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News of Otsego County

Greg Mattice

Mayor Drnek’s ‘singular focus’ on City’s growth
From left to right: (wife) Betsy Holland, (grandson) Rahmon Daily, Jr, Mayor Mark Drnek, Oneonta City Judge Bob Goulden. (Jennifer Armstrong)

Mayor Drnek’s ‘singular focus’ on City’s growth

By Kevin Limiti

The City of Oneonta welcomed its new mayor on New Year’s Day when former Eighth Ward Councilman Mark Drnek took the oath to assume his office.

He already has changed City Hall: Mayor Drnek adopted City Administrator Greg Mattice’s plan to rearrange the office layout to “foster more coordination and collaboration” in the building.

“I will always do what’s best for the business of organization or, in this case, the City,” Mayor Drnek said.
The new mayor, who has lived in Oneonta for more than 38 years, said he is “really excited” to take on the new job.

Mayor Gary Herzig sounds warning about COVID variant at Common Council

Mayor Gary Herzig
sounds warning about
COVID variant
at Common Council

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA The Common Council meeting Tuesday, Aug. 3, began with a message from Mayor Gary Herzig regarding the recent updates regarding the delta variant of the coronavirus.

“We’re all concerned about the variant,” Herzig said. “The numbers aren’t alarming but they are going in the wrong direction.”

Herzig likened it to a race between the virus and vaccinations. “Unfortunately, what we didn’t see coming is the large number of people who didn’t want to get the vaccinations.”

Otsego County has a 57% vaccination rate, Herzig said, which is lower than both the state and national average of 70%.

As of Tuesday, there were three reported new cases in Otsego County, bringing the total cases up to 31, according to the Otsego County Department of Health, making it a 2.6% seven day positivity average.

“If it continues this way, it’s not just the delta variant, we give the virus time to create new variants which could be even worse,” Herzig said. “In the meantime, if you’re not vaccinated, wear a mask and if you are vaccinated, feel free to use a mask as a safety precaution.”

AllOtsego people: Mattice excited about new city role
New Oneonta City Administrator Greg Mattice,
center, and Mayor Gary Herzig present Parks
Director Lou Lansing the ‘Employee of the Quarter’ award Tuesday, July 6, at City Hall. (Kevin Limiti/Allotsego)

AllOtsego people: Mattice excited about new city role

By KEVIN LIMITI• Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA — Oneonta native Greg Mattice has begun his new role as Oneonta’s city administrator.

Mattice began his new position July 1, leaving his job as city engineer.

Mattice, who said he enjoys playing basketball and spending time with his family, earned a degree in engineering from Syracuse University in 2009.

“We’re a small city,” Mattice said. “I do a lot of technical work.”

Mattice said that his main priority is going to be increasing communication throughout the various departments.

“The first step is to make sure everyone is on the same page.”

The city administrator’s job will to be to oversee the various operations and coordinate between different departments in the city. The common council voted last year to amend the position following several unsuccessful attempts at fielding a city manager.

The administrator position will have less autonomy than the city manager and will report to the council.
George Korthauer resigned as city manager in January 2020. City officials have said they had not had a good track record with managers and wanted to reform the position.

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig said Mattice’s “knowledge and knowing people in the city” made him a great candidate. “He has a good vision for where the city needs to go in the years ahead. It was unanimously felt that he was the person who met the city’s needs at the time,” Herzig said.

Mattice had been the city engineer since 2015.

He said he was comfortable filling this role because he has “built good relationships with a lot of the department heads.”

“We work pretty closely with everyone,” Mattice said.

He said that he didn’t think he would be doing this sort of a job initially.

“I certainly didn’t get out of college thinking I’d be a city administrator or a city engineer for that matter,” Mattice said. “I think it’s just interesting and it keeps me on my toes. There’s something new every day.”

Mattice was a member of the Otsego County’s Energy Task Force and in 2017, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig gave him the key to the city in appreciation of his efforts in keeping the city safe during winter
storm Stella.

Editor Greg Klein contributed to this report. 

City Promotes Mattice To Administrator Position

City Promotes Mattice
To Administrator Position

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – The city of Oneonta has promoted Greg Mattice to fill the position of city administrator.

Mattice, who has been with the city since 2010 and has been the city engineer for about half of that time, was approved for his new position by the city’s Common Council Tuesday, April 20.

