREE MAJOR ISSUES THE COMMON COUNCIL FACES, AND HOW WOULD YOU ADDRESS THEM?
First the $1.5 Million dollar deficit that city starts off with in 2016 is a major concern. I hope to be assist in bringing in new businesses with the new plans that Otsego Now will present to our council.. I will assist the council with helping balance the upcoming budget.
Second, the vacant housing and neglected homes within our city is a major issue of concern. I will fully implement the housing task force recommendations. I think this is something we need to continue to work on. We need to speak with owners of the vacant store fronts as well, on our Main Street and see what they need in order try and fill those store fronts.
The third issue we have that has come to my attention only in the past few weeks is the shortage of fire and rescue worker we currently have. I honesty don’t have all the answers to how to fix this issue but I am digging deeper to find a solution for this issue.
WHAT QUALITIES/EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE THAT MAKES YOU THE BETTER CHOICE IN THIS RACE
I am very dedicated to this community. If I were not so invested in the City of Oneonta, I would not be running for the seat in the 5ht ward. I believe that I will be better at listening to my constituents wants and needs and make educated choice after doing so.
IS THERE A STATEMENT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH VOTERS?
I appreciate the opportunity to be able to run for a seat on the council. I feel that I have a vested interest in this community. This is the place that our family has chosen to live, work and play. I believe that our council will work better if we listen to our constituents. In order to be able to do that, we need to hold regular monthly ward meetings which I plan on doing to keep my community informed. We need to come together and work together, with our constituents’ best interest at heart. I hope that the voters in my ward with give me a chance to prove that I care greatly for our city and our ward and will do the best job possible as a common council member.