News of Otsego County

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


County Reps Vote To Double Their Cost For Health Coverage


County Reps Double

Their Contributions

For Health Coverage

Frazier Calls It ‘Leading The Way’;

Board Members Pay $1,160 More

County Rep. Ed Frazier asks his colleagues today to “lead the way” by doubling their contribution to their county health insurance. On the podium are county Board Chair David Bliss and County Attorney Ellen Coccoma. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – In what he termed “leading the way,” county Rep. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, today proposed doubling county representatives’ contribution to their health insurance from 5 to 10 percent.

The other county reps – with Andrew Stammel, D-Town of Oneonta, absent – a voted unanimously to do so, a step that will cost them another $1,160 a year.

Low Turnout At Hearing Clears Way For ’19 Budget

Low Turnout At Hearing

Clears Way For ’19 Budget

Due to the snow, perhaps, no member of the public appeared at the public hearing on Otsego County’s 2019 budget, which began at 6 p.m. this evening in Courtroom #1 in Cooperstown.  Above, county board Chair David Bliss, left, gave the floor to Clerk of the Board Carol McGovern to officially convene proceedings.   The budget keeps the tax increase under the state tax cap, and includes $500,000 in raises for 104 “M&C” (management and confidential employees) following a two-year, 16-county study to determine “average” wages.  This county’s wages, it turned out, are 20 percent below the average.  The study also recommended the county reps receive a $3,000 raise to their $10,500 salaries, the first increase since 2008.  Inset at left are county Personnel Director Penny Gentile, whose office conducted the salary survey; County Attorney Ellen Coccoma, County Treasurer Allen Ruffles, and Deputy Treasurer Andrew Crisman.  Seated in the jury dock, in top photo, are, from left, County Reps. Andrew Marietta, Gary Koutnik, Danny Lapin, Peter Oberacker, Michele Farwell, Keith McCarty, Andrew Stammel and Ed Frazier.  Seated next to McGovern is her deputy, Jenna Utter.  (Jim Kevlin/

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