News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
Click for classifieds of Oneonta, Cooperstown, and all of Otsego County. Click for jobs in Oneonta, Cooperstown, and all of Otsego County. Click for dining, entertainment, and things to do in Oneonta, Cooperstown, and all of Otsego County. Click for real estate listings in Oneonta, Cooperstown, and all of OTsego County. click for cars, trucks, and other vehicles in oneonta, cooperstown, and all of otsego county. click for funeral homes, flower shops, and other businesses that specialize in= remembrance in oneonta, cooperstown, and all of otsego county. Click for more great ads from local businesses in Oneonta, Cooperstown, and all of Otsego County.

voting

Election Day Bustling With Voter Turn Out

With Multiple Candidates,

Election Day ’18 A Busy One

Voting was brisk at the City of Oneonta’s polling place at Foothills Performing Arts Center as the midterms got underway.  A voter there at 7:45 a.m. said she was the 142nd to cast ballots, a lot for that early.  A Cooperstown voter said 79 ballots had been cast by 7:20 at St. Mary’s Parish Hall, also higher than usual.  Above, Election Inspector Judy Staruck, Schenevus, hands Michele Clapperton an “I Voted” sticker after she cast a ballot. “This is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Clapperton. “I love seeing everyone here exercising their Constitutional right.” Polls opened at 6 a.m. and will remain open until 9 p.m. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

CLICK HERE TO CHECK SAMPLE BALLOTS

Are We Doing Political Debates Right? Let’s Talk About It

Editorial for November 2, 2018

Are We Doing Political Debates

Right? Let’s Talk About It

The Freeman’s Journal – When League moderator Barbara Heim challenges audience members to step up if they can do better at the Oct. 22 Devlin- Fernandez debate, Tom Leiber offers to do so.

League of Women Voters’ moderators lost control of the Monday, Oct. 22, debate between the incumbent Otsego County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr., and his challenger, retired state trooper Bob Fernandez.
Not the candidates – the League, to the point where moderator Barbara Heim of Oneonta threatened at least twice to shut it down and send home the 150+ attendees who packed The Fenimore Museum Auditorium, filled folding chairs in the aisles and crowded into the hallway, trying to hear the goings-on inside.
The dramatic highpoint came when Heim challenged the crowd: If you think you can do a better job, come up here. At that point, Tom Leiber of Oaksville, a pal of Fernandez going back to their high school days on Long Island, jumped up and volunteered.
That prompted the League’s debate organizer, Maureen Murray of Cooperstown, to jump up and, again, threaten that, if people misbehaved, she would kick everyone out.
Yes, the attendees – Devlin and Fernandez’
adherents alike – were pumped. Clearly, the League – this was the first co-organized by the Oneonta and Cooperstown chapters – didn’t know what to do.
And, of course, that was contrary to its
central mission: To help Democracy work. Why mistreat citizens interested and engaged enough to drive out, many from 22 miles hence, on a chilly, rainy night to participate in representative democracy?
Active citizens is what we all want – the League,
too – not what anyone wants to discourage.

Happily, in this season of debates leading up to the Nov. 6 mid-terms, the voting public was treated to an excellent contrasting example: The 19th District Congressional debate on WMHT, Troy, on Friday, Oct. 19, between incumbent U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, and the Democratic challenger, Antonio Delgado of Rhinebeck. It was co-sponsored by Albany Times Union.
As you might expect, the experienced moderator, Matt Ryan, host of the station’s Emmy-winning “New York Now” program, was comfortable appearing before a crowd. He had three seasoned journalists – the Times Union reporter David Lombardo and Senior Editor for News Casey Seiler, and Karen Dewitt from WAMC and a 10-station network of NPR stations.
At the outset, Ryan welcomed the audience to applaud “one time” when the candidates were introduced, then to refrain for a logical reason: “So we can ask more questions” within the one-hour limit.
Each candidate was given 90 seconds to answer to a question;
the rival 45 seconds to react – and that was it. Ryan halted any candidate who then tried to jump in. However, given the brisk pace, a candidate who may have felt shortchanged had a chance to expand his comment in responses to later questions.
Blood was drawn. Delgado tried to pin “racist” ads on Faso. Faso noted Delgado moved to the 19th from New Jersey two years ago, then immediately registered to run for Congress.
By the end audience members were given ample insights to help guide their votes, which is the point

