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February 21, 2010

Letters to the Editor: February 18, 2010

Vote for Katz, Mebust and Eldred

Cooperstown is fortunate to have Jeff Katz as a candidate for Mayor. He has been Deputy Mayor for two years and served as Trustee for five years. As Chairman of many committees, he is already familiar with the workings of the Village government. He has acted above and beyond his responsibilities as a Trustee by making all of the contacts to bring the big name concerts to Cooperstown.

These concerts not only generated much-needed funds for the Village coffers, but also for the Main Street merchants, restaurants and for the Cooperstown Fire Department, whose members ran the food concessions at the concerts. He petitioned Middlefield and the Town of Otsego to double the amount of their donations for their use of our Library. He has been instrumental in obtaining many grants and in getting paid parking into Cooperstown.

He went to the County to get Cooperstown a bigger share of the bed tax. All of this in an effort to improve the financial situation of the Village without putting an unfair burden on taxpayers.

I have lived in Cooperstown for over fifty years and knew Joe Booan, Alton Dunn and Doug Walker when they were kids growing up here. They are now intelligent, responsible grown men. They are from fine old Cooperstown families.

However, I don’t see that this should give them any edge in this election.

Jeff did not grow up in Cooperstown. He came here by choice. He saw this as the ideal place for his children to grow up. He has been a responsible citizen in every sense of the word. Jeff has served Cooperstown as a private citizen as well as an elected official. He has been involved in bringing class acts to the Cooperstown Concert Series and the Concerts in the Park each summer. During his tenure as Chairman of the Parks Board, Badger Park became a reality. Cooperstown now has a playground, picnic area and skating rink, which bring pleasure to many. His accomplishments over the past five years are too numerous to state here as it would make this letter much longer than it already is. However, they are documented in the minutes of past Trustee meetings that are at the Village Office for anyone interested to see.

Being Mayor doesn’t mean just presiding over one evening meeting a month, but it involves being on call 24/7. Joe Booan has said that the BOCES superintendent in Milford is ``completely in support of what I’m doing.’’

What exactly does that mean? Will he be able to take time off to attend daytime meetings? Will he be able to leave his job at a moment’s notice in case of an emergency? Will he be able to receive the numerous daily phone calls at work? Will he be able to have the time to attend out of town conferences? True he could appoint a Deputy Mayor to do all of these things if he is unable to, but then that would not be the person you voted for for mayor.

I think Joe probably knows this and it may be why he has said that he was reluctant to run and had to be urged to do so. Can a person hold a full-time responsible job in a school system, be Mayor of Cooperstown and do justice to them both? I don’t think so.

The voters should judge each individual on his merit, what he has done for Cooperstown, what experience he brings with him and how much time he can devote to the complicated and complex job of Mayor.

Jeff didn’t have to be urged to run. He is ready, willing and able. He is the logical choice for Cooperstown’s next Mayor. On Election Day, March 16, 2010, please vote for Jeff Katz for Mayor and Lynne Mebust for her second term as Trustee. Lynne’s presence on the Board has been invaluable. Her record stands on its own. To bring a little more balance to the Board of Trustees, vote for Sally Eldred to fill the other vacant Trustee seat. Sally’s background makes her an ideal candidate and is just what is needed in a Trustee.

She was Executive Director of the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. She had a career in public relations and advertising and worked as a reporter for the Eagle Newspaper groups in the Syracuse area.

So get out and vote on March 16. Vote for Katz, Mebust and Eldred.

Grace Kull

Parking is a problem

The Cooperstown Area Plan submitted to the Board of Trustees in 1962 identified parking as a problem. Parking has been a problem ever since. Charging people for parking is just opportunistic; it is not a solution. I have heard parking called a resource that should be tapped. A resource is fresh water or clean air. We do charge for water, but not air _ only because we haven’t figured out how. Parking is a problem, not a resource; they are not the same thing.

The businesses on Main Street do not want it. The overwhelming majority who spoke out at public hearings do not want it. Unless we repeal or amend the existing paid parking law, it will be a reality on Main Street by August.

