News of Otsego County

Public hearing

Public Hearing Held On ’21 County Budget


Public Hearing Held

On ’21 County Budget

County Treasurer Allen Ruffles answers one of only two questions on this evening’s 11-minute public hearing on the 2021 proposed county budget, which – despite the state withholding reimbursements due to the COVID-19 crisis – keeps the tax increase at 1.41 percent, under the state’s 2 percent budget cap. Behind him in the Otsego County Courthouse are, at left, county board Chairman David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield. At right is county Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego.  The total level is projected at $12,315,213, up from $12,144,437.  The total spending plan is $112,197,480.  The county board must now schedule a formal vote to approved the document.  The budget is based on the Ruffles Plan, borrowing at historic low-interest rates, upfronting activities that will still generate state reimbursement, and paying off the low-interest debt over 20 years.  (Jim Kevlin/
Cooperstown Law Requires Wearing Masks Downtown

Cooperstown Law

Requires Wearing

Masks Downtown

Approved By Trustees, Mandate

May Be In Effect This Weekend

John and Suzanne Rudy joins 20 other citizens in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as the Village Board’s public hearing began Monday, Aug. 10, in the second-floor ballroom at 22 Main. Due the social-distancing, attendance was limited. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Inn at Cooperstown proprietor Marc Kingsley started things off with a pointed critique of the Village of Cooperstown’s proposed mask-mandate law.

Inn at Cooperstown proprietor Marc Kingsley said the law is excessive and will keep visitors away.

“You are focusing only on mask wearing and an absolutely obscene fine if caught not wearing one,” he declared at the Monday, Aug. 10, public hearing in a steamy third-floor ballroom at Village Hall. “Instead, why aren’t we focusing on the positives, what we’re already doing to keep locals and visiting guests safe.

But “jacta alea esto,” as the Romans would say – the die was cast.  A meeting’s end, the trustees voted unanimously for “Proposed Local Law 7: Requiring use of face masks and face coverings.”

The law will go into effect, perhaps by the weekend: All is required is for the ordinance to be filed with the New York Secretary of State’s office. Then, people must wear masks on Main between Fair and Pine Boulevard, and on Pioneer between Lake and Church, or face a fine up to $1,000.

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch began the 5 p.m. hearing reviewing an unusually large numbers of letters and emails received prior to a public hearing: There was 33 missives in favor (representing 38 people), and only four against.

In Cooperstown, the pro-letters included some heavy hitters.

Hall of Fame President Tim Mead and Board Chairman Jane Forbes Clark wrote: “We strongly endorse this recommended policy … It is incumbent upon the leadership of this community, and the residency of this village, to institute and follow safety policies protecting each of us and our guests.”

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch gavels the public hearing to order.

Bassett Hospital President Bill LeCates wrote: “I applaud your efforts to improve mask use and raise awareness of the risks of COVID-19 infection within the village.”

Eight residents spoke.

Jan Howard, who owns Cooperstown Classics with husband Todd, said she walks her dog late at night and early in the morning and runs into no one.  “Do I have to wear a mask at midnight?” she asked.  Tillapaugh said officers will use their judgment.

Robert Nelson, Fair Street, said, “I don’t know how, with the size of the police department we have, how this this going to be enforced.”  He said there are no officers on duty after 5 p.m.

Doubleday Café co-proprietor Barbara Boulanger said, “I don’t think it’s right for someone who doesn’t know the village to be fined $1,000.”  It should be $35, “like a traffic ticket.”  The mayor said enforcement is not going to be “gotcha. It’s going to be an educational process.”

“You cannot be too careful,” said retired Bassett COO Bertine McKenna. “I’d like to commend you.”

Others favoring the law included businesspeople like Marge Landers, White House Inn proprietor; John Rudy of the Baseball B&B, and Neil Weiller of Muskrat Hill.

Inputs over, Trustee Richard Sternberg made the motion; MacGuire Benton seconded it and, after brief remarks, all seven board members cast aye votes.

Citizens, Go To Monday’s Public Hearing, Ask Board To Delay Zoning Code Vote MINI-EDITORIAL

Citizens, Go To Monday’s

Public Hearing, Ask Board

To Delay Zoning-Code Vote

Ted Spencer raises concerns in June on behalf of the Pine Boulevard neighbors about an apartment complex proposed in the neighborhood. The public hearing on a new zoning code that may allow such intrusions is scheduled for tomorrow evening — 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at 22 Main. ( photo)

The Cooperstown Village Board has scheduled a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday night – that’s tomorrow, Oct. 28 – on the proposed zoning code revisions.

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh said, “The law may or may not be adopted on Monday, depending on public input and trustee decision.”

It’s too soon.  Cooperstown residents should show up and say so.

The zoning code has broad implications for the future of the village.  Not enough people yet understand what those impacts may be.

