Pioneer Street neighbor Rick Hulse urges the Cooperstown Village Board to restore parallel parking on the northern section of Pioneer Street at this evening’s trustees’ meeting. The trustees decided in June to re-evaluate parking on the section of Pioneer Street closest to the lake, and conducted trial periods for two different parking schemes involving angled parking on the east side of the street at Lakefront Park. Residents living on the street immediately voiced displeasure, and reaffirmed their sentiments at the public hearing at tonight’s meeting. Ultimately, on a motion by Trustee Lou Allstadt, the board moved to approve Local Law #4, essentially returning the parking back to the original layout, but the motion did not pass with a 3-3 tied vote. Proposed Local Law #6, creating six new parking spaces with a mix of angled and parallel parking, saw the same fate with a 3-3 vote. The other issue facing the board this evening, a special use permit to turn The White House Inn, 46 Chestnut St., into a hotel, passed unanimously. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)
Hanft: Provision Will Blunt Momentum
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.allotsego.com
ONEONTA – The Otsego Now board of directors, at its monthly meeting Thursday, approved minutes of its new Reorganization Committee that includes among the committee’s goals: “engage in a search and hire a full-time CEO.”
The 2-5 vote came over the objections of board member Bob Hanft, immediate past chairman. He said including that line in the Reorganization Committee’s 11 “duties and responsibilities” will only serve to slow Otsego Now’s current momentum. “I think it does more harm than good.”
Hanft said the committee had been directed to come up with a plan for the future, and that taking on the mandate of seeking a new CEO should come only after a plan is developed and approved. “I think that’s line should be stricken,” he said.
COOPERSTOWN – Rick Hulse, who had been at odds with the Otsego Now board during his one term as a county board representative, today was appointed by the county board to represent it on the Otsego Now board.
“I have serious concern about oversight they have been receiving in recent years,” said county Board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego, who championed Hulse’s appointment.
The weighted vote was 4,125-2,100, with all four Democratic reps, plus Jim Powers, R-Butternuts, voting nay.
In explaining her choice to her colleagues, Clark apologized for the last-minute nature of his nomination – it only surfaced yesterday afternoon – saying she had been trying to identify a woman willing to serve on the all-male board.
COOPERSTOWN – Rick Hulse, a foil to Otsego Now’s economic-development initiatives when he was a county representative, may be nominated by county Board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego, to Otsego Now’s board at the county Board of Representatives’ monthly meeting at 10 a.m. tomorrow.
Clark was at a NYSAC conference in Albany today, and didn’t respond to an e-mail.
But a Clark ally on the board, county Rep. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, said she was considering Hulse “and a couple of others” for the position on the former IDA board being opened by the resignation of Len Marsh, the Medical Coaches COO.
“But I don’t know if she made a choice,” Frazier said.
The Unadilla representative chairs the Administration Committee, which vets all resolutions before they go to the full board. However, he said, appointments are the board chair’s prerogative, which the full board usually supports but can also reject.
Katz: Our Own Rick Hulse
Derailed Tourism Assistance
Edition of Thursday-Friday, Dec. 11-12, 2014
To the Editor:
In the county budget vote of Wednesday, Dec. 3, a bipartisan group of Ed Lentz, Beth Rosenthal, Gary Koutnik, Linda Rowinski, Kay Stuligross, Craig Gelbsman and Janet Quackenbush voted to return $150,000 in bed tax revenues to the municipalities that generate it.
They recognized, unlike our own Town of Otsego/Village of Cooperstown representative Rick Hulse, that the town and city of Oneonta, Town of Hartwick and Village of Cooperstown bear a disproportionate burden of tourism costs. At the same time, those townships and municipalities account for 78.2 percent of the $1.4 million of the bed-tax revenue paid to Otsego County. Representative Hulse is the first county representative since I’ve worked to procure bed-tax money for Cooperstown who has publicly rejected us. Nancy Iversen, James Johnson, John Kosmer, Sam Dubben and Beth Rosenthal, Republicans and Democrats, have all stood with us and supported our needs.
As mayor of Cooperstown, I applaud those representatives who voted for redistribution of a portion of the bed tax. The village does not, and cannot, run simply as a small village of less than 2,000 residents.
As host to hundreds of thousands of visitors who flock to Cooperstown to see the Baseball Hall of Fame, Fenimore Art Museum, Farmers’ Museum and the Glimmerglass Festival (as well as Cooperstown Dreams Park in Hartwick Seminary and Cooperstown All-Star Village in Oneonta), the village has to provide a level of infrastructure and services that go far beyond our own residents’ needs.
While the county happily collects sales and bed tax money that we provide, it returns nothing to us in roads, public safety and other services that we handle on our own through a full-time police force, streets department, water and sewer plants and so on. Cooperstown would welcome financial support of any kind and, had Representative Hulse voted yes, we would have gotten funds. His vote was the deciding one.
In the last few years, much talk has revolved around economic development for Otsego County and bolstering the infrastructure of those activities that draw people to the county. Tourism was clearly identified as one of our strengths and potential growth areas.
Ideally, the county would pursue an increase in the bed tax, in line with counties like Monroe, Albany and Onondaga, and redistribute that additional money directly back to the municipalities that generate it for their infrastructure needs.
Until that is accomplished, short-term help through a return of some bed tax to the municipalities that create it is the right thing to do.
I hope Rick Hulse succeeds in his publicly stated goal to create a process-driven, sustainable, long-term bed-tax-distribution plan. However, he could have easily voted for a short-term return of bed tax money to his district, while still pursuing a long-term plan. The two are not mutually exclusive. He said he supported bed tax for Cooperstown, but voted against it.
One doesn’t deserve credit for saying yes when voting no.
Village of Cooperstown