News of Otsego County

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

meg kennedy

Koutnik Votes No On Climate Pledge, Saying It’s Too Weak

Koutnik Votes ‘No’

On ‘Climate Pledge’

Draft As Too Weak

But SWECC Committee, 4-1, Forwards

Compromise Document To Full Board

The Solid Waste & Environmental Concerns Committee of the county Board of Representatives discusses on a “Climate Smart Community Pledge” resolution. County Reps. Keith McCarty, Meg Kennedy and Gary Koutnik, listen to County Planning Director Karen Sullivan.  At right is county Rep. Danny Lapin (Jennifer Hill/

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

ONEONTA – Saying the language “was softened,” County board Vice Chair Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta, today voted against sending a “Climate Smart Community Pledge” resolution, as revised, to the full board for action March 6.

However, his colleagues on the Solid Waste & Environmental Concerns Committee nonetheless agreed to forward the adjusted resolution, 4-1, for the full board’s consideration.

“The language did reduce the  sense of Climate Change being a crisis,” Koutnik said.  “My vote was largely a symbolic one, so it would be in the public record for future generations to see.”

County IGA Committee Forms ‘Leadership Team’ To Explore Energy Future

County IGA Committee

Forms ‘Leadership Team’

To Explore Energy Future

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – A “leadership team” of five is being formed to study Otsego County’s energy future, Intergovernmental Committee chair Meg Kennedy told her colleagues at their monthly meeting this morning.

Details were not immediately available, but the team includes representation from the county board, the OCCA (Otsego County Conservation Association), and the city and town of Oneonta.

Meg Kennedy First Otsego County Rep On NYSAC  Board

Meg Kennedy First

Otsego County Rep

On NYSAC  Board

Meg Kennedy

COOPERSTOWN – County Rep. Meg Kennedy is making history.

It surfaced at today’s county Board of Representative meeting that the second-term legislator has been invited and agreed to join the board of directors of NYSAC, the influential New York State Association of Counties.

What’s more, she is the first representative from Otsego County  ever to be so honored.

County IGA Committee To Begin County-Manager Deliberations


County IGA Committee To Begin

County-Manager Deliberations

County Rep. Meg Kennedy, C-Hartwick/Milford/New Lisbon, reports to the Otsego County Board of Representatives at its February meeting Thursday that her committee will begin explorations of a county-manager system of government when it meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the government complex in Cooperstown.  At right is county Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego.  (From Parker Fish video for
Bliss Appointments Reflect ‘Continuity’ 


Bliss: Appointments

Aim At ‘Continuity’ 

Meg Kennedy Emerges With New Status

As Chairman Of Both Administration, IGA

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

County Rep. Meg Kennedy, C-Hartwick/Milford/New Lisbon, presides at this morning’s reorganizational meeting. (Jim Kevlin/

COOPERSTOWN – She went into today’s reorganizational meeting of the Otsego County Board of Representatives already with the greatest clout under the weighted voting system.

But Meg Kennedy’s rising stature was quickly affirmed.

She was nominated and elected temporary chair of the reorganizational meeting, presiding over the transition of the chairmanship from Kathy Clark, R-Otego, to David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield.

And she emerged from the morning’s decision-making as chair of the Administration Committee – Ways & Means, through which all resolutions must flow before getting to the floor of the monthly county board meeting.

Board Chair Clark Has Earned Defeat


Board Chair Clark

Has Earned Defeat

3 Key Allies Let County Down, Too

Editor’s Note: This is the editorial opinion of, Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal.  Letters to the editor on political topics received after 10 a.m. Tuesday will appear on; email letters to  Polls will be open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Otego and Laurens voters should deny county Rep. Kathy Clark, another term.

The first vow in physicians’ Hippocratic Oath is, “Do no harm.” It’s not a bad standard to apply across the board, and county board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego/Laurens, failed to meet it.

After standing at the podium on Jan. 10, 2014, with state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller to herald a new era of economic development in Otsego County, Clark withheld funding, withheld cooperation and hammered through appointments of directors hostile to the goals of what became Otsego Now.

On Thursday, May 25, 2017, she accomplished her goal. Otsego Now’s director, Sandy Mathes, was forced to resign, all the staff quit, and the most promising economic-development initiative in Upstate New York, which had garnered tens of millions of seed money for Otsego County’s renewal, collapsed.

