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News of Otsego County

endorsement editorial

ENDORSEMENT: Delgado Invincible, Earns Second Term In Congress

ENDORSEMENT EDITORIAL

Delgado Invincible, Earns

Second Term In Congress

Antonio Delgado appeared last fall at a Cooperstown Rotary Club meeting at The Otesaga.   At left are former Cooperstown mayor Jeff Katz and the current mayor, Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch; at right is Villages Trustee Richard Sternberg.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

In effect, the Republican Party this season failed to field a candidate against freshman Congressman Antonio Delgado in the 19th District, which includes Otsego County.

While a contest can sharpen an incumbent’s resolve, Delgado – except for voting “aye” on impeachment – has pretty much done everything right in his first term.

Kyle van de Water spoke to the Otsego and Schoharie county Republican committees in February, and hasn’t been seen locally since. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)

First, he’s been present, holding more than two-dozen town hall meetings district-wide, including at Oneonta, Cooperstown and Cherry Valley, and showing up with his family at such places as the Cooperstown Bat Company.

He was at a poverty summit at Foothills last year, and followed up with special funding to Opportunities for Otsego. That’s one of many examples of his attentiveness.

And he’s educated himself on farming, challenges facing small business, broad-
band and other regional challenges. Most astonishingly, he has sponsored legislation of sufficient breadth to pass the Republican Senate and get signed into law by the Republican in chief.

He’s certainly earned reelection, as the Republican Party and major GOP donors seem to have concluded, too.

As of Oct. 14, Delgado had raised $5,689,567 toward his reelection. His challenger, a Poughkeepsie lawyer, Kyle Van De Water, had raised $130,381; that’s 2.3 percent of his opponent’s take.

Ouch.

Ola Hawatmeh lost the Republican primary, but stayed in the race as a write-in.

Van de Water was further damaged, as if that were necessary, by the Ola Hawatmeh sideshow. The St. Louis fashion designer, by way of Poughkeepsie, lost the Republican primary, but continues on as an independent. Her signs are everywhere around here, compared to few to none for Van de Water.

What’s that all about?

Looking ahead, a Delgado victory may work for us in another way.

If Joe Biden wins the presidency, our junior U.S. senator, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, has been mentioned for a Cabinet post. And Delgado’s been mentioned, if that happens, as the leading prospect to fill the Gillibrand vacancy.

Having one of two U.S. senators with such an understanding of Otsego County and the rest of the 19th as Delgado, and all the local contacts he’s developed in the past two years, can’t hurt us.

This may be his local swansong, anyhow. With New York State looking to lose two Congressional districts in next year’s redistricting, one scenario has Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney retiring, and his 18th District in the Hudson Valley being folded into Delgado’s 19th.

If that happens, it’s likely Otsego County could be folded back into a Central New York District – Democrat Anthony Brindisi’s (or Republican Claudia Tenney’s) Utica-based 22nd.

Thinking back on Sherry Boehlert’s and Mike Arcuri’s congressional tenures, that sounds pretty good. After all, the Hudson Valley is a long
way away.

Revisit Richfield Comp Plan: Elect Palevsky, Eckler, Bello

ENDORSEMENT EDITORIAL

Revisit Richfield Comp Plan:

Elect Palevsky, Eckler, Bello

Nick Palevsky for Richfield town supervisor

In the lead-up to the Richfield Town Board adopting a new Comprehensive Plan & Zoning Code, people said they want to see the town come together.

People observed that “nothing’s happened” in the Richfield Springs area in the past 20 years (or longer).

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To info@allotsego.com

By noon Monday, 10/28

People mourned the decline in enrollment of the Richfield Springs Central School, which graduated 29 seniors on June 29.

These emotions are easily understood.

But to conclude, as some did, that the town’s new comp plan and code, hatched without the knowledge of the community at large with special interests in mind, will accomplish any of those things is likely mistaken.

While polite, meetings leading up to the final decision – a public hearing Sept. 23 on the zoning code, and the town board meeting Sept. 30 where members of a clique, 3-2, jammed through the undigested document – were angry.

The reasons have been spelled out in our news pages: West End neighbors, their lawsuit against the five-turbine Monticello Hills Wind foiled, took control of the process of revising the comp plan and zoning code.

Fred Eckler for Richfield Town Board

By the time the community at large became aware of what was going on, the neighbors controlled the Zoning Commission, the Planning Board and three of five seats on the Town Board.

In addition to banning wind turbines, and original comp plan virtually prohibited any development along Route 20, the major commercial thoroughfare through the town.

