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News of Otsego County

Jim Dean

Board weighs opt out, referendum as state’s deadline approaches

Board weighs opt out, referendum as state’s deadline approaches

Some two dozen Cooperstown residents were almost evenly divided in comments during a public hearing Monday, December 6, to address a pending Board of Trustees vote that would find the Village opting out of allowing the retail sale of marijuana within Cooperstown’s borders.

New York legalized the sale of marijuana in April, and allowed local governments to choose whether they want dispensaries and lounges where customers could smoke on-site. To opt out, however, that same state law requires a local government to pass a local law no later than December 31, 2021. Failure to do so automatically opens the locality to dispensaries and lounges; those local governments that vote to opt out prior to the year-end deadline may repeal that local law through permissive referendum at a later date to allow for retail sale.

Splitting Homes Into Apartments Upsets Village

Splitting Homes Into

Apartments Upsets Village

By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Nothing less than Cooperstown’s future evoked lively debate when, for a second time, the Village Board presented its proposed zoning law to the public.

At debate’s end, the document was approved, 6-1, with Trustee Jim Dean the sole nay. Voting aye were Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, and Trustees MacGuire Benton, Jeanne Dewey, Joe Membrino and Richard Sternberg.

The focus was a provision allowing single-family homes to be converted into three-unit dwellings.
“There’s nothing built into the new law that would prevent any of the houses from being immediately converted into multi-family units,” said Linden Summers, a local attorney. “… I can predict that all of the houses on Pioneer Street could be converted. There isn’t any control over how many units there will be.”

Ted Feury, Chestnut Street, echoed those concerns. “It can immediately be done, but you don’t necessarily get what you want. It’s nice to have a broad stroke of the brush and think it’s going to work. I don’t think the zone should be broken down without special permits.”

“We’re between a rock and a hard place,” said Rick Hulse Sr., who lives on Pioneer Street. “With our population in decline, where are we headed? … This law concerns me … it seems like we’re a little desperate.”

On the other side, Fire Chief Jim Tallman said a lack of affordable housing in Cooperstown is contributing to a decline in volunteer firefighters.

“We are seeing a lot of people that can’t afford to live in Cooperstown. It’s hard to get people to come out and volunteer. If this continues, the village will have to have a paid fire department,” he said.

Bill Streck, Bassett Healthcare Network president, said, “As a citizen, I am very concerned about our capability to support our school. It’s the heart of the community,” he said. “With our population in decline, we have to take a hard look at what has happened in our community. The ability of our organization to recruit is dependent on having confidence in our schools and finding affordable housing.”

CCS board president Tim Hayes backed the initiative as well: “We are losing people and leaking paychecks.”

“I see nothing wrong with this. I was upset when we lost the ability to have more than
five units in the same building,” said Trustee Sternberg. “I’m in favor of the law.”

“We’ve already had this in most of the village and it hasn’t ruined the village,” added Dewey.

“It expands options for housing. It’s not something unique to Cooperstown,” said Benton.

Dean said, “It’s really tough. We’ve got to be very creative along the way.”

Mayor, Trustees Celebrate Victory

Mayor, Trustees Celebrate Victory

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and Trustees Cindy Falk and Jim Dean gathered with well-wishers at the Tillapaugh-Kuch home on Beaver Street Tuesday evening to celebrate their victory in that day’s Cooperstown village elections. From left are Dean, the Falks (son Isaac, husband Glen and the candidate), the mayor and husband Gary Kuch, Dean’s wife Eileen and Jeff Katz, who retires as mayor at the end of the month.  Falk and Dean turned back a Republican challenger; Tillapaugh was unopposed.  (Martin Tillapaugh photo)
CLICK HERE FOR WAMC REPORT ON NEW MAYOR
Democrats Turn Back Republican Challenger

FALK, DEAN WIN AGAIN

Democrats Turn Back

Republican Challenger

COOPERSTOWN – The two Democratic incumbents on the Village Board, Cindy Falk and Jim Dean, emphatically turned back a challenge from the one Republican, Fred Schneider, in today’s village elections.

Falk led trustee balloting with 218 votes, followed by Dean with 178.  Schneider garnered 75.   The three were competing for two open seats.

Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, who was unopposed for mayor, garnered 230 votes.

3 Seek 2 Trustee Spots In Cooperstown Election
POLLS OPEN NOON-9

3 Seek 2 Trustee Spots

In Cooperstown Election

COOPERSTOWN – Three candidates will be seeking two village trustee positions when polls open noon-9 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, March 20) at the fire house on Chestnut Street.

The two Democratic incumbents, Cindy Falk and Jim Dean, are running for another term, challenged by Republican Fred Schneider.

The mayoral candidate, current Deputy Mayor & Trustee Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, a Democrat, is running unopposed to succeeded veteran Mayor Jeff Katz.

