News of Otsego County

Pride Flag

Pride Flag Raised At Seat Of Village


Pride Flag Raised

At Seat Of Village

At 22 Main, Not Main And Pioneer

Without pomp, circumstance, speechifying or song, the Pride Flag was hung at Cooperstown Village Hall, 22 Main St., for the first time at 8:30 a.m. today.  It will remain there through June, Gay Pride Month.  Public Works Director Mitch Hotaling climbed a ladder, and the deed was done.  The historic event was witnessed only by Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk and Trustees MacGuire Benton and Richard Sternberg.  “I think, in a different world, without a pandemic and protests on more important issues, we might have handled it differently,” said Falk.  Originally, the Pride Flag was supposed to be hung at the flagpole at Main and Pioneer; but with the Stars and Stripes at half staff indefinitely, in remembrance of those who died of coronavirus, hanging it at Village Hall seemed like a better idea, Falk said.  Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch had a meeting with a client and was unable to attend.  When the idea was originally debated over the winter, it stirred some controversy.  The issue has yet to be broached in Oneonta. (Jim Kevlin/
MacMILLAN: Reserve Village Flagpole For The Stars & Stripes

Reserve Village Flagpole

For The Stars & Stripes

To the Editor:

I am opposed to flying the rainbow flag from the Cooperstown village flagpole during Pride Month this June.

Let me make myself clear, I have many friends who have their personal orientation and I fully support them in every sense of the word. As such, it is none of my business concerning their individual persuasion.

However, I believe that the American flag flown from the central village flagpole represents all of us citizens and should not promote a particular minority or cause.

I have been informed that presently “on the books” is a decision by the trustees to fly the rainbow flag on the village flagpole this coming June. The decision by the trustees to do so may be revisited once the new board is elected next week.

I know that Mary Margaret agrees with me concerning the above, so I urge you to vote for her to keep the U.S. flag alone on the village flagpole.

In a previous letter I explained my many reasons for my preference for her and I am voting for Mary Margaret. Remember, every vote counts, so vote in this coming election.


NORTHRUP: Protocol Directs: Don’t Put Private Flag On Public Pole

Protocol Directs: Don’t Put

Private Flag On Public Pole

To the Editor:

I was so flummoxed over the slavery flag issue that I almost overlooked the other flags. Public flag protocol is governed by established tradition and state law, not by local plebiscites or whims.

If any flag goes up on a public flagpole, it should be the national flag, then the state flag, then a municipal flag.

A municipal flagpole is not a sign board for a cause du jour. Under no circumstances should a public flag pole be used to display the banner of a private interest group, a religion, political party or local glee club.

If you want to fly a special interest group flag in public, get your own flagpole.


Despite Village Atty’s Warning, Trustees Vote To Fly Pride Flag


Despite Village Atty’s Warning,

Trustees Vote To Fly Pride Flag

Village Trustee Joe Membrino objects to a remark by Trustee MacGuire Benton that anyone wanting to have input into what flag flies on the village flagpole should run for trustee. (Jennifer Hill/

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – A month after voting unanimously to fly the Pride Flag on the flagpole next June, village trustees once again debated and, in the end, affirmed their decision.

“I gave every member of this board every opportunity to table this motion,” said Trustee MacGuire Benton, who introduced the resolution at the board’s July meeting.  “For any vote you can have a discussion.  We don’t need a unique, complex way to vote on flags.”

The debates started when the board’s “Adhoc Committee on Vexillology,” chaired by Benton, introduced a policy intended to give the Board guidance and clarity when taking up future proposals to fly flags.  But the committee’s resolution on “the Display of Flags at Village Facilities” had the opposite effect.

Cooperstown Trustees Affirm Flying Pride Flag

Cooperstown Trustees

Affirm Flying Pride Flag

COOPERSTOWN – After brisk debate, the Village Board a few minutes ago stood by the decision to fly the Pride Flag during the month of June with the Stars & Stripes on the flagpole at Main and Pioneer streets.

Against the advice of Village Attorney Martin Tillapaugh, they approved a policy on flags.  And they approved flying the POW-MIA flag on the Main-Pioneer flagpole during Novembers, POW-MIA month, “in perpetuity.”

