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March 12, 2010

Letters to the Editor: March 11, 2010


Jeff has the experience

I would like to see the Village in good hands for the future and moving in the right directions to keep the Village that I love still that unique place in many of our hearts.

That is why, as a prominent Republican, I am actively backing Jeff Katz for Mayor.

Jeff has devoted the time and effort to learn the job, investigate the issues, present both sides intelligently, both pros and cons when asked and place the Village needs before his own because of his love of Cooperstown. It is time to put the good of the Village before political party affiliations.

If more public servants put the needs of the public first and put the good of the people before the demands of their parties and their own personal interests, we would have less of the antagonism we see today. We would get more accomplished.

Jeff has the experience we need, five years as a Trustee and two years as Deputy Mayor. He has the knowledge we need, having served on most of the Village Committees.

He has the intelligence we need, coming up with innovative fund raising opportunities that have allowed our Village to accomplish major projects without massive tax increases. He has made his time available to the Village day and night and hasn’t missed a meeting that I can remember, and has put even more of his personal time in representing me and our Village before Federal, State, County and Town meetings.

But most important to me, he loves this Village and it shows in his commitment to all of us.

Please join me in supporting Jeff, real experience and commitment we need. And, thank you for the honor of being your Mayor and Trustee for a total of 16 years; and thanks to all for their kind comments regarding my health and future.

Carol Bateman Waller

Mayor of Cooperstown

Joe will represent us Potholes are now the norm in Cooperstown. Brooklyn Avenue is closed. Village Hall has become a sieve. Village government continues to postpone $10-$20 million of infrastructure repairs because of its weak and deteriorating financial position.

We must break this downward trend that threatens our sustainability. We see signs of decline such as ``For Rent’’ and ``For Sale,’’ and we are alarmed by symptoms such as dropping school enrollment and falling visitor numbers.

Joe Booan is the professionally trained leader we need to get Cooperstown back on track. He was recently promoted to Director at ONC BOCES where he balances budgets by controlling spending. His latest budget reduced spending by 2.35 percent.

Joe’s opponent has been on the board the past five years when village revenues rose 4.7 percent per year. Unfortunately, property taxes also increased 4.7 percent per year.

Why, because village government spending swelled 6 percent per year. If village government had simply contained spending increases to equal inflation, it would have saved over $400,000.

Joe will not support damaging revenue schemes that do our village more harm than good. Pay & Display machines on Main Street, writing thousands of parking tickets and raising taxes will chase away residents, businesses and tourists.

Most important, we’ve seen a huge escalation of political nonsense the past five years. This type of behavior is not what Cooperstown is about. We are a quiet and dignified people that take great pride in community cooperation. As individuals, we are modest and considerate.

Joe Booan is the candidate with the professional expertise to repair our village government and preserve our future. Joe will represent us in a humble and courteous manner that is consistent with whom we are. I respectfully ask you to join me and cast your vote for Joe Booan to be the next Mayor of Cooperstown.

Eric Hage

Cooperstown

Hage is currently completing his first term as Village Trustee. He has chosen not to seek re-election.

I will represent the interests of all

In my five years experience as Trustee I have shown real accomplishment as I’ve served on virtually every committee. On those committees and Boards, I have worked diligently, attending meetings, and doing tireless research to approach old issues with new information, or to come up with fresh, innovative ideas to present and act upon.

I’ve worked with the same diligence for the committees I haven’t been on, such as Sewer Board, in dealing with permits and grants.

Specific issues come and go, but how one approaches the process stays the same. I have always been consistent in my approach, honest and open in my discussions, with one overriding principle: what is for the general good of the residents of this Village. While there are many different constituencies, and they all must be listened to, the residents are whom we are elected by and whom we represent. I never lose sight of that in my work as a Trustee.

Having served as Deputy Mayor the last two years, I’ve seen what it takes to be Mayor. While the Trustee job entails hours of committee work, the Mayor’s job takes a different time commitment.

I can tell you that being on call for the Village as Deputy Mayor, whether it’s fielding calls from the office, getting phone calls from residents or consultants, or pursuing issues that are beyond the usual task of the Trustee role, can, and has, taken hours of a normal day. The Village is faced with more and more complexity, more and more work. It needs a Mayor with more time to devote to the well-being of the Village. Fortunately, my work schedule is flexible and my personal needs can be adjusted to accommodate the Village’s. In cases of emergency, I am always in the Village, prepared and able to respond.

