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Mayor

Oneonta Photographers Exhibit On Display At City Hall

Oneonta Photography Exhibit

Now On Display At City Hall

Wayne Wright, the Greater Oneonta Historical Society’s, shows off a two-lens stereoscopic camera that is featured in three panels from the “Oneonta Photographers, 1850-1900” he staged for GOHS during the fall now being installed in the City Hall lobby. The show features work from William Mereness, Perry Young and Howard N. Smith, who took some of the earliest images of Oneonta. At right, Wright shows Mayor Gary Herzig a stereoscope of the D&H rail yards. Stereoscopes, photographs, cameras and other ephemera will be on display through the end of March. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

For Now, Only Choice In Sheriff’s Race Is For Due Process

Editorial for September 7, 2018

For Now, Only

Choice In Sheriff’s

Race Is For Due Process

A letter to the editor the other week drew on the Biblical injunction, “The son shall not suffer for the sins of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquities of the son.” And surely that’s as it should be.
That said, it’s legitimate for open-minded citizens to question how county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. has handled the situation involving his son, Ros, a correctional officer in the jail his father administers since it surfaced in January 2017. At the least, the situation is an awkward one; at worst, a dangerous one.
In effect, according
to a court decision on a
related matter made public on March 31, 2017, Ros Devlin told a fellow C-O he was thinking of committing suicide in front of his disciplining supervisor at the county jail, after first creating a diversion by shooting up an Oneonta or Milford school. (To read the decision for yourself, type “devlin judge’s order” in the search line at www.AllOTSEGO.com)
From the beginning, the sheriff has stood steadfastly by his son, who was suspended for more than a year – albeit, with pay; since March, without pay – by the Otsego County Board of Representatives.
The sheriff claimed a “witchhunt” was in progress; that his downfall was intended, not his son’s.

Devlin
Fernandez

If Ezekiel was right
about sons and fathers, his declaration should be equally valid for wives
and husbands.
That said, it’s legitimate for open-minded citizens to question the role of Kathy Clark, R-Otego, former county board chair – and a tough-minded and determined one – in engineering her husband, Bob Fernandez’s, challenge to Devlin after Fernandez’s retirement from the state police.
In New York State, the sheriff’s position – as with county clerk – is a constitutional office, filled by election, not appointment by a county board. There’s good reason for ensuring a sheriff’s independence: to keep law enforcement and politics separate.
Clark championing of her husband sought to breach that sensible divide.
Further problematic was the engineering of Fernandez’s Democratic endorsement. It grew out of a longtime personal friendship between Kathy Clark and Oneonta’s former Democratic mayor, Kim Muller, who for the time being is county Democratic chair. (She expects to step down when the county committee meets in early October.)
There’s no secret. Both acknowledge close ties between their families going back decades, when their children played in the same soccer league. Still, as you can imagine, the Fernandez endorsement has caused a rift among the Democratic rank and file.

For his part, Devlin has argued he didn’t trust the county board, under Kathy Clark’s chairmanship, to fairly investigate his son.
To his credit, when David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Middlefield, succeeded Clark this past Jan. 3, Devlin then reached out to Bliss, and in March agreed to recuse himself, allowing the board chair to order a medical examination of the son to determine if he is fit to continue as a jail guard.
The good news is: A process is in place. In interview this week, Bliss said the medical examination by a downstate physician who specializes in matters involving law-enforcement personnel is expected by mid-month.
Once the report is submitted, Bliss, in consultation with the county’s personnel lawyers and County Attorney Ellen Coccoma will decide on an appropriate course of action. He said he will keep county reps advised of developments and welcome inputs.
If the decision is made to discipline Ros Devlin, “the officer still has rights,” the board chair said. The younger Devlin could challenge any decision in court. Meanwhile, he will remain off the job without pay.
The bad news, from the perspective if the electorate, it’s unlikely the situation will be resolved before the Nov. 6 general election, Bliss said.

All this matters right now because the first match-up between Devlin and Fernandez comes Thursday, Sept. 13, in a local Republican primary. (That’s Thursday, not Tuesday, which is 9/11 and Rosh Hashanah.) The polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. across Otsego County for registered Republicans.
The vote will not necessarily settle anything. If Devlin, endorsed by the Republican county committee last March, wins, Fernandez has the Democratic county committee endorsement; he will appear on the Nov. 6 general election ballot anyhow.
If Fernandez were to win the Republican primary, Devlin would still appear on three lines – Conservative, Independent and Reform – on the November ballot.

The world is an imperfect place, as we know from our lives and experiences. We often have to choose between imperfect options, and this is one of those cases.
Yet, on the one hand, there is due process, independent of Sheriff Devlin’s control, that we can hope will resolve thinking people’s concerns – either clearing Ros Devlin, or removing him from his position permanently.
On the other hand, there is no due process, only cronyism and the potential that an alliance between husband and wife will inject politics into law enforcement.
For now, the only option is to vote for due process. For the time being, that option is Richard J. Devlin Jr.

 

HERZIG TO RUN FOR SECOND TERM

HERZIG ANNOUNCES

FOR SECOND TERM

Herzig

ONEONTA – Mayor Gary Herzig announced just moments ago that he intends to run for a second term as Mayor of the City of Oneonta.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ANNOUNCEMENT

“During the past year and a half, I have felt honored and privileged to work with you – our Council, staff and volunteers that make up our City Boards and commissions,” he said in a statement. “During this time, much has been accomplished.”

