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.”
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.
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.
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.
Editor’s Note: This is the editorial opinion of www.AllOTSEGO.com, Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal. Letters to the editor on political topics received after 10 a.m. Tuesday will appear on www.AllOTSEGO.com; email letters to email@example.com. Polls will be open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.
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.
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.
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 AllOTSEGO.com
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.
The 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.
EDUCATION: B.S. Cornell University (College of Ag & Life Sciences, May ’89)
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.
WHAT QUALITIES/EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE THAT MAKES YOU THE BETTER CHOICE IN THIS RACE
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.
IS THERE A STATEMENT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH VOTERS?
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.