News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Jeff Katz

KATZ: Give Mayor Help She Needs To Complete Work At Hand

Give Mayor Help She Needs

To Complete Work At Hand

To the Editor:

Under the leadership of Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, the good work of the village government has continued. The enormous wastewater treatment plant rebuild has begun, as has the Doubleday Field renovation.

Add to that the fantastic update of Pioneer Park and the TEP Main Street project and the village has never looked as good, or been taken care of so well.

This is not easy work and takes a mayor and Board of Trustees (including Joe Membrino and MacGuire Benton, both running for reelection) dedicated, both in spirit and in time, to getting the job done.

I was speaking with a Main Street business owner recently who had had an epiphany – it wasn’t so long ago that improvements to the village infrastructure were few and far between.

He was now so used to the constant work being done to bring the village to the improved condition it deserves to be in that he’d forgotten that this wasn’t always the state of things.

Let’s keep that constructive progress going by voting for Tillapaugh, Membrino and Benton. Election Day is March 18.


$10K For Doubleday Baltimore Buddies Remember Friend Through Donation To Baseball Shrine

$10K For Doubleday

Baltimore Buddies Remember Friend

Through Donation To Baseball Shrine

Richard Faust, left, who passed away in February, hangs out with Steve Murfin, center, and Steve Wells in the dugout at their annual Baltimore Orioles “Dream Week.”

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Two weeks before his baseball buddy Richard Faust died, Steve Murfin and his pal were at the annual Baltimore Orioles “Dream Week” in Florida.

Former Cooperstown mayor Jeff Katz is leading fundraising efforts as Friends of Doubleday Field president. (Jim Kevlin/

“I was talking to my mother on the phone, and I handed the phone to him,” said Murfin. “He told her jokes and made her laugh for 10 minutes, and when she handed the phone back, she said, ‘I love that guy. He’ll never change and that’s great’.”

Faust, 70, who ran the annual Cooperstown tournament for members of the Orioles fantasy camp, died suddenly this past Feb. 27 in Washington D.C.

“He loved Doubleday Field,” said Murfin. “He always wanted his ashes spread here, and although we can’t do that, we’ll have a ceremony for him,” he said. “We loved him, and he loved us.”

Doubleday Has A Friend

Friends Of Doubleday Present


Has A Friend

MANY Friends Aim To Raise

$800,000 To Complete Redo

Jeff Katz, former mayor and new Friend of Doubleday president, said the organization aims to raise $800,000 for next year’s centennial of the historic site. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Where some people saw scraps, Jeff Katz and Quinton Hasak saw a fundraising opportunity.

“When the demolition of the third-base bleachers started, the question arose about what we were going to do with them,” said former mayor Jeff Katz, now president of the Friends of Doubleday. “They’re not the original bleachers, but they’re still a thing from the field.”

Someone offered to buy the entire pile for $1,000. “It wasn’t ours to sell, but even so, not for that little,” said Katz. “It’s worth more than fill.”

Friends of Doubleday Offer Tours Of Historic Field

Walk Where Legends Walked

Friends Offer Tours

Of Doubleday Field

By LIBBY CUDMORE• Special to

Jeff Katz, president, Friends of Doubleday, poses with a the exclusive pin you get when you take a tour of Doubleday Field.

COOPERSTOWN – If you’ve ever dreamed of setting foot on historic Doubleday Field, Jeff Katz and the Friends of Doubleday can make that happen.

“People always want to get on the field,” he said. “There’s lots of signage telling people the story of Doubleday, but it doesn’t get them out there.”

The Friends of Doubleday – Katz is president – have begun offering tours 8-9 a.m. every Wednesday and Thursday to take fans through the grandstand, into the dugout and onto the historic field, where they can take pictures or take a run around the bases.

Jeff Katz Honored At Village Hall Reception

Jeff Katz Honored

At Village Hall Reception

Former Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz was celebrated this evening in the ballroom at Village Hall, where he was gifted a gavel, a print of the village and a proclamation by new mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, as well as remarks by friends, trustees past and present and state Senator Jim Seward, R-Milford. “I have been fortunate to serve with people of a like mind,” he said. “And I cannot say enough about all the people in this room. It’s nice to have people come to your side.” (Ian Austin/

Urban Renewal Panel


COMMUNITY PROGRAM – 5:30 p.m. Panel on “Downtown Renewal: Community Economic Revitalization” featuring panelists Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, Sociology Chair Dr. Alex Thomas, President/CEO Otsego Co. Chamber of Commerce Barbara Ann Heegan, more. Presentation followed by audience Q&A. Free, open to the public. Otsego Grille, Morris Complex, SUNY Oneonta. Call 607-436-3498.

