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
PRESENTATION – 2 p.m. Learn about the Chesapeake Watershed and the Otsego County Conservation Association, by OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti, PhD from the “The Gathering Place” series. Woodside Hall, One Main St., Cooperstown. Info, 607-547-0600, ext. 102 or visitwww.facebook.com/Woodside.Hall/
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.
ONEONTA – Fossil fuels – gasoline, fuel oil, propane and natural gas – that power Otsego County today were like an unexpected inheritance, allowing the Industrial Revolution and the world as we know it.
But 200 years later, Hartwick College Economics Professor Karl Seeley told 70-80 attendees at the Concerned Citizens of Oneonta forum this evening at Elm Park United Methodist Church, you discover the hidden costs of the bequest are bankrupting.
“It makes you rich enough to destroy your home,” Seeley said. “But not rich enough to build a new one.”
The dynamics of the evening, moderated by Hartwick Professor Kate O’Donnell, followed an outline another panelist, Dan Buttermann, brought back from Al Gore’s “Climate Reality Project” forum last year in Los Angeles: “Must we do it? Can we do it? Will we do it?”
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – 7 – 9 p.m. Join panel to discuss Economic development, renewable energy possibilities, existing conservation/renewable energy programs, more with Karl Seeley professor of economics at Hartwick, Dan Butterman candidate for NYS Assembly district 121, Leslie Orzetti executive director Otsego County Conservation Association. Followed by Q&A session. Elm Park Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Visit www.facebook.com/Concerned-Citizens-of-Oneonta-196346611258936/
COOPERSTOWN – Leslie Orzetti, a biologist with 20 years experience in natural resource conservation, will join the Otsego County Conservation Association as its new executive director, the OCCA announced today.
She succeeds Darla Youngs, who joined the Southern Tier East Regional Planning Development Board in April.