Miller Park Officially Opened, Plans To Expand

Miller Park Opens

Friends, Family Gather At Site

To Honor Friend, Former Mayor

Mayor Gary Herzig, right, Andi Miller, left and scores of family, friends, and co-workers amassed at the corner of Main St. and the James F. Lettis Highway to honor the late Richard P. Miller with the official opening of Miller Park. After a few words of thanks from Mayor Gary Herzig, Miller's widow Andi thanked the crowd. "This is a great legacy for him. He was always everywhere, so having this park here, in the middle of everything is very fitting. For him, beautifying this city was not a cause, it was a passion. I think he would be really happy with it." The park was the brain-child of Al Cleinman and Richard Miller, who both believed strongly in beautifying entrances to the city. "We all have responsibilities to invest in the world around us." said Cleinman, "I could not have done this without the members of my team. Thank you to you all." A sculpture garden planned for the park and Cleinman is already forming plans to expand it father down the highway and to beautify the other side of the road as well. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Mayor Gary Herzig, right, Andi Miller, left, and scores of family, friends, and co-workers gathered at the corner of Main Street and the James F. Lettis Highway to honor the late Mayor Richard P. Miller with the official opening of Miller Park.  After a few words of thanks from Mayor Gary Herzig, Miller’s widow thanked the crowd. “This is a great legacy for him. He was always everywhere, so having this park here, in the middle of everything is very fitting. For him, beautifying this city was not a cause, it was a passion. I think he would be really happy with it.”  The idea of dedicating the park for the former mayor was proposed by Al Cleinman, proprietor of Cleinman Performance Partners, who had collaborated with Miller to beautify a park on the other side of the intersection.  “We all have responsibilities to invest in the world around us.” said Cleinman, “I could not have done this without the members of my team. Thank you to you all.” A sculpture garden is planned for the park, and Cleinman is already forming plans to expand it father down the highway and to beautify the other side of the road as well. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Election Day Under Way At Foothills

POLLS OPEN AT FOOTHILLS

After casting his vote Mayor Gary Herzig hands his voting folder to election official Bob Hobkirk at the Foothills Preforming Arts Center. Polls opened at 6am this morning and by 9am had seen a nearly 200 voter turn out. Polls are open until 9pm tonight. (Ian Austin/ AllOTSEGO.com)
After casting his vote at 9 a.m., Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig hands his folder to election official Bob Hobkirk at the Foothills Preforming Arts Center. Polls opened at 6 this morning and by 9 almost 200 ballots had been cast. They will remain open until 9 tonight.  Key Oneonta races include two county board contests – Quackenbush-Stammell in the town and Gelbsman-HornburghHeilveil in the city – and three Common Council seats. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Mayor Herzig Believes In Unity Of Oneonta Community

Herzig Goal: Town-Gown

Amity Within Community

ONEONTA – Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, appointed last month but up for election next Tuesday for a term to begin Jan. 1, was interviewed by AllOTSEGO.com’s Don Mathisen on his plans.  This is the fifth of five excerpts that have appeared on this website daily since Tuesday. Click the video below to watch Mayor Herzig discuss the how he views the relationship between Oneonta’s year-’round residents and college students.

This completes our five-part series of interviews with Mayor, Gary Herzig. Be sure to check back with AllOTSEGO.com regularly for the fastest and most reliable news of Oneonta, Cooperstown, and all of Otsego County.

HERZIG HOPEFUL FOR EXPANDING ONEONTA ENTERTAINMENT

HERZIG HOPEFUL: ONEONTA’S

EXPANDING ENTERTAINMENT

ONEONTA – Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, appointed last month but up for election next Tuesday for a term to begin Jan. 1, was interviewed by AllOTSEGO.com’s Don Mathisen on his plans.  This is the third of five excerpts that will appear on this website daily through Saturday. Click the video below to watch Mayor Herzig discuss the possibility of an entertainment district for Oneonta with Foothills PAC and the Oneonta Theatre as anchors.

TOMORROW, HERZIG ON STUDENTS

Herzig Committed To Closing Budget Gap

HERZIG COMMITTED TO

CLOSING BUDGET GAP

ONEONTA – Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, appointed last month but up for election next Tuesday for a term to begin Jan. 1, was interviewed by AllOTSEGO.com’s Don Mathisen on his plans.  This is the third of five excerpts that will appear on this website daily through Saturday. Click the video below to watch Mayor Herzig discuss his plan to reduce Oneonta’s budget gap.

TOMORROW, HERZIG ON ENTERTAINMENT

Oneonta Bids Farewell to Mayor Miller

Foothills Full To Overflowing

As 800 Bid Farewell To Mayor

Over 800 citizens, family and friends filled Foothills to standing-room only capacity to say goodbye to Mayor Dick Miller at a Celebration of Life earlier this evening.  "Each of us is part of the photo mosaic that made up Dick Miller," said Bob Hanft, Pierstown, IDA chair who chaired the Hartwick trustees when Miller was college president.  "And he was part of ours."  (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
Over 800 citizens, family and friends filled Foothills to standing-room only capacity to say goodbye to Mayor Dick Miller at a Celebration of Life earlier this evening. “Each of us is part of the photo mosaic that made up Dick Miller,” said Bob Hanft, Pierstown, IDA chair who chaired the Hartwick trustees when Miller was college president. “And he was part of ours.” (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)

VIEW SLIDE SHOW OF MAYOR DICK MILLER’S MEMORIAL SERVICE

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