Approved By Trustees, Mandate
May Be In Effect This Weekend
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Inn at Cooperstown proprietor Marc Kingsley started things off with a pointed critique of the Village of Cooperstown’s proposed mask-mandate law.
“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.”
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.
COOPERSTOWN – The Village Board is planning a public hearing on Bassett Hospital’s proposed 150-space parking lot at Susquehanna and Walnut at 7 p.m. this evening during its January meeting.
The plan will require demolition of the four homes now on Riverside Drive.
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.
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
TRIBUTE – 8 p.m. One of Nations top Eagles tribute band ‘The Eagles Experience’ presents evening of Eagles greatest hits & fun. General Admission, $20. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. 607-431-2080 or visit foothillspac.org
Village Hall Hearing At 7 Today
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.
PART ONE: DOWNTOWN UPGRADES
By JIM KEVLIN • Special www.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.)
PUBLIC HEARING AT 6 TONIGHT
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
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.
DETAILS IN THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS
By PARKER FISH – Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
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:
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, MAY 1
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 www.facebook.com/Woodside.Hall/
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 hmloneonta.org/calendar/
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, NOV. 28
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, email@example.com, (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, hmloneonta.org/3d-printing
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, cooperstownny.org/residents/