4-Way Stop Sign Eyed For Glen, Grove Corner

Village Hall Hearing At 7 Today

4-Way Stop Sign Eyed

For Glen, Grove Corner

The Village Board is considering a four-way stop sign at Glen (Route 28) and Grove. ( photo)
Trustee Sternberg

COOPERSTOWN – The Village Board is planning at public hearing at 7 p.m. today on whether to erect a four-way stop sign at Glen Avenue (Route 28), the village’s northern gateway, and Grove Street.   The hearing will be at 22 Main St., the Village Hall.

The move is proposed by Trustee Richard Sternberg, who chairs the trustees’ Public Safety Committee,  who said there have been three accidents there in the past year.  “This is a significant problem,” he said.

Trash Cans With Computers Enhance Downtown Security

Trash Cans With Computers

Enhance Downtown Security

By JIM KEVLIN • Special

Resident Merrilyn O’Connell asked whether the space-age trash cans might topple on passersby. No, the mayor assured her, they are fastened to the sidewalk in the event one would get knocked over by a car. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com_

COOPERSTOWN – “How big are they?” asked the dimunitive Merrilyn O’Connell on learning computerized trash cans to be installed in downtown Cooperstown this summer will have to be attached to the sidewalk to erase any chance they will fall over on someone.

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch sought to reassure O’Connell – it seems they aren’t as tall as Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk – during the first of two public briefings in Village Hall’s Ballroom this evening, dealing with the final $2.2 million pieces of a multi-year upgrade to the Main Street neighborhood.  Work began this week. (A second briefing dealt with $5.8 million in Doubleday Field renovations.)

Raises Possible For Supervisors, County Representatives


Raises Possible

For Supervisors,


By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – The culmination of a two-year study designed to bring department-head and county-rep salaries into line will be presented this evening at the public hearing on Otsego County’s 2019 budget.

The public hearing will be at 6 p.m. in the county courthouse on upper Main Street, Cooperstown.

The salary plan, developed by averaging maximum-minimum salaries in 16 similar Upstate counties, would increase what are called M&C salaries (for managerial and confidential employees) by 20 percent.



Unatego Board Sets Hearing For Otego School

Otego School Sale

Possible In 2 Weeks

Unatego Central school board Chair James Salisbury addresses a packed house at last night’s meeting of the school board, where the pending sale of Otego Elementary was discussed.  To his left is Dave Richards, superintendent of schools.  (Parker Fish/

By PARKER FISH – Special to

Kimberly More, representing Kildonan School, describes how its plan might save taxpayers money in the long run.

OTEGO – At its first public meeting since the June 30 deadline for RFPs, the Unatego Central school board last night agreed in front of a packed crowd to hold a public hearing on three perspective buyers for the former Otego Elementary School building at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 30.

The school board may choose a buyer that evening.

Each applicant will be given 15 minutes to discuss their plans for the building. Each presentation will be followed by 15 minutes of questions from the public before voting.

After initially sending out a request for proposals, the board received three proposals for the building from:


Listen To Everyone


COMMUNITY PROGRAM – 7 p.m. CGP Students present “Listen to Everyone”, using oral history recordings with the aged. Woodside Hall, 1 Main St., Cooperstown. Call Karen Cadwalader 607-547-0600 ext. 101 or visit

TABLET TALK – 10:30 a.m. – Noon. Bring questions about your tablet and find the answers with the group. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Call 607-432-1980 or visit

Crowd Delays Start Of Fire-Pact Hearing

Crowd Delays Start

Of Fire-Pact Hearing

The 6 p.m.  start of this evening’s public hearing on creation of a breakaway volunteer fire department in the Town of Oneonta was delayed by the throng of people signing up to speak; the line snaked around the meeting room at Oneonta’s Elm Park Methodist Church on Chestnut Street. Here, Ron Peters, an associate of Town Fire Commissioner Johna Peachin, is advising would-be speaker Annemarie Hosned. Behind her is Common Council member Dana Levinson.  The Oneonta town fire commissioners are proposing a volunteer department after two years of negotiations with City Hall over the services of the city’s professional Oneonta Fire Department failed to produce a contract.  (Ian Austin/



Singer Rudy Currence

At SUNY Oneonta Tonight


To Learn How You Can Help Area Families This Holiday Season CLICK HERE.


CONCERT – 9 p.m. Rudy Currance. Hunt Union Waterfront, 108 Ravine Pkwy., Oneonta. Info,, (607)436-3730, or CLICK HERE.

3D DESIGN – 6 p.m. Create your own holiday themed cookie cutter. Optional 3D printing. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St, Oneonta. Info,

PUBLIC HEARING – 7 p.m. Public hearing on Cooperstown Comprehensive Plan. Village Hall, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. Copies of the plan can be reviewed at the Village office,


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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103