To lead as Mayor, one needs to have a deep and broad knowledge of Village issues.

There have been many meetings or conference calls I’ve participated in with Congressman, State legislators, and Town officials, where multiple subjects have come up unexpectedly. In those moments, a Mayor needs to have the information at their fingertips to strongly and effectively represent the Village. In this era, where working with other governmental agencies is crucial, I have already proven I can work with the Towns and County on issues that are important to the Village.

We all deeply love this Village. Whether we’ve been here one year or 50, one generation or more, it’s impossible not to feel love for Cooperstown. In my family’s case, we picked up and chose to fulfill our lifetime dream by moving to Cooperstown, where Karen and I could bring up our three boys, in a Village where everyone looks out for each other. Living here and serving the community has far exceeded our expectations.

I want to humbly thank all those who have expressed their support for me in so many different ways. I will continue to represent the interests of all of our residents fairly and honestly if elected Mayor.

I ask for your support on Election Day.

Jeff Katz

Cooperstown

I pledge to work tirelessly

My name is Doug Walker and I am running for village trustee. I graduated from CCS in 1963, served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam and graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1971. I have owned and operated several businesses in Cooperstown over the past 30 years, including Danny’s Market, Walker Gallery Fine Art and Framing, The National Pastime and currently 2 Chestnut Bed and Breakfast. I believe my greatest strength that I bring from that experience is my ability to work with a team and to make informed decisions that lead to solving problems.

I have lived in Cooperstown for most of my life and I have watched it evolve from a quiet, insular community, far removed from the rest of the world to where it is today with people coming here from every country to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and to enjoy the scenic beauty of Otsego county. Along with these successes have come many problems, which burden our community. This is where the elected leaders on our village board come into play.

It is they who must balance the needs of all interests in Cooperstown and make the decisions that will affect all of us in the future. I ask for your vote on Tuesday, March 16 and pledge, if elected, to work tirelessly to keep Cooperstown the wonderful community that it is.

Doug Walker

Cooperstown

Our candidates have a proven record

We are fast approaching one of the most important elections in decades; the outcome of which will determine the future direction of our village for years to come. I was nominated to run for Trustee this year but, after careful reflection, I decided I wanted to devote all my efforts to ensuring our Democratic team have the best opportunity to be elected or re-elected to office. The problems we face are numerous and affect all aspects of our quality of life. I am going to ask you to come out on March 16 to vote for four individuals.

Jeff Katz, our candidate for Mayor, current Deputy Mayor and Trustee, cherishes this village and has an accomplished record that we can be proud of. He has an unsurpassed familiarity with village issues and government. Through his efforts of finding new revenue he has kept taxes down, he has alleviated some of our parking problems, enhanced our library and has had other municipality’s donate more funds, worked with residents to build Badger Park with the Villages first skating rink, ensured 24/7 police protection for our citizens, secured funds for the Gateway Project, fought opposition to keep Village property open for our Fire Department so they could park in a timely fashion when time is critical in a emergency, and many other quality of life situations.

Lynne Mebust, our current Trustee, is running for a second term, she also has a record of accomplishments. She has spearheaded the fight to restore 24/7 police coverage, fought for our Fire Fighters needs and has answered their concerns, Lynne has fought for innovative revenue raising solutions, helping to keep our taxes in check and helping to pay for projects like Irish Hill, as park chair she worked closely with residents to secure funds for Badger Park enhancements.

Sally Eldred, running for Trustee, moved to Cooperstown approximately five years ago and brings an extensive resume and wealth of experience to the table, including being Executive Director, Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, a long career in public relations and communications, and 11 years on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Leslie Friedman, is currently our Deputy Village Justice. She has worked tirelessly in this position and is exceedingly qualified. An attorney for 20 years, Member of the Bar of New York, Pennsylvania and District of Columbia. A graduate of J.D. N.Y.U., holds a BA Bryn Mawr College, Member of the N.Y.S. and Otsego County Magistrates Associations. Leslie will be fair and diligent in her duties.