SENIOR PLAY – 7 – 9:30 p.m. CCS produciton of “Almost. Maine.” Auditorium, Cooperstown High School. Call 607-547-8181 or visit

Public Hearing Set For Cooperstown Drone Law

Public Hearing Set

For Cooperstown Drone Law

Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz addresses the Cooperstown Board of Trustees in regards to his proposed drone law, which would restrict where people could take off and land unmanned aircrafts within village limits. A public hearing for the proposed law will be held on March 26, at 7pm in Village Hall. (Parker Fish/
It’s Unanimous For Tillapaugh


It’s Unanimous

For Tillapaugh

Falk, Dean Win Nod For Trustee

Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, in light blue, joins the applause a few minutes ago for retiring Mayor Jeff Katz, right, at the Democratic caucus at 22 Main, Cooperstown.  Katz then nominated Tillapaugh for the Democratic nod to succeed him in the March 20 village elections.  Tillapaugh’s husband, Town Justice Gary Kuch, seconded the nomination, which was carried unanimously. The Democrats, meeting in the second-floor ballroom at 22 Main, then unanimously nominated incumbent trustees Cindy Falk and Jim Dean, seated to Tillapaugh’s right, for three-years term. The Republican caucus is at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Village Board room at 22 Main.  (Jim Kevlin/
Baseball Activist Speaks In Cooperstown

Help Right Wrong, Author

Urges SABR At HoF Meeting

Speaking to the Cliff Kachline chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) at the Hall of Fame today, Doug  Gladstone, author of “A Bitter Cup of Coffee: How MLB & The Players Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve,” detailed how hundred of retirees failed to gain Players Association pensions.  Players who retired before 1980 earn only $625 per quarter for every 43 roster days in the Major League, he said. Gladstone encouraged society members, who include Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, to reach out and urge the Players Association to right a wrong.  “If they awarded $10,000 per year to the 645 living players, it would cost the Players Association about $6.5 million,” said Gladstone. “I’ve been called an agitator, but this country was founded on agitators. You can call me any name in the book, but no one has ever called me wrong.”  (Parker Fish/

Drone Law In The Works For Cooperstown

Drone Law In Works

For Cooperstown

Monday night’s Board of Trustees meeting brought about an announcement from Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, pictured above, that he was looking into regulations for flying drones within village limits. According to Katz, the law would bring about a $250 fine for violating the law. Board member Richard Sternberg challenged that the law should carry a heavier fine of $500, but the maximum fine allowed by the state is only $250. (Parker Fish/
Ommegang, Springbrook, YMCA Among Winners Of Otsego CFAs


Ommegang, YMCA Among

Otsego Winners Of CFAs

Otsego County attendees today as Governor Cuomo announced $750 million in economic-development grants statewide included state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, second from right; County Board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego, sixth from right, and Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, fifth from left. In all, Otsego County received funding for 15 projects, ranging from $525,000 to Ommegang for the expansion of its hospitality center, to Springbrook for training, and to the Oneonta Family Y for renovations to the first and third floors.  The big winner was the Village of Cooperstown, which received $1 million, the largest grant, for its sewage-plant reconstruction.  In all, the county received $4 million, down from last year’s $7 million, which was a record.


Village Trustees Continue Talk of Tourist Accommodations

Mayor Foresees Fewer

Tourist-Housing Options

Village Trustees Jim Dean and Cindy Falk discuss the impacts of the proposed sunset clause in the new tourist accommodation laws. (Libby Cudmore/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – With the deadline for tourist-accommodation permits nearing and a moratorium in its fifth month, Mayor Jeff Katz updated the Village Board, saying he foresees tighter regulations on housing for visitors to the village.

“Clearly, the future is going to be where tourist accommodations in the village are harder to come by,” said Katz. “We’re not saying you can’t have tourist accommodations, but we’re working on bolstering the definition of owner, occupancy and owner-occupancy.”

Cooperstown’s Katz Joins Coalition Of U.S. Mayor Vs. Global Warming

Cooperstown’s Katz Joins Coalition

Of U.S. Mayor Vs. Global Warming

Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz

COOPERSTOWN – The Village of Cooperstown announced today that Mayor Jeff Katz has joined Climate Mayors (aka, Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, or MNCAA), a network of nearly 300 U.S. mayors representing over 60 million Americans.

Climate Mayors are working together to strengthen local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting efforts for binding federal and global-level policy making.

Homer Simpson Inducted Into Baseball Hall of Fame


Homer Simpson

In Baseball Hall

With Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board, Jon Shestakofsky, VP/communications, and Jeff Idelson, president, right, Homer Jay Simpson of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at the end of a 25th anniversary round-table discussion of The Simpsons TV show’s “Homer At The Bat” episode.  Behind Idelson are fellow Hall of Famers and Power Plant teammates Wade Boggs and Ozzie Smith. “If the Cubs can win the World Series and a cartoon can enter the Hall of Fame, there are no rules,” Homer said in his acceptance speech. At right, Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz and Homer pose following the opening of the “Homer at the Bat” exhibit in the Hall of Fame, featuring figures, animation cells and signed memorabilia. (Ian Austin/

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103