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News of Otsego County

Joe Biden

WALLER: Point – Give Federal Largesse To You, Me
ISSUE & DEBATE

POINT: Give Federal
Largesse To You, Me

Editor’s Note: This is citizen Bill Waller’s recommendation in a March 29 letter to the Cooperstown Village Board on how to spend its expected share from the $1.9 trillion Biden Stimulus Plan.

BILL WALLER

Dear Mayor Tillapaugh and the Board of Trustees;

I read with interest statements relating to the benefits coming to Cooperstown from the recently enacted American Rescue Plan (ARP). According to press accounts, this could be nearly $350,000.

In reviewing the proposed 2021-2022 Village of Cooperstown Budget, I did not see any amount referencing the ARP disbursement. This is entirely understandable since the act has just passed, well after all the budget discussions held by the Board of Trustees.

As this is budget enactment time, I would like to express my opinion as to how these funds should be spent when they arrive.

…I would like to make a radical proposal: Give it back to the residents.

In this year’s proposed budget $1,779,194.00 is listed as the expected income from Village property taxes. I would urge adoption of the budget and then when the ARP funds are received, issuing a rebate check to our Village taxpayers. I would propose 10% of the taxes levied be sent back to every Village property owner as COVlD Relief. This would only cost $177,919.40.

While this may seem a radical proposal, I remind you that no one opposed the $600 and $1,400 checks mailed from the Federal Government. I feel that no matter how small an individual’s Village COVlD Relief may be, it will be well received. It would also be innovative, creative and will reward our Village residents for their endurance during the past year. And other than the massive error on the part of Otsego County Government resulting in 20% tax rebates a few years ago, when has a local municipality rewarded their residents by sending some of their money back?

ARP regulations stipulate that the funds cannot be used to reduce taxes, but they can be used to “offset the impact to households” caused by the pandemic. This would be a fair way to lessen the impact.

I know the Village Board could find many ways to spend the ARP money, giving some of it directly to residents would have a big impact.

Creative minds could even come up with a letter accompanying the relief check noting worthwhile community projects very willing to accept the resident’s donated refund if they so choose.

I hope you will consider my proposals at this opportune time as part of your budget discussions.


COUNTERPOINT: Village
Suffered Real Losses

… and this is Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch’s April 5 response:

Mayor Tillapaugh

Dear Bill,

Thank you for your letter of March 29 pertaining to the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and your recommendations to the Village of Cooperstown on the use of the funds which we will receive.

…On March 23, Congressman Delgado held an information meeting concerning the ARP and provided more accurate funding information. He indicated the exact amount of ARP funds which the Village will receive is unclear at this time.

The U.S. Treasury will be determining the distribution of funds and will be providing that guidance to New York State, which will receive the funds for townships and Villages. The state will dispense them to the respective township which will in turn remit them to Villages. Our share will be based on our population percentage within the township.

One half of the funds will be provided this year and one half 12 months after the legislation is signed. General estimates at this time indicate we may receive approximately $120,000 within the next several months and a similar sum next year.

In budget year 2020-21, the Village of Cooperstown had an $800,000 decrease in revenues – from paid parking, sales tax, chips, and Doubleday Field rentals.

In reviewing the proposed 2021-22 VOC Budget, hopefully you realized that the Village Board did indeed fund an additional full-time police officer. We made this public safety commitment to our community, even though the funds we ultimately will receive from the ARP are only a fraction of the lost revenues due to the pandemic.

As for returning funds to taxpayers, the Village has not increased the property tax levy of $1,779,194 since 2013. Eight years of no increase in the tax levy is our support of Village property owners.

FURNARI: More Trump Flags On The Way
LETTER from SAL FURNARI

More Trump Flags On The Way

To the Editor:

This is a reaction to Consuelo Kraham Velez’s letter in the March 18 edition. And I write this for some of those that are fearful of being canceled because they worry about expressing their beliefs that may not be popular with their employer, their neighbor, or their governing body in their community.

Of course we will accept a portion of our money back. Let’s call it a rebate, not a relief check. We pay a fortune in taxes, so once in a while it’s nice to get something back.

And in regards to the comment about some kind of an “indisputable fact” that President Trump was trounced, it shows ignorance. If you still believe Beijing Biden was fairly elected and that fraud didn’t exist to get him in office, well then you are extremely naive. The mere fact a record 75 million voters never had their day in court proves my assertion.

China controls this temporary “lucky-if-he-makes-it-one-term” president, and the election was riddled with illegal actions and inconsistencies brought to light, proven, and never pursued by a bought-and-paid-for judicial system.

Corruption runs deep in our nation these days, due to people who are not statesmen employed in both parties. But if you call it “indisputable,” I’ll give you a chance. Bring us the facts next time you make such a statement.

Maybe getting off the big networks and doing a little research on your own will help you become more informed and appear more qualified to chime in. Just steer clear of the professors in your local universities, as they are certainly part of the problem.

And look out for more Trump signs coming. Because whether it’s Trump or anyone who believes in an America First policy, that’s who we will support. Not those hurting American businesses, and allowing undocumented individuals to enter our countryside on the southern border.

You don’t have a border you don’t have a country. Young girls are abused and sold because of the open border policy.

I hope you’re happy contributing to that, the higher gas prices, the pollution, the loss of jobs, the tension between us and China, Russia and North Korea, the appeasement of Iran, the massive spending, the higher taxes, legalization of drugs, abortion of 8- and 9-month-old fetuses, fentanyl entering through this open border policy killing tens of thousands of people a year – fentanyl coming from China specifically.