When your high school graduate departs for a construction job in Florida or the Carolinas, or your college grad for the Silicon Valley or Seattle, thank Kathy Clark. Meanwhile, she’s up for reelection Nov. 7, and the citizens of her districts – Otego and Laurens – should vote her out.

questionnaire — kennedy




Meg Kennedy


EDUCATION: B.S. Cornell University

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 24 years experience in family owned and operated horticultural business in Hartwick

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: serve on governing bodies of 2 farmers markets 2008 – present, serve on Town of Hartwick Planning Board 2010- present, member of St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Parish.

FAMILY: 11 siblings, many in-laws, numerous nieces and nephews, parents

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT: Government has a responsibility to spend tax monies responsibly.  Government functions to serve the people by providing the best service in the most cost effective manner to protect the public safety and provide safe roads and infrastructure, encourage economic development and provide services as mandated.

MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY: creating jobs and educational opportunities for residents and young people.  Keeping and supporting agriculture as a economic strength. 

MY QUALITIES:  I am a good listener and a fast learner.  I work well in groups.  I have good communication skills.  These qualities have served me well in my first term on the County Board.

STATEMENT: I have enjoyed my work on the County Board of Representatives.  My attendance each month at the town meetings in Milford, Hartwick and New Lisbon keeps me in touch with issues that I can work on at the county level.  My attendance at my committee meetings has helped to shape decisions that have resulted in positive outcomes for the county – budgets under the tax cap, support for the Farmland Protection Plan and work on the organization of the Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank are some examples.

Elected For First Time, Kennedy Aims Bring Bed-Tax Money Home

Elected For First Time, Kennedy

Aim: Bring Bed-Tax Money Home

Meg Kennedy poses in her family's greenhouse in Town of Hartwick, the hub of the Kennedys' flower business. She may also be found every Saturday selling flowers – at this time of year, poinsettas – at the Cooperstown Farmers' Market. ( photo)
Meg Kennedy poses in her family’s greenhouse in Town of Hartwick, the hub of the Kennedys’ flower business. She may also be found every Saturday selling flowers – at this time of year, poinsettas – at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. ( photo)

Editor’s Note:  This is the second of six profiles, one each on the six new members of the Otsego County Board of Representatives elected Nov. 3, that will appear each Wednesday up until they take office Jan. 1.  Next week, Peter Overacker, R-District 6 (Decatur, Maryland, Westford, Worcester) 

Special to

HARTWICK – Meg Kennedy, the representative-elect for District 5, wants to use her position in Otsego County government to help farmers and her home town.

OtsegoCountySeal-Color-500pix_largeThe Hartwick Republican, whose county board district includes the towns of Milford and New Lisbon, plans to insist the county return a portion of the bed tax to local municipalities.

“The Town of Hartwick is a big revenue generator for the bed tax,” said Kennedy. “It would be a priority for me to get that money to the town.”

Under a formula worked out by the county, but never implemented, more than $200,000 in bed tax revenue could be distributed to local governments.

But citing budget shortfalls, the Board of Representatives voted to let the county keep all the money in 2015 and is on track to do so again in 2016.

candidates 2015, meg kennedy

MEG KENNEDY (Margaret M. Kennedy on ballot)



EDUCATION:  B.S. Cornell University (College of Ag & Life Sciences, May ’89)

Meg Kennedy
Meg Kennedy


Manage our family’s small agricultural business, manage the Delhi Farmers’ Market, lead governing committees for both Oneonta & Cooperstown Farmers’ Markets.


Hartwick Planning Board (2010-present) Hartwick Zoning Commission (2012-2015).  Member of St. Mary’s Church, Cooperstown

FAMILY:  Daughter of Paul and Margaret Kennedy, numerous brothers, sisters, nieces & nephews.

IN TWO OR THREE SENTENCES, EXPLAIN YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT.  I believe in limited government. Those holding office are working for the people who elected them and have a responsibility to represent their interests as efficiently and as economically as possible.

WHAT ARE THE THREE MAJOR ISSUES THE OTSEGO COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES FACES, AND HOW WOULD YOU ADDRESS THEM?  1.  Budget. I will work to identify areas where greater efficiency could reduce spending. 2.  Economic Development. I will bring a knowledge of agriculture & small business  experience to the board and work to increase opportunities in these areas. 3.  Bed Tax Distribution.  I will work to implement the distribution of bed tax funds on a permanent basis.


My years of representing and  coordinating the concerns of the widely varied farmers market members have proven my ability to stand up for my positions and advocate effectively for the people whom I represent.


I appreciate the support that I have received during the campaign and hope to represent the Towns of Hartwick, New Lisbon & Milford on the County Board.

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