After an outcry, and more measured inputs by people like Andela Products President Cynthia Andela, that was revised.  On the whole, though, the plan pushed through Sept. 30 envisions the Town of Richfield’s future as agricultural – as dairying disappears – and residential.

That ensures “nothing” will happen, new people won’t move in, commerce will remain stagnant, school enrollment will continue to ebb.

The Republican Town Board slate – former Supervisor Nick Palevsky, incumbent Town Board member Fred Eckler and newcomer Ed Bello Jr. – object to the new comp plan and code.

Ed Bello Jr. for Richfield Town Board

They deserve voters’ support Tuesday, Nov. 5.  Polls will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the town and across Otsego County, where local elections will be held.

If elected, a first step being considered would be to revisit the petitions signed by landowners in the town to require a super-majority – a 4-1 vote – to pass the zoning code.  If found valid after all, and Sept. 30 vote is moot.  The code is no more.

If that happened, it would have to be just the beginning.  A process – the particulars are unclear; this is a rare occurrence – would have to be pursued to come up with a new comp plan and zoning code that truly reflects the widest possible consensus among townsfolks.

Done correctly – not by any special-interest group, but by community leaders guided by only the good of the whole – a new broad-based plan might very well achieve what everyone wants.

That’s a community that’s come together, not torn apart, where “something” can happen in terms of jobs and commerce, where RSCS will indeed flourish again.

Reelect Marietta, ‘Reform Caucus’

EDITORIAL ENDORSEMENTS

Reelect Marietta,

‘Reform Caucus’

Editor’s Note:  This is the editorial opinion of www.AllOTSEGO.com, Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s JournalLetters to the editor on political topics received after 10 a.m. Tuesday will appear on www.AllOTSEGO.com.  Polls are open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Andrew Marietta’s biggest supporters, wife Melissa, daughters Caroline, 11, and Charlotte, 9, and the man’s best friend, Otis, rally around the candidate. (AllOTSEGO.com)

With all the sturm und drang over the years surrounding the Otsego County Board of Representatives – MOSA or not, road patrols or not, economic development or not – a central truth was lost: County government doesn’t work very well.

It makes sense that Andrew Marietta, the freshman county rep for Cooperstown and the Town of Otsego, would quickly recognize that. As regional director of NYCON, the state Council of Non-Profits, his job is to get struggling organizations to focus on mission and map steps necessary for success.

Locally, from Foothills to the Greater Oneonta Historical Society to merging the Smithy Pioneer Gallery with the Cooperstown Art Association, NYCON, often with Marietta in the lead, has strengthened so many key institutions we take for granted.
The road to success is simple: Identify priorities – five at a time, maybe, not 100 – resolve them systematically, then move on to the next five. The goal, progress. Simple, but requiring vision and discipline.

Shortly after taking office in 2016, Marietta salvaged the $40,000 county strategic plan that had been put together the year before by the Laberge Group out of Albany, tapping common needs among the county’s municipalities. It was headed for the shelf, but his advocacy saved it, turning it into the guiding document of the county board’s Strategic Planning Committee.

Board Chair Clark Has Earned Defeat

EDITORIAL ENDORSEMENTS

Board Chair Clark

Has Earned Defeat

3 Key Allies Let County Down, Too

Editor’s Note: This is the editorial opinion of www.AllOTSEGO.com, Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal.  Letters to the editor on political topics received after 10 a.m. Tuesday will appear on www.AllOTSEGO.com; email letters to info@allotsego.com.  Polls will be open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Otego and Laurens voters should deny county Rep. Kathy Clark, another term.

The first vow in physicians’ Hippocratic Oath is, “Do no harm.” It’s not a bad standard to apply across the board, and county board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego/Laurens, failed to meet it.

After standing at the podium on Jan. 10, 2014, with state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller to herald a new era of economic development in Otsego County, Clark withheld funding, withheld cooperation and hammered through appointments of directors hostile to the goals of what became Otsego Now.

On Thursday, May 25, 2017, she accomplished her goal. Otsego Now’s director, Sandy Mathes, was forced to resign, all the staff quit, and the most promising economic-development initiative in Upstate New York, which had garnered tens of millions of seed money for Otsego County’s renewal, collapsed.

When your high school graduate departs for a construction job in Florida or the Carolinas, or your college grad for the Silicon Valley or Seattle, thank Kathy Clark. Meanwhile, she’s up for reelection Nov. 7, and the citizens of her districts – Otego and Laurens – should vote her out.

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