News of Otsego County

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

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh

Mayor Tillapaugh Welcomes New Granddaughter

Mayor Tillapaugh, Husband

Welcome First Grandchild

Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and her husband, Gary Kuch, the town justice and Clark Scholarship Foundation director, welcomed a new granddaughter this morning, Monday, Aug. 12. The baby, whose name has not yet been revealed, was born to their daughter, Dr. Rachel Kuch-Cecconi, and her husband, Dr. John Cecconi. She weighs 6 pounds, 13 ounces. 
Mayor: Let Committee Study What Flags To Fly

Mayor: Let Committee

Study What Flags To Fly

Editor’s Note: This was reprinted from the current edition of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta, available at local newsstands.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to


COOPERSTOWN – As suggestions expand to hanging banners beyond the Pride Flag on the village’s flagpole, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch is asking Trustee MacGuire Benton to form a committee with two other trustees to develop a policy for all such requests.

“We need a policy, that’s exactly right,” said the mayor, after Benton, in response to last week’s article, said his intent – and, he believes, the Village Board’s vote at its July 22 meeting – specified the Pride Flag would hang next June on the Main and Pioneer flagpole, not on Village Hall.

TILLAPAUGH: Prosperity, Offerings About Here


Prosperity, Offerings

About Cooperstown

Editor’s Note: Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch delivered these welcoming remarks when NYCOM, the New York Conference of Mayors, convened Sunday, May 6, at The Otesaga, for its three-day annual conference.

Mayor Tillapaugh

I have had the opportunity over the past year to welcome several groups to Cooperstown – but I have to say this is one of the more intimidating as I am facing a room of peers – elected officials who have all had to provide similar welcomes in their own communities.

But welcoming NYCOM here is a task I wanted, because it is also a chance to say “thank you,”
because in the eight years I have served in village government, I have truly relied on the expertise, guidance and training provided by NYCOM staff. I have also benefited from the experience and knowledge shared by other elected officials.

After Hiatus, HPARB Revives Preservation Awards


After Hiatus, Village HPARB

Revives Preservation Awards

After a hiatus of several years, the Village of Cooperstown’s Historical Preservation & Architectural Review Board revived its annual Preservation Awards and presented 10 in Village Hall’s Ballroom this evening. Honorees, from right, are: William and Kathryn Dystra, 17 Elm St.; Perry and Cathy Ferrara, Railroad Inn; Luke and Lynae Ann Wycoff, 36 Delaware St.; Bill and Deb LeCates, 87 Chestnut St.; Rev. Joe Perdue, standing, First Baptist Church; Karen Crissmann, seated, 9 Pine Blvd.; Michael Bottiggi, standing, CVS store manager; Veronica Gil Seaver, sitting, 160 Main St., and Teresa Drerup, standing, 18 Cooper Lane. The Dystras, Wycoffs, Lecates, Karen Crissman, and Drerup and husband Kurt Ofer were cited for Thoughtful Rehabilitation; the Ferraras for Sensitive Accessibility Improvements; Perdue and Seaver for Window Restoration, and CVS for Sensitive New Construction. HPARB chair Liz Callahan emceed after a welcome by Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch. (Jim Kevlin/
Objective Standards Sought To Control Noise Downtown

Objective Standards Sought

To Control Noise Downtown

ZEO Jane Gentile, standing, briefs the Village Board this evening on progress toward developing a noise ordinance. (Patrick Wager/

By PATRICK WAGER • Special to

Mayor Tillapaugh wants a model to follow.

COOPERSTOWN – The village trustees this evening directed Zoning Enforcement Officer Jane Gentile to explore noise ordinances in other communities for objective standards that might be applied here.

“We need some guidelines,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, “something that is enforceable and has some teeth to it.”

The Village Board has been discussing noise ordinances for some time as a result of bands performing downtown during the summer months, a new development in recent years.

Main Street, Lettis Highway Vision for Oneonta in 2019


This Year, Oneonta

Will Bloom With DRI

Money, Mayor Says

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, center, touted plans for a forthcoming re-design of Main Street as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative, with work slated to begin this spring. With him on the panel, from right, are Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and state Senator Jim Seward, R-Milford, speaking at the annual State of the State Breakfast, hosted by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Senator Seward said, when downstate gets something, Upstate must as well.

ONEONTA – This will be the year, Mayor Gary Herzig said, that the City of Oneonta begins to see the results of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grants

“In 60 days, we’ll unveil the redesign of our downtown,” he said. “And this redesign is not by City Hall, but by 80 downtown business owners who have submitted proposals for $2.5 million in funding for improvements. This is a downtown made possibly by the energy of our local businesses.”

Herzig, alongside Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, spoke at the annual State of the State breakfast, hosted by the Otsego County Chamber this morning at SUNY Oneonta’s Morris Hall.

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Takes Office In Ceremony

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh

Takes Office In Ceremony

Outgoing Trustee Second Woman In Top Job

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch poses with her two predecessors – Carol B. Waller and Jeff Katz – after she was sworn in a noon today in ceremonies at Village Hall, 22 Main St. Lower left, Trustee Cindy Falk signs the register after her swearing-in for another three-year term; husband Glenn held the Bible. Lower right, Trustee Jim Dean is also sworn in for another term by Village Administrator Teri Barown; his wife Eileen holds the Bible. The Village Board’s reorganizational meeting is at 6:30 this evening. (Jim Kevlin/
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)
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