I challenge you to prove anything I just listed is not a fact. The arguments I’ve just made cannot be broken. And I’ll debate you any place, any time. In the meantime, I’m canceling reading anything you have to say to the editor and public again. So congratulations. You are now part of cancel culture you support.

SAL FURNARI
Town of Otsego

VELEZ: Just Wondering…
LETTER from CONSUELO KRAHAM VELEZ

Just Wondering…

To the Editor:

Recently, my travels took me slightly north of Cooperstown. I was rather surprised to see properties still displaying large Trump flags despite the actual, indisputable fact that he was roundly trounced in the last election.

Will the owners refuse to accept the actual relief checks that are soon coming their way, courtesy of our actual, legally elected president, Joseph R. Biden and the American Rescue Plan Act ?

Just wondering…

CONSUELO KRAHAM VELEZ
Cooperstown

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Don’t Scare, Bankrupt Voters, Or Undermine U.S. Economy
FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Don’t Scare, Bankrupt Voters,

Or Undermine U.S. Economy

During the past few days, President Biden has signaled flexibility on the size of a minimum-wage increase, skepticism about $50,000 in student-loan forgiveness and openness to negotiation on his immigration reform plan.

Progressive moans of protest have been muted but audible. Some young activists questioned Biden’s “courage.” Criticism from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was less personal but still pointed: “Our job is to deliver for the American people. Period.”

It is that “period” that more moderate Democrats such as Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) dispute. In essence, they are saying: Our job is to deliver for the American people in ways that don’t unduly frighten moderate voters, break the bank, undermine the economy or come back to bite us.

MICHAEL GERSON
Washington Post

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Virtual Tour Of Hamilton Exhibit 01-20-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20

Virtual Tour Of Hamilton Exhibit

14-19eventspagePRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION – 46th President Joe Biden to be inaugurated in Washington DC.

VIRTUAL TOUR – 2 p.m. Zoom meeting featuring walk through of exhibit ‘Hamilton’s Final Act: Enemies and Allies’ with manager of arts education Kevin Gray. Free, registration required. Suggested donation $5. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

BIDEN: First, Let’s Control COVID-19
EXCERPT from JOE BIDEN

First, Let’s Control COVID-19

At the Chase Center on the River-front in Wilmington, Del., President-elect Joe Biden delivers his first remarks Saturday evening, Nov. 7, after his Electoral College tally passed 270 votes earlier in the day.

Editor’s Note: Here are excerpts from Joe Biden’s speech to the nation Saturday, Nov. 7, after his votes in the Electoral College surpassed the 270 majority earlier in the day.

Now that the campaign is over – what is the people’s will? What is our mandate?

I believe it is this: Americans have called on us to marshal the forces of decency and the forces of fairness. To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.

The battle to control the virus.

The battle to build prosperity.

The battle to secure your family’s health care.

The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.

The battle to save the climate.

The battle to restore decency, defend democracy and give everybody in this country a fair shot.

Our work begins with getting COVID under control. We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments – hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations,
all the moments that matter most to us – until we get this virus under control.

On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20th, 2021. That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy and concern. I will spare no effort – or commitment – to turn this pandemic around.

I ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me – as those who did.

Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end – here and now. The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control. It’s a decision.

It’s a choice we make.

And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that this is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate. That’s the choice I’ll make. And I call on the Congress – Democrats and Republicans alike – to make that choice with me.

The American story is about the slow, yet steady widening of opportunity. Make no mistake: Too many dreams have been deferred for too long. We must make the promise of the country real for everybody – no matter their race, their ethnicity, their faith, their identity, or their disability.

America has always been shaped by inflection points – by moments in time where we’ve made hard decisions about who we are and what we want to be. Lincoln in 1860 – coming to save the Union. FDR in 1932 – promising a beleaguered country a New Deal. JFK in 1960 – pledging a New Frontier. And 12 years ago when Barack Obama made history and told us: “Yes, we can.”

We stand again at an inflection point. We have the opportunity to defeat despair and to build a nation of prosperity and purpose. We can do it. I know we can. I’ve long talked about the battle for the soul of America. We must restore the soul of America.

Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses. It is time for our better angels to prevail.

Tonight, the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe. And we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.

I’ve always believed we can define America in one word: possibilities. That in America everyone should be given the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them.

You see, I believe in the possibility of this country. We’re always looking ahead. Ahead to an America that’s freer and more just. Ahead to an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect.

Ahead to an America that cures diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. Ahead to an America that never leaves anyone behind. Ahead to an America that never gives up, never gives in.

This is a great nation. And we are a good people. This is the United States of America. And there has never been anything we haven’t been able to do when we’ve done it together.

As Expected, Turnout Light In Today’s Primary Election

As Expected, Turnout Light

In Today’s Primary Election

Election Inspector Tom Lyon reviews ballots a few minutes ago at Cooperstown’s polling station in St. Mary’s Church Hall. No one happened to be voting at that moment, and only 71 ballots had been cast so far today, largely due to absentee ballots being sent to all voters. The polls are open until 9 across Otsego County and New York State. Locally and in Oneonta, the only contested race is the Democratic primary for state Assembly, where Oneonta’s Dan Buttermann faces Hamilton’s Corey Mosher. Kyle Van De Water and Ola Hawatme, both from Dutchess County, are vying for the Republican nomination to run against Congressman Antonio Delgado in the 19th District this fall. Joe Biden is expected to win the Democratic presidential primary, but there are 10 other names on the ballot, including Bernie Sanders. (JIm Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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