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News of Otsego County

village elections

Benton, Membrino, Robbins Vie For 2 Trustee Vacancies

Benton, Membrino, Robbins

Vie For 2 Trustee Vacancies

COOPERSTOWN – Polls will be open noon-9 pm. today in the fire hall on Chestnut Street for Cooperstown Village Board elections, where three candidates are competing for two seats.

Two Democratic incumbents, MacGuire Benton and Joe Membrino, and Republican candidate Mary Margaret Sohns are on the ballot.

So is Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, who is running unopposed.

‘Affordable Housing’ Is Her Priority For Village, Tillapaugh Tells League

CLICK HERE TO REVIEW QUESTIONNAIRES

‘Affordable Housing’ Is

Her Priority For Village,

Tillapaugh Tells League

Mayor Tillapaugh

COOPERTOWN – “Affordable housing” will be the priority of Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, who is running unopposed in the Sept. 15 Village Board primary, according to questionnaires posted today by the League of Women Voters, Cooperstown chapter, on the LWV’s “Vote 411” web site.

“The village’s largest employer, Bassett Healthcare, employs 2700 people on the Cooperstown campus alone,” wrote Tillapaugh in response to the League’s questionnaire.  “The majority of those employees commute from long distances. It is to Cooperstown’s advantage to increase our housing stock and population.”

In addition to the mayor, three candidates are competing for two trustee positions: MacGuire Benton and Joe Membrino, incumbents and Democrats, and Mary Margaret Robbins, Republican challenger.

Longest Village Campaign In History May End Sept. 15

CLICK FOR GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDER

Longest Village Campaign

In History May End Sept. 15

In the March 5 League of Women Voters’ Candidates Night, Cooperstown hopefuls — from left, Mary Margaret Sohns, Joe Membrino and MacGuire Benton – thought their campaigns would be over in a few days. It was not to be. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – It could  be the longest campaign for village board in New York State history.

Governor Cuomo over the weekend again rescheduled village elections – the contested one in Cooperstown, as well as others across the state – until Sept. 15, six months after the original March 18 date, Village Clerk Teri Barown confirmed this morning.

Village Elections, Primary Reset For Separate Days

Village Elections, Primary

Reset For Separate Days

Again, Cooperstown Balloting Delayed

COOPERSTOWN – Village elections, rescheduled to correspond with the Democratic presidential primary, have now been shifted back to a separate day, Village Administrator Teri Barown announced today.

In the first days of the coronavirus State of Emergency, elections in Cooperstown, and villages statewide, were rescheduled from March 18 to April 28, the same day of the Democratic primary.

Governor Cuomo announced over the weekend that the presidential primary has again been moved, to June 23.  Today, it was announce village election will again been rescheduled.  No firm date was set, except to say it will be June 1 at the earliest.

Presidential Primary Moved To June 28

GOVERNOR’S DAILY UPDATE

Presidential Primary

Moved To June 23

It’s Unclear If Village Elections

Will Be Delayed 2 More Months

Dear New Yorker:

Every emergency situation is unique. The needs presented are always different. In this case, the unexpected need is for ventilators. Our projections show that we need more ventilators and I will do everything in my power to make sure that we secure these critical supplies.

Here’s what else you need to know tonight:

Campaign Signs To Go; Polling Issues Remain

VILLAGE VOTING MORE COMPLICATED

Campaign Signs To Go;

Polling Issues Remain

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

CDC images of coronavurus

COOPERSTOWN – In light of Governor Cuomo’s decision to postpone Wednesday’s village elections statewide due , the Cooperstown candidates have said they are pulling up their lawn signs for the time being.

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch is unopposed. MacGuire Benton, Joe Membrino and Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns are competing for two Village Board seats.

The terms of Benton and Membrino, the two incumbents, expire April 1; but Tillapaugh said that, due to the governor’s State of Emergency, they will continue to serve until the next election.

Governor Delays Village Elections

LOCAL VOTE POSTPONED

Governor Delays

Village Elections

New Vote April 28, Same Day

As Demo Presidential Primary

Governor Cuomo

Governor Cuomo early this evening delayed all village elections in New York State until April 28, the same day as the statewide Democratic Presidential Primary.

“Delaying village elections will help ensure poll workers and voters are not potentially exposed to the virus and at the same time maintain integrity in our election system,” Cuomo said.

Many such races are uncontested, but in the Village of Cooperstown, three candidates – MacGuire Benson, Joe Membrino and Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns – were vying to fill two seats this Wednesday, March 18.

Village, Candidate Take Steps To Ensure Election Day Safety

Village, Candidate Take Steps

To Boost Election Day Safety

CDC image of the Coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – To reassure citizens of the safety of voting in Wednesday’s village elections, hand sanitizers will be available at the fire hall for election staffer and voters, Village Hall announced.  Polls will be open noon-9 p.m.

Additionally, trustee candidate Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns has announced her campaign will set up a kiosk in the parking lot across Chestnut Street from the fire hall. Volunteers will provide to hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and other necessary items to allow people to vote with confidence in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic.

COVID-19 Crisis Makes Impact On Local Races

COVID-19 Crisis Makes

Impact On Local Races

Benton
Robbins

COOPERSTOWN – Village trustee candidate MacGuire Benton announced a few minutes ago he is suspending door-to-door campaigning because of concerns about coronavirus.

CDC image to of the Coronavirus

“It’s an unfortunate and difficult decision to make, as I am committed to knocking on every door and talking to as many voters as possible,” he said.  “But it’s the right things to do during this COVID-19 crisis.”

Meanwhile, candidate Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns said this morning she has contacted the NYS Clean campaign to see if hand-sanitizer refill stations can be set up in Cooperstown during the National Emergency.

STERNBERG: Trustee Backs Colleagues In March 18 Village Polling
LETTER from RICHARD STERNBERG

Trustee Backs Colleagues

In March 18 Village Polling

To the Editor:

I endorse and urge you to go out and vote for Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and Trustee MacGuire (Mac) Benton for re-election and Trustee Joe Membrino for election to the Cooperstown Village Board. I have worked with all of them on the board, on village committees and other boards, and in other endeavors, and they have all been selfless in their positions, working for the best interest of the entire Cooperstown community.

The election is noon-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at the firehall.

Mayor Tillapaugh has worked tirelessly to continue our spectacular infrastructure improvement, getting it paid
for mostly with grants, and without a tax increase, something that began with former Mayor Jeff Katz. She was born here and has lived in Cooperstown most of her life. She brings an institutional memory to decision making to the Board members’ discussions.

I have worked on many projects with Mac and am impressed with his energy, eagerness to learn, and how much he cares about Coopers-town, where he has lived all of his life. Mac has put forwarded initiatives that have earned 100 percent Board support, something rare for a freshman Trustee. I have seen him lead and develop various groups of civic minded individuals, many of them young like himself. He has worked a full time and part time job while putting in many hours a week into his Trustees’ duties. He brings needed youth to the Board and represents the future of Cooperstown government.

I have worked with Joe Membrino first on the Planning Board in 2015 and then on the Board of Trustees and Finance and Personnel committees since 2019. He is a lawyer and a dedicated public servant who brings the knowledge of a long
career in government service to the table. In the Trustees’ deliberations, he is thoughtful, pragmatic, and straightforward.
He has very diligently and exhaustively reviewed all the documents presented to him and carefully reviewed all 1,000+ line items in the 2020-21 budget frequently raising important questions.

The Village has definitely been continuing to move in the right direction over the last decade. It has increased spending by 100 percent while keeping real estate taxes to its citizens flat. For this we have Mayor Tillapaugh and the other dedicated Board members like Mac and Joe to thank and I urge you to vote to keep them.

RICHARD STERNBERG, M.D
Village Trustee
Cooperstown

3 Democratic Candidates Seek Separate Independent Lines
Village Board Races Shaping Up

3 Democratic Candidates Seek

Separate Independent Lines

COOPERSTOWN – Joining Republican Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns, the three Democratic incumbents for Village Board filed for independent lines on the March 18 ballot by the 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday evening.

In addition to having her name on the Democratic ballot line, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch will appear on the “Village United” line.  Trustee Joe Membrino’s line is “Liberty Party,” and Trustee MacGuire Benton’s, “Many Voices, One Village.”

Dewey Top Vote-Getter In Cooperstown Tallying

Dewey Top Vote-Getter

In Cooperstown Tallying

Top Cooperstown Democrats gather at Mel’s at 22 a few minutes ago after polls closed in today’s uncontested village elections at the nearby fire hall.  The tallies were close, but incumbent Jeanne Dewey garnered the most votes (128), followed by incumbent Richard Sternberg (119) and newcomer MacGuire Benton (114).  Clockwise from left are candidates  Sternberg, Dewey and Benton; Dr. John Dewey, the candidate’s husband; and First Husband Gary Kuch and his wife, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
No Choice, Light Vote At Cooperstown Polls

No Choice, Light Vote

At Cooperstown Polls

Ellen Pope prepares to cast her ballot shortly at 1 p.m. today in Cooperstown’s village election, where three Democrats – incumbents Richard Sternberg and Jeanne Dewey and newcomer MacGuire Benton – are running for three seats. Pope’s was the 17th ballot cast in the first hour, with Linda and Walter Franck casting 18 and 19. The polls are open in most county villages until 9 p.m. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Ballots Open For Cooperstown Trustee Race

Polls Open For Cooperstown Trustee Race

Cooperstown resident Walter Franck casts his vote in the 2018 village elections. Ellen Tillapaugh is running unopposed for mayor, but Democratic incumbents Cindy Falk and Jim Dean are running against Republican Fred Schneider for two seats on the Village Board of Trustees. Polls opened at noon at the firehall, and will be open until 9 pm. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)
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