DUNCAN: Flag Already Symbolizes Hope, Freedom, Equality

Flag Already Symbolizes

Hope, Freedom, Equality

To the Editor:

I get tired of all these special interest groups whining for attention. Basically, the Pride flag is a symbol of whom you want to embrace and the freedom to do such and be loved and accepted.

The design of the flag is not very creative. That flag design is used to represent the Inca Empire, the indigenous in Peru and Bolivia. The design is used around the world for many different things. For me, rainbow belongs to everyone, it is about nature.

When you put up one flag for a special interest group then you must put a flag up for other groups. A heterosexual flag must go up. How about a flag for swingers? And don’t forget the people who don’t care. Let’s put up a flag for Arabs … let them feel accepted too.

A flag every foot down Main Street covering everything to show acceptance for all people and not just a specific group. Isn’t that a Christian thing to do?

All these different groups take the attention away from the real problem: the need for kindness, compassion and acceptance for all. Don’t get lost in special interest groups’ demands.

We are a ragtag group of people.

We are indigenous people who have lost almost everything and are struggling to regain a sense of purpose and belonging. We are slaves who have been dragged here kicking and screaming from our own homes who are now trying to build a new life.

We are neighbors across the borders who have come here to seek a better way of life to live a life without fear. We are refugees from around the world gathering here in what is supposed to be a land of opportunity, hope and quality of life.

America is the melting pot of all kinds of people from all places. It is time to focus on our common desire of quality of life for all the residents in America. We need to focus on the big picture, which is that we all deserve a decent quality of life and not have to live under the tyranny of corporations or power-hungry government people.

We are “Americans”: it’s time we all practice compassion, kindness and acceptance of our fellow man and women.. and whatever.

Flags are a symbol of countries. We only need one flag. It’s time to make it mean what it symbolizes; hope, freedom, and equality and justice for all.


Hartwick Forrest

Mayor: Let Committee Study What Flags To Fly

Mayor: Let Committee

Study What Flags To Fly

Editor’s Note: This was reprinted from the current edition of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta, available at local newsstands.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to


COOPERSTOWN – As suggestions expand to hanging banners beyond the Pride Flag on the village’s flagpole, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch is asking Trustee MacGuire Benton to form a committee with two other trustees to develop a policy for all such requests.

“We need a policy, that’s exactly right,” said the mayor, after Benton, in response to last week’s article, said his intent – and, he believes, the Village Board’s vote at its July 22 meeting – specified the Pride Flag would hang next June on the Main and Pioneer flagpole, not on Village Hall.

Sponsor Corrects Article: Resolution Has Pride Flag Flying  On Village Flagpole

Sponsor Corrects Article:

Resolution Has Pride Flag

Flying On Village Flagpole

The sponsor of the resolution, Cooperstown Village Trustee MacGuire Benton, said the article (below) is incorrect: The Village Board Monday, July 29, approved flying the Pride Flag next June, Pride Month, at the main flagpole at Main and Pioneer, not on Village Hall.  “I’m open to discussing it,” said Benton, in correcting the original article.  “But at this time, that’s the resolution, and I stand by it.”  This photo is from Dec. 7, 2017, when the new flagpole was dedicated, on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  ( photo)
Pride Flag Will Fly Over Cooperstown Village Hall


Pride Flag Will Fly Over

Cooperstown Village Hall

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

The Pride Flag will fly at Cooperstown Village Hall next June, Pride Month, after a village trustees’ vote.

COOPERSTOWN – The Pride Flag flew over the state Capitol in Albany this summer for the first time.


The idea of flying it over Village Hall in Skaneateles was proposed in June, but no action’s yet been taken there.

That means the Village Board’s unanimous voted Monday, July 22, may make Cooperstown the first municipality in the state to authorize flying the Pride Flag on Village Hall next June, LGBT Pride Month.

In announcing the decision, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch said, “There’s wasn’t a lot of discussion. Someone said they would have liked a little more background information.  Most of us basically knew the topic and supported it.”

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