In an interview with WMHT’s Ryan, it became clear that, even with a pro, soft skills are essential.
A time clock flags the candidates at 30 seconds, 15 seconds and zero, when bell rights softly, so no candidate is surprised. Ryan says he won’t just cut candidates off in mid-sentence. He gauges whether a candidate is just wrapping up and, if so, will give him a few seconds. If it looks like the candidate is warming up the topic, Ryan will politely – important word – move on.
The set-up of the room is important, too. Remarking on the argumentative Cuomo-Molinaro gubernatorial debate a few days later, he noted the candidates were too close to the moderator, allowing them to dominate. At the WMHT debate, Ryan was at a lectern, with candidates seated on one side, reporters on the other, establishing an air of formality.
Likewise, with proceedings being aired on live TV, candidates and audience alike tend to be better behaved, Ryan said. Locally, the debates have been videotaped for rebroadcast in the past, but that didn’t happen this time.

Bottom line, mistakes were made by people of good will. But a repeat should be avoided. The League organizers would be wise to convene a conversation of stakeholders – League organizers, the county Republican and
Democratic chairs, a winning and a losing candidate, representatives
of the press, and frequent attendees from the public – after Nov. 6 to talk through the whole approach. Maureen Murray was intrigued by such an idea.
Some additional issues:
• Two Otsego debates were cancelled because one of the candidates, Assemblyman Magee in the 121st District then Delgado, demurred. Thus, one candidate’s refusal to debate can prevent another from communicating his/her message to voters. That’s not right.
• A media representative from this newspaper was removed from the panel because a candidate objected. The reason given: the newspaper had endorsed the other candidate in the primary. The League shouldn’t punish a free press for making endorsements; the candidates shouldn’t control the League’s debate.
• Should the League have the exclusive franchise on local political debates? Maybe it could take the lead in forming an independent entity – it would include League representation, of course – to make sure all the local expertise available is brought to bear.
In commenting on AllOTSEGO’s
Facebook page, former Hartwick Town Supervisor Pat Ryan ended her critique with: “This opinion in no way is meant to disparage all of the good work the League does in supporting our right to vote and be informed on the issues!”
But, she added, “Let’s talk about the ground rules for the
Lincoln/Douglas debate, which was a true debate!” A true debate, indeed: frank, content-rich,
pointed and sufficiently polite, leading the best candidate to
victory at the polls. Indeed,
that’s the goal.

Polling For Primaries Begins!

Primary Voting Underway

Darlene Cruciani, Oneonta, places a voting sign outside of Foothills shortly before polls opened at noon today. Polling locations will remain open until 9 p.m. tonight for the Democratic and Republican primaries. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
EDITORIAL: ISN’T IT TIME FOR A CHANGE?

Editorial, June 15, 2018

ISN’T IT TIME

FOR A CHANGE?

Elect Len Carson County Sheriff.

Able, Proven Public Servant

Would Change Conversation

ELECT LEN CARSON SHERIFF Distinguished Firefighter, Businessman, Veteran

When you think about it, with the amount of baggage both Republican and Democratic designees for county sheriff are carrying, 2018 would be a great opportunity for a third person to run as an independent.
You may have a favorite candidate of your own, but how about someone like Len Carson, the Oneonta Republican who narrowly lost reelection to his seat on the Otsego County Board of Representatives last November despite distinguishing himself as bright, level-headed and forward-thinking during his tenure.
Just that term – “an Oneonta Republican” – speaks to his ability to reach across party lines in the Democrat-dominated city.
He’s a veteran – an able president of the Oneonta Vets’ Club – a distinguished firefighter and EMS leader, who in retirement from the Oneonta Fire Department founded DC Marketing,
the electronic billboard company.
And still a young man – in his 50s – he remains creatively involved in civic life as a future-looking member of the Oneonta Airport Commission.
As a former county rep, he knows his way around county government, and,
as former chairman of the county board’s Public
Safety Committee, the sheriff’s department.
Plus, in the turmoil in the sheriff’s department of his final year, he no doubt learned more about its inner workings than he wished.