Our Democratic candidates have a proven record as leaders with extraordinary backgrounds. Please join me in supporting these four candidates on March 16.

Richard Abbate

Cooperstown Democratic

Chairman

The village needs leadership

Make No Mistake _ if Joe Booan’s opponent becomes Mayor of Cooperstown we will have Pay & Display machines on Main Street this summer. Even though paid parking machines haven’t been put in yet, that does not mean the threat has gone away. Quite the contrary. Joe’s opponent stated in a recent public meeting that he feels we can have paid parking downtown as early as August. This issue has been intentionally held under the radar by Joe’s opponent and his supporters because they want the people to forget about it in the voting booth.

Right now the village needs leadership, structure and vision. With Joe Booan this is what we will get. He has the professional training and experience to turn our deteriorating financial situation into a sound one. He can provide a unified vision and has the professional ability to provide the structure needed to get there.

We do not need to keep placing new financial burdens onto the backs of our village residents, our visitors or the surrounding communities, because we do not know how to take a hard look at our spending. It was stated by Joe’s opponent that until we implement Paid Parking on Main Street, he didn’t feel that the expenses should be addressed. This is another case of being financially irresponsible and trying to raise more revenue at the expense of the village, where a look at the village’s expenditures is what is truly called for.

With the numbers of people coming to the village declining and downtown businesses struggling, this is not the direction to head in. We need to keep Cooperstown healthy and vital and not discourage shopping downtown or discourage visitors from coming to our village. As the business district slows down, the burden falls back to the village residents through their taxes. We need to see the damage that the increase in taxes does to our community _ and Paid Parking is just one form of tax. With the financially sound leadership Joe Booan provides, our community working together can become the wonderful village we love. It can give hope back to parents that there will be a village years from now that children will be able to come back to as Joe has done, a place our children can afford to live and thrive in, a place where our infrastructure is secure and a place where we can afford to retire in. On March 16, you as a voter have the ability to make your voice heard. To let the village leaders know that you are not content with the path we are on, I urge you to get out and vote and hope you will vote for Joe Booan as I will. We cant afford not to.

There is a simple choice _ vote for the ``tax and spend’’ candidate, or vote for fiscal planning and responsibility. We need to plan our village’s future, not simply go month to month and see what happens. Vote for Joe Booan.

Willis Monie Jr.

Trustee

Cooperstown

Vote for Booan

Joe Booan believes in win/win solutions. Look at 24/7 police coverage. Instead of blindly backing a proposed $38,000 budget amendment, Joe recognized an opportunity to do the right thing. Everyone wanted comprehensive coverage. Joe Booan’s compromise maintained 24/7 coverage and saved you, the taxpayer, over $20,000.

Admittedly, this approach does not provide for much passion on the campaign trail. It may not be politically expedient. However, Joe Booan is not a politician.

Joe Booan is a problem solver. Joe Booan is constantly looking for win/win opportunities.

Joe Booan is a leader.

Issues change. Leadership, integrity, teamwork, style and character are constant. Leadership, integrity, teamwork, style and character matter. Joe Booan possesses these qualities. This is why I am backing Joe Booan’s bid to be our next mayor. This is why I support Alton Dunn & Doug Walker for trustee.

They will provide the leadership our village most urgently needs.

Neil Weiller Trustee

Cooperstown

Like Mayor Waller did

This is a great ad for Jeff Katz _ it’s a highway billboard at I-90 and I-87 in Albany. I’ll explain . . . The Village has an external media ``footprint’’ that is 10 times the size of the village, approximately that of a town with a population of 200,000. Its economy depends on tourism. So when the Hall of Fame starts holding press conferences after business hours and on Saturday, Booan might be an OK choice. Or when NYSHA, Fenimore, Farmers’ Museum, and Bassett schedule events to accommodate an ``after work’’ mayor.

But that’s not the way tourism related media events work. So it’s not a bad idea to have a Mayor that has an engaging personality. Especially during their 9 to 5 ``work week’’ as mayor. When they are going to be doing some of their best work: representing a town that depends on tourism. Like Mayor Waller did every time she left her shop . . . to go to work.

James Northrup

Cooperstown