Assemblyman Brian Maher (R,C-Walden) and Senator Peter Oberacker (R,C-Schenevus) are among a group of legislators reaching across the aisle to support creation of a permanent healthy school meals program in New York State.
Maher is a co-sponsor of the legislation introduced by prime sponsor Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas (D, WFP-East Elmhurst). The bill as proposed, A0194/S01678-A, would establish the program to provide breakfast and lunch to all children in public school districts, from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.
After community members voted down the Schenevus-Worcester schools merger on December 2, disappointment and a feeling of missed opportunity permeated in those who supported the union of their respective districts.
The final tally showed 70 percent of Schenevus community members voting against the merger. Worcester voters, on the other hand, voted to approve by a 64 percent – 36 percent margin.
State Senator Peter Oberacker (R-Schenevus) told The Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta that he would work in Albany to find more funding in next year’s state budget.
Three Otsego County libraries are among the recipients of about $300,000 in public library construction grant funds from State Senate funds, according to state Sen. Peter Oberacker.
Oberacker, R-Schenevus, announced the awards Friday, Sept. 10.
“Our libraries are vital educational resources while also serving as community gathering places,” Oberacker said. “In many of the towns and villages that I represent, the local library hosts public meetings, delivers key services to residents young and old, and is the most recognizable building in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our local library administrators and volunteers have faced new challenges and developed creative solutions to continue to safely serve the public.”
A possible solution to worker shortages in Otsego County could be employing refugees and resettling them in Otsego County communities, some local leaders suggest.
Al Rubin, CEO of the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, and Tom Armao of the Country Club Auto Group, said they are having preliminary discussions in finding ways to alleviate the problem of understaffing and the idea of resettling refugees came up extensively in their conversations.
The last of the Merger Mondays took place Monday, June 14, ahead of Tuesday’s board vote.
The superintendents of Worcester and Schenevus central schools acknowledged the growing pains of a merger, but also argued its perceived importance to a group of about 15 attendees.
Some of the guests included Assemblyman Brian Miller, and Jeff Bishop, communications director for state Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, who is an SCS graduate.
Miller expressed mostly neutrality for the upcoming vote and said he was there to “show support for whichever way the communities decide to go.”
Oberacker was unable to attend because he was at a parade in Unadilla, a cause of some criticism among those who attended, but Bishop said Oberacker was closely following the developments on the potential merger.
If the vote is approved, there will be a Sept. 22, straw poll followed by a Dec. 3, binding referendum.
If the merger is approved the combined Board of Education would increase from five to seven seats. There also will be state financial incentives for the merger, which BOE representatives say will be used to improve educational opportunities and provide funds to a reserve, while also maintaining the same staff only eliminating positions through attrition, which they say will save $690,000.
Class size will be 22 students or lower.
Much of the merger rationale is based on a study conducted prior to the pandemic, which referenced a declining enrollment for both schools, a problem which in a merged district would be resolved with access to more academics and athletics.
Any additional cost for transportation they say will be minimal.
Anything related to mascots, school colors and team names would be student driven, officials said.
“This is emotional for a lot of people. … We do realize that and recognize that, but we have to do what’s best for our kids and everything in the study shows its best for our kids,” Carlin said.
Miller diverted from his original stance of neutrality briefly to posit about the merger.
“It’s to benefit our children and make our area truly prosper. … Things are really getting tough,” Miller said, referencing state funding. “A merger is really the best thing we can do.”
ALBANY – Newly elected state Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, joined his Assembly colleague today in reacting to Attorney General Letitia James’ report that the Cuomo Administration underreported COVID-19 nursing home deaths by 50 percent.
Supporting Senate Republican Leader Rob Ort, Oberacker called for the “immediate resignation” of state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.
“I join with Senate Republican Leader Ortt in calling for the immediate resignation of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. “
ONEONTA – State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, today called on Governor Cuomo and the state Department of Health to develop health and safety guidelines to allow high school sports and the performing arts to resume.
“Safety is everyone’s top priority and we cannot take shortcuts when it comes to the health and well-being of our young people,” said the freshman senator. “However, it is time to move forward and safely restart our school athletic programs, for all sports, and the performing arts.”
ALBANY – The first bill introduced by state Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, which corrects a clerical error and saves $400,000 of transportation aid to Oneonta City Schools, today passed the state Senate Education Committee.
“This is the first bill I have introduced as a state senator and it embodies one of my main priorities – to assist our local schools and municipalities when they are in need,” said Oberacker. “Without this piece of legislation, the Oneonta City School District would be facing a $400,000 hit on its budget.”
The legislation will now go to the Senate Finance Committee and then to the full Senate for approval. Assemblyman John Salka, who represents Oneonta, is introducing companion legislation in the Assembly.
COOPERSTOWN – It looks like Republicans Peter Oberacker and John Salka are easing to victory.
With 175 of 255 districts reporting, Oberacker, who is running to succeed state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, in the 51st District, is ahead of Democrat Jim Barber, 59,866 to 38,514.
With 52 of 95 districts reporting, In the 121st Assembly District, incumbent John Salka, R-Brookfield, is leading challenger Dan Buttermann of Oneonta, 26,625, to Buttermann’s 11,021. Buttermann is also losing his home county Otsego, 5,190 to 1,795.
SCHENEVUS – In the face of uncertainly among local business people, Republican State Senate candidate Peter Oberacker issued a statement this afternoon calling on Governor Cuomo to “immediately release” more detailed information about Phase 2 of the plan to un-PAUSE New York State.
“We have been receiving many calls and messages asking where to find details regarding Phase 2 and sadly, there are none,” said Oberacker, who is running succeed state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who is retiring. He is running against Jim Barber, the Schoharie farmer who works for Cooperative Extension of Otsego & Schoharie Counties.
COOPERSTOWN – After town garages failed to get road-salt orders in time for the Thanksgiving Weekend snowstorms, the county Board of Representatives is meeting as a “committee of the whole” at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday to ensure its new purchasing agreement with Onondaga County is working satisfactorily.
“When you start something new, there are always a couple of glitches,” said county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, who chairs the county board’s Public Works Committee.