There are positives for Carson in the negatives.
Incumbent Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr., the Republican nominee, while often serving ably, has been embroiled in controversy for 18 months now, unable to resolve serious allegations surrounding his son, Ros.
Ros was accused of threatening an “incident” at Milford or Oneonta schools so he, unhindered, could commit suicide in front of a supervisor critical of him.

Devlin
Fernandez

It might happen, but it’s conceivable the case will still be hanging out there on Nov. 6, when voters go to the polls. If so, would you want to vote for Devlin?
The Democratic designee, retired state trooper Bob Fernandez, has an albatross hanging around his neck: As county board chair, his wife, Kathy Clark, R-Otego, did significant damage to the welfare of her constituents, evident dramatically in the past few days when two top executives of the county nursing home – privatizing it was one of her signature achievements – were hauled into court on felony charges of endangering patients.
Plus, some Republicans believe that Clark led the charge against Devlin to open the way for her husband’s candidacy? With that nagging question, would you want to vote for Fernandez when you go into the polling booths Nov. 6.

The positives for Carson are also in the positives.
While defeated for reelection by a mere five votes, Carson left office squeaky clean. He was generally admired by his colleagues, and very well may have been elected county board chairman if only three voters had cast ballots the other way.
There’s plenty of time to run as an independent. The independent candidate would have to collect a mere 795 signatures. He and his no-doubt many supporters could begin circulating petitions July 10, and submit them by Aug. 14-21.
Plus, a three-way race means someone could win with perhaps as little as 35 percent of balloting; a quarter of the county’s population lives in Carson’s home city.
Very doable.

We have a president who’s seeking to drain what he calls “the swamp” of Washington D.C. – Godspeed! But we have a little swamp here, and – arguably – both Devlin and Fernandez are part of it.
Let’s drain our little swamp. Elect Len Carson sheriff of Otsego County on Nov. 6, 2018.

Oneonta Polls See Good Turn Out

Oneonta Polls

See Good Turnout

Abbey Koutnik, Oneonta, right, gets her voting ballot from Election Inspectors Louise Sandoli and Marty Becker at Foothills this afternoon for County and Town races. Polls will remain open until 9 p.m. this evening. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Vote Otsego!

Voting Brisk At Oneonta Polls

Clark Oliver, receives his voting ballot from Election Official Donna Behrent this afternoon at polling station at Foothills Preforming Arts Center. Early morning saw lines out the door, with a steady, larger-than-normal voter turn out throughout the day. If you haven't already, there is still two hours left before poll locations close. So, if you haven't, get out and vote! (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Clark Oliver, receives his voting ballot from Election Official Donna Behrent this afternoon at the polling station at Foothills Performing Arts Center. Early morning saw lines out the door, with a steady, larger-than-normal voter turnout throughout the day. If you haven’t already, the polls are open until 9 p.m.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, NOV. 8
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, NOV. 8

election-day-calendar-banner

vote-box-calendar

Election day has arrived.

CLICK HERE  to find polling locations in Otsego County.

For more information visit the Otsego County Board of Elections Website.

NATURE HIKE – 10 a.m. Free hike of Clark Tower Property. Open to public. Lasts approximately 2 hours. Bring water and a snack. Meet at Beaver Meadow Rd., Just South of Co. Rd. 52.

KNITTING GROUP – 1:30-3:30 p.m. Village Library, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. For more info CLICK HERE.

HAM DINNER – 4:30.-6:30 p.m. Eat in or Take Out. Cost, Donation. United Methodist Church, 82 Main St., Cherry Valley. Info, call (607) 264-3087

CLICK FOR MORE HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO

Posts navigation

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