Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

November 4, 2011

Your Opinion: November 3, 2011

— Vote Sandler, Huntsman

I have known Bennett Sandler and Julie

Huntsman professionally and socially for

the past few years, and am very pleased

that two such intelligent, hard working

and fair minded individuals are running

for Otsego Town Board.

As a Cooperstown resident and

trustee, I believe it is important for village

residents to be represented on the town

board by people who understand our


I am very impressed that both Bennett

and Julie have taken the time to walk the

village, introduce themselves to residents

and listen to our perspectives and issues.

This commitment to including the

village in town concerns, along with their

hard work on environmental and other

issues, makes me happy to endorse both

Julie and Bennett for the Otsego Town

Board. I hope Village residents will join

me in getting out to vote on Nov. 8.

Lynne Mebust


Experienced people needed

I attended the Meet the Candidates

Night last Thursday hoping to hear some

new ideas and what the Sustainable

Otsego/Democrats had to offer.

Other than their one-sided view of

gas drilling, the fate of which the state

of New York will ultimately decide, I was

shocked at their lack of knowledge of

county and town issues.

Time and again the Sustainable Otsego

challengers, both by their answers to

questions and by their position statements,

showed a shocking lack of

knowledge regarding what the Town

Board and County Board are working on

or what they have already accomplished.

It seems as though the challengers have

not attended many of the meetings of

the boards for which they are running.

For example, I have been a member of

the Town Planning Board for nine years

and not one of the Democratic candidates

has attended a meeting, though,

if elected, they will have to work closely

with this board.

By contrast, Bill Michaels and John

Schallert have not only attended meetings,

but have proposed land-use changes

that have benefited the community.

Several times during the Meet the Candidates

Night, the Sustainable Otsego

candidates stated their ideas only to be

rebutted by Mr. Michaels or Mr. Schallert

with “We’ve already done that” or “That is

already in progress.”

I was surprised to learn that, if elected,

Mr. Kosmer, Mr. Sandler and Ms. Huntsman

bring NO government experience

to the town or county boards and the

remaining candidates have very limited


Although the challengers are good,

well-meaning people, this is not the time

for on-the-job training.

We need experienced people now

more than ever.

John Phillips

Fly Creek


Qualifications and commitment

After the so-called debate last Thursday, the Sustainable Otsego candidates made it quite clear that they have no real positions, no real ideas and no real qualifications to run for the offices they seek.  For example, the SustainableOtsego candidate, Mr. Kosmer, in his closing statement, said his only objective was to get all 30 of the Sustainable Otsego candidates elected.

In addition, he was citing Otsego County economic successes like Golden Artist  Colors, and Agro Farma— and they are actually in Chenango County! I guess I should add “no understanding” to the list of problems with those candidates.

These county rep candidates, Kosmer and Rosenthal, have not attended board meetings to understand the important issues and the process — because they really don’t care about the issues or the process. And, when their supporters try to find fault with real and meaningful successes — as with Jim Johnson’s leadership to secure more than $250,000 in bed tax funding for Cooperstown — you know they lack ideas, and understanding. This is dangerous.

The same problems are apparent in the races for town of Otsego council. The one-issue candidates are woefully lacking in experience, ideas and commitment to representing the people of Otsego on all of the issues that will come before the board. They have been absent at very important meetings discussing and deciding those issues.

Fortunