Newly elected Village Trustee Hannah Bergene was already sold on Cooperstown.
But her first Induction Weekend working for the Chamber of Commerce – in 2015, the Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez year – she got sold all over again.
Baseball fans were jammed onto the front steps of Chamber headquarters in that yellow-and-white cottage at 31 Chestnut St., trying to catch a glimpse of their heroes passing by in the Legends of the Game parade.
“They were so in awe,” said Bergene. “They had waited all their lives to come here. We” – who live here – “take it for granted.”
She maintained that excitement for her five years at the Chamber, where she rose to marketing director under Executive Director Matt Hazzard, and for the past two years as social media director at Paperkite Creative, the Internet marketing firm.
Tuesday, March 16, Bergene and Trustee Cindy Falk, the deputy mayor, ran unopposed and received 139 and 136 votes respectively. Both are Democrats.
She ran, Bergene said in an interview Saturday, March 13, “because Mac asked me too” – Trustee Mac Benton, 23, who with County Democratic Chairman Clark Oliver, 22, have been recruiting young people here, in Oneonta and countywide to run for office.
The new trustee, her interest piqued by her work at the Chamber of Commerce, had considered elected office at some point, but “in my mind, it was years in the future.
“But why not? Why not get involved?” she asked herself. “The village needs young people to attract other young people here.”
It is a true honor to write to you today and encourage residents to get out and support Hanna Bergene as trustee for the Village of Cooperstown.
I had the distinct privilege to work alongside Hanna during her tenure at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce. For more than three years, Hanna worked diligently on behalf of both the businesses and residents of our community. On a daily basis her tireless work ethic and passion was on display, skills that she will bring with her to the trustee position.
In our next trustee, it is essential we have someone with a vision for the future of Cooperstown. Having been born and raised here, Hanna would bring her local knowledge and insight to the position. As a young professional, she has grown expediently, from her days at Stagecoach Coffee, to her role at the Chamber, she now serves as a key figure in marketing our county in her role at Paperkite Creative.
All of these experiences have positioned her as the right person at the right time to serve in this role.
While working together, we spoke frequently on the amazing opportunities and potential for our beautiful village. For key issues that have been discussed in this community for years, such as more affordable housing, creating a vibrant Main Street, and embracing younger generations, we need a Trustee that will go the extra mile. She has proven it time and time again with her volunteerism and involvement in local community groups.
For anyone that knows Hanna, her love for our community is evident, and I am confident that she will serve the entire community well.
Saturday I had one of those “It Takes a Village” moments.
I offered a ride to a friend to the vaccination clinic at the Clark Sports Center. Sitting with her in a folding chair on the gym floor, I remembered just how special our community is.
We have a teaching hospital right here in Cooperstown, we have an amazing recreational facility and, most important, we are blessed with people who care.
Our local community members helped spread the word about vaccine availability, assisted with online registration, provided rides, checked people in, gave shots, stood by in case of an emergency, and checked up on our friends and neighbors.
We live in a one-of-a-kind place that I am pleased to call home.
For the past nine years, I have been privileged to represent village residents on the Board of Trustees. This Tuesday, March 16, I will be running for my fourth term.
There is little hype about this election. My name and Hanna Joy Bergene’s will be the only ones on the ballot, and there are two open seats. There is no national election going on simultaneously and no COVID-induced change to the voting date as there was last year.
Honestly, it may seem like there is little reason to participate. But I am hopeful that in our remarkable village people still will make the effort to exercise their right to vote.
Polls are open noon – 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, at the fire hall, and absentee-ballot applications and absentee ballots can be picked up by 4 p.m. Monday, March 15, at Village Hall, 22 Main St.
The pandemic has been difficult on all of us individually and collectively. The village government is no exception to that – the last year has been trying, and the coming months will be critical as we begin to creep forward into a post-pandemic world.
I encourage you to take part in the democratic process as we enter this next phase, and I would greatly appreciate your vote on Tuesday the 16th.
COOPERSTOWN – As many as 30 new trees a year could be planted in Cooperstown starting in 2020, according to Village Trustee Cindy Falk.
“Right now we’re planting about a half a dozen trees a year,” she said.
The Davey Resource Group of Kent, Ohio, just released a survey of the village’s 1,897 trees, with a proposed maintenance schedule of removals and plantings. Planting trees is quickly becoming the norm for some businesses around the world, as they are trying their best to contribute to making a difference when it comes to the climate. Companies similar to Loveplugs are trying their best to do their part for the environment. It seems to be no different for the Coopertown’s village trust.