First, it should be said that there’s a troubling lack of interest this year in running for the Otsego County Board of Representatives, whose reach, from road building to social services, touches all 60,094 of us.
In the 14 districts, there are only three contests coming out of the June 25 primary:
In District 2, the one-term Democrat, former Morris Town Board member Michele Farwell, is being challenged by Marcia Hoag, a former Pittsfield Town Board member who is running on the Voice of the People line, but says she is allied with Republicans.
In District 3, where former board chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego/Laurens, is retiring. Republican Rick Brockway, a retired ferrier and outdoor columnist, and Democrat Caitlin Ogden, a Baseball Hall of Fame grantsman, are both newcomers running for the vacant seat.
In District 14, where Democrat Jill Basile and Wilson Wells, a Libertarian, are seeking to succeed Democrat Liz Shannon, who is retiring.
Contrast that with 2017, when 12 of the 14 seats were contested, and there were some humdingers.
ONEONTA – A celebration of life for William K. “Billy” Hymers, 68, who passed away on Nov. 24, 2018, at his winter home in Florida, will be Saturday, April 27, at Main Street Baptist Church. Calling hours will begin at 3 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 4 p.m.
LAURENS – Caitlin Ogden, the Grant and Development Specialist at the Baseball Hall of Fame, has announced her candidacy for District Three on the Otsego County Board of Representatives.
Ogden holds a Masters in Arts in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. Ogden moved to upstate New York in 2006 with her horse in pursuit of a rural small town life. She has since spent her career working in the nonprofit sector.
WEST LAURENS – Elizabeth “Betty” A. Schlee of Laurens, 76, who rose to senior vice president during 30 years at Wilber National Bank, passed away Feb. 10, 2019, following a brief illness.
She was born in Oneonta, on Jan. 21, 1943, the daughter of the late Robert and Wilma Schlee. Betty graduated from Laurens Central School. She wpent more than three decades at Wilber before her retirement.
LAURENS – William L. “Lennie” Bourgeois, 82, raised in Laurens before embarking on a 20-plus year career as a Navy flight engineer, died at Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Jan. 12, 2019. Since 1981, he had lived in Valparaiso, Fla.
He was born in Goodyear, Conn., on May 26, 1936, to Oliver J. and Julienne (Girard) Bourgeois. Lennie spent his youth in Upstate New York and graduated from Laurens Central School in 1955.
Just days after graduation, he joined the Navy and spent the next 20+ years serving his country. He often said his favorite tour of duty was with VX6/VXE6 in Antarctica, where he spent six seasons flying the C-130 aircraft as flight engineer, including “his” C-130, #319.
LAURENS – Kevin Perry, 23, arrested for shooting his parents Timothy and Solveig in their home in Laurens a week before Christmas, Friday pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, according to reports.
Perry was arrested after crashing his father’s stolen truck in Schoharie. His sister Rebecca had discovered their parent’s bodies earlier that evening and notified Otsego County Sheriff’s Deputies that the truck had been stolen.
During his arraignment on Dec. 18, Rebecca told the judge that Perry had been intoxicated and agitated earlier that day. She left that evening to visit a friend, and upon returning, she found her father’s body in the kitchen.
LAURENS – With plans to bring solar energy to 400 households throughout Otsego and the surrounding counties, construction on the new 13-acre community solar farm on Pool Brook Road north of this village is slated to begin next week.
“Eighty percent of the population nationwide cannot install solar panels because of cost, their roof is to old or their roof doesn’t face the right way,” said Solstice spokesperson Andrew Alayza. “Community solar projects, in a centralized location, produce electricity on behalf of the subscribers, sends it to NYSEG, and the customer gets those credits on their electric bill.”