Becker, Boden Leave Village Board Races

Becker, Boden Leave

Village Board Races

Tillapaugh Unopposed For Mayor;

3 Run For 2 Openings For Trustee

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Boden
Becker

COOPERSTOWN – Two candidates for Village Board in the March 20 election – Jon Becker for mayor and Art Boden for trustee – have left the race.

Both have signed the “certificates of declination” required after receiving a party endorsement, according to Village Administrator Teri Barown, who oversees village elections.

It’s Unanimous For Tillapaugh

DEMOCRATS CAUCUS AT 22 MAIN

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/AllOTSEGO.com)
Ommegang Seeks Talent For Christmas Commercial

Ommegang Seeks Talent

For Christmas Commercial

Larry Bennett, Ommegang creative director, this evening asked the Cooperstown Village Board for  use of Pioneer Park next Monday to shoot a commercial for Brewery Ommegang. His request was accepted, and a $500 location fee levied.  In the background are trustees Jim Dean, Cindy Falk and Ellen Tillapaugh. (Libby Cudmore/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Lights, camera, Cooperstown!

“We see a line of men, waiting in Pioneer Park,” said Larry Bennett, Ommegang’s creative director, as he outlined his vision for a commercial before the Village Board this evening. “What are they waiting for? The camera pans up to Santa’s cottage, and Mrs. Claus welcomes him inside. He goes to Santa, Santa opens his ‘Nice or Naughty’ book, and then hands him a bottle of Three Philosophers.”

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/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.”

KINDERHOOK SLIDE SHOW
A Rare Gathering Of Deans

A Rare Gathering Of Deans

A rare gathering of Deans is underway at 15 Delaware St., Cooperstown, for the next few days. The three children of Village Trustee Jim Dean and wife Eleanor – all CCS graduates – are all together at home for the first time in three years. Standing, from left, are Janice, who begins work next week as NYSERDA assistant counsel; Colleen, who has her own acupuncture practice in New York City, and Jeff, of Boulder, Colo., director of Full Stack Education for Galvanize.it,, the burgeoning programmer-training program. At right is Jeff's wife, Emily Clark, and, in the foreground, their daughter Lola. (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
A rare gathering of Deans is underway at 15 Delaware St., Cooperstown, for the next few days. The three children – all CCS grads – of Village Trustee Jim Dean and wife Eileen are all together at home for the first time in three years. Standing, from left, are Janice, who begins work next week as NYSERDA assistant counsel; Colleen, who has her own acupuncture practice in New York City, and Jeff, of Boulder, Colo., director of Full Stack Education for Galvanize.it,, the burgeoning programmer-training program. At right is Jeff’s wife, Emily Clark, and, in the foreground, their daughter Lola. (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Falk, Dean Sworn In For New Terms

Falk, Dean Sworn In For New Terms

Cindy Falk, left, with husband Glenn, and Jim Dean, right, with wife Eleanor, were sworn in to new terms on the Cooperstown Village Board this evening by Village Clerk Teri Barown.  (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
Cindy Falk, left, with husband Glenn, and Jim Dean, right, with wife Eileen, were sworn in to new terms on the Cooperstown Village Board this evening by Village Clerk Teri Barown. (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
Democrats Nominate Dean, Falk For Cooperstown Board

Democrats Nominate Dean,

Falk For Cooperstown Board

Roberta Hohensee, right, congratulates Village Trustee Jim Dean after he was nominated for a second term.  At left, Jeanne Dewey congratulates Dean's wife Eileen.  (JIm Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Roberta Hohensee, right, congratulates Village Trustee Jim Dean after he was nominated for a second term. At left, Jeanne Dewey congratulates Dean’s wife Eileen. (JIm Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Hank Nicols. center, Democratic elections commissioner, will be succeeded by the current county chair, Richard Abbate, left, it was announced tonight.  Also, village chair Mark DiLorenzo, right, announced he is moving out of the village and will have to step aside.
Hank Nicols. center, Democratic elections commissioner, will be succeeded by the current county chair, Richard Abbate, left, it was announced tonight. Also, village Democratic chair Mark DiLorenzo, right, announced he is moving out of the village and will have to step aside.

COOPERSTOWN – Incumbents Jim Dean and Cindy Falk were nominated by acclamation this evening for their second full terms on the Village Board at the Democratic caucus at 22 Main.

Village elections are Tuesday, March 10.

Cindy Falk
Cindy Falk

Dean, who attended with wife Eileen, said “it’s been enjoyable” and he’s looking forward to a second term.  Falk, who was out of town, was unable to attend, but was praised by Mayor Jeff Katz, who put her name in nomination, as well as by her colleague Dean.

The Republican caucus is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, also in the Village Board room at 22 Main.

Also at the meeting, the dozen Democrats present were alerted that Hank Nicols, former county and villageDemocratic chairman, is stepping aside as the Democratic county election commissioner, to be replaced by the current county chair, Richard Abbate.

Mark DiLorenzo, current village Democratic chair, advised the gathering he and wife Diana Nicols DiLorenzo are moving their family to Toddsville, so he will soon have to step aside.

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