The purpose of the Board of Trustees is to provide services and benefits to the residents. Placement of parking machines on Main Street is neither a service nor a benefit unless you argue that the benefit comes from increased revenue for the Village. There are other ways to raise revenue.

Increasing the appeal and the accessibility of attractions is one way. Another way is to lower costs. Cutting costs, other than reducing our police coverage, has not been seriously studied.

We risk ``killing the goose that lays the golden egg’’ if we continue on the path we have begun. Already the Legends Baseball teams and the NABA have cancelled future engagements. This loss of revenue to both Doubleday Field and to local enterprise is especially stinging after the pull-out of the HOF game. If I am elected Village Trustee, I will focus on solutions to the parking problem and finding other ways to increase revenue.

Alton G. Dunn, III

Re-elect Katz and Mebust

We would like to publicly endorse Lynne Mebust for a second term as Village Trustee and Jeff Katz for Mayor.

Both of these candidates have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to the greater good of Cooperstown’s residents during their prior tenures as elected leaders.

Both of these candidates have amassed valuable experience in the issues that impact the Village and have spearheaded and supported innovative ideas and programs for the betterment of village residents.

In particular, we reflect upon the issues and stances of these candidates as it relates to paid parking, 24-hour police coverage, Fire Department parking for volunteers and the utilization of Village resources for fund development to offset the local tax burden.

Lynne Mebust and Jeff Katz are available, accessible, and hardworking Village leaders. Both bring open mindedness and honest discussion to the Village Board, and always in the light of the public. Both candidates are prepared and thoroughly understand current Village issues.

Jeff and Lynne have brought about many positive changes to the residents of Cooperstown and both have earned their positions on the Village Board.

Patrick & Carina Franck

Walter & Linda Franck

I am supporting Jeff Katz in his bid for Mayor. His qualifications have been well laid out by others, so I’ll talk about Jeff as my neighbor. I think it says a lot about Jeff that it took us weeks, after we first moved in, to realize he was a Village Trustee. I could see right away that he was proud to live here, but Jeff wears his official role lightly. (A good thing in a small town!)

Jeff and his wife Karen were drawn to Cooperstown by the same things that matter to us: a sense of history, and a real community, and the chance to build a good life for our children. For three years, we’ve lived side by side, putting down roots on Chestnut, to help make it a pleasant stable street where family homes now flourish .

Jeff recognizes what’s important to village life and he respects what already works well here. But he can think strategically about Cooperstown’s unique heritage, a key quality in our next Mayor.

A few months back, Jeff informed me that the Village had no licensing procedure in place to permit commercial filming at Doubleday Field. I was surprised. I am a documentary producer and my budgets typically include location fees. Jeff decided to investigate this potentially significant revenue stream, and guided the Board to capitalize on it, establishing an innovative yet responsible approach to off-setting our tax burden.

In these uncertain times, we will feel the impact of every decision, large or small, enacted by our new Mayor.

Jeff is a seasoned Trustee in command of the issues, able to commit full-time to leading Cooperstown to successfully rebuild, repair and update..

He has my confidence and my support, and he deserves yours.

Kate Roth Knull

SSPCA says thank you

All of us at the Susquehanna SPCA send a thank you shout out to everyone who helped make our benefit spaghetti dinner during Winter Carnival weekend such a success. The Winter Carnival Committee did a terrific job of organization _ there were many and greatly varied events during the entire weekend. They were a pleasure to work with from start to finish. To our generous sponsors _ Hannaford, The Great American, the P & C, and Price Chopper _ we much appreciate your support. The SSPCA is lucky to have such a supportive board and friends _ many of whom served as cooks, servers and bottle washers for the evening. Thank you so much to Lucy Townsend for her generosity. And most of all _ thanks to everyone who came, enjoyed the evening and gave their support to the animals at the SSPCA. We greatly appreciate it!

Jane Duel
Director of Development and Community Relations