The administrator position is a revised position in the city, an attempt to turn the autonomous city manager into an employee for the council and mayor. George Korthauer resigned as city manager in January 2020, about six months before his three-year term was set to expire. In the aftermath, city officials said they had not had a good track record with managers and wanted to reform the position.

The new position, which was created at a special meeting in October, was designed to have less power and independence than the city manager position.

Mattice was a member of the Otsego County’s Energy Task Force and in 2017, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig gave him the key to the city in appreciation of his efforts in keeping the city safe during winter storm Stella.

“I know that both the department heads and the council are both looking forward to working with you in that role,” Herzig said. “We are very excited to have you in this role.”

Mattice, who will begin in his new role July 1, will make $110,000 a year.

Energy Task Force Goal: To Avoid Us Vs. Them
from the ENERGY TASK FORCE

Energy Task Force Goal:

To Avoid Us Vs. Them

To the Editor:

Your June 20-21 editorial on the Otsego County Energy Taskforce ends with the sentence: “We’re all in this together.” We on the Taskforce Leadership Committee couldn’t agree more.

But the editorial’s main assertion that the business community has been shut out of the process is not based on fact and includes inaccuracies and unhelpful hypotheticals that need to be corrected.

Chief among these is the statement that the Economic Development subcommittee does not contain anyone from the business community. This is not true. We took considerable care to make sure that all of the subcommittees had members from the private sector contributing as members or advisors.

To imply that the CEO’s of the Otsego County Chamber and Otsego’s IDA are not able to represent the interests of the business community is somewhat remarkable since that is precisely their job.

We ARE all in this together – with the purpose of creating a practical actionable plan to address the current and future energy needs of Otsego County. This is our stated purpose, and the mission we adopted is to “address the needs of the community to become energy secure and resilient while making long-term progress in improving the health of citizens, economic growth and environmental sustainability.”

Because perspectives differ widely, we have gone to great lengths to avoid “us versus them” divisions. In the interests of the county and our taskforce, we hope you will cover our ongoing
work accurately and in good faith.

The impulse to “read tea leaves” or to proclaim the plan as “DOA” before it’s written only serves to magnify the divisions that we endeavor to mend.

MEG KENNEDY
MICHELE FARWELL
BOB WOOD
LESLIE ORZETTI
GREG MATTICE
The Otsego County
Energy Taskforce
Leadership Committee

Energy Taskforce Sets Out Ambitious Plan in First Meeting

Energy Taskforce Sets Out

Ambitious Plan in 1st Meeting

Barbara Ann Heegan, right, studies her notes in preparation for the first meeting of the county’s new Energy Taskforce had its first full-member meeting in Town Hall on Wed., Feb. 27. Members and advisers bring a wide range of expertise, including the energy sector, economic development, conservation, academia, and governmental agencies.Most of the 21 members and 15 technical advisers attended, with a few calling in online, due to weather.  (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO)

by JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.ALLOTSEGO.com

WEST ONEONTA – In the first convening of the 38-member Otsego County Energy Taskforce Town Hall Wednesday evening, County Board Rep. Meg Kennedy, a founder of the group, announced its end goal: an ambitious plan “that will address the current and future energy needs of Otsego County” by October 2020.

Calling the plan’s timeline “ambitious,” Kennedy said the Taskforce aimed to complete a draft of the plan by June 2020, have a public commentary period the following month, for a minimum of 30 days, and go through a SEQRA review of the plan that August, all  before the Otsego Board would vote on adopting the plan in October of that year.

Harrison, Mattice Honored For Storm Stella Service

Harrison, Mattice

Given Key To The City

Mayor Gary Herzig, center, stands with City Engineer Greg Mattice, left, and Public Service Supervisor Larry Harrison, right, who were each awarded a Key to the City for their tireless efforts in keeping the city safe during Winter Storm Stella. (Ian Austin/AllOtsego.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – For their tireless efforts in clearing Oneonta streets and sidewalks during Winter Storm Stella, Mayor Gary Herzig awarded Public Service Superintendent Larry Harrison and City Engineer Greg Mattice each with a Key to the City during Common Council this evening.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the work that DPW and the city engineer did,” said Herzig. “They provided exceptional public service to the people of Oneonta. I’ve had emails, phone calls and letters thanking us for a job well done, but the real congratulations go to the people who’ve worked so hard.”

As Stella raged over Otsego County on Tuesday, March 15, dumping as much as two inches of a snow an hour, Harrison’s crew of 11 worked a 14 hour shift to clear the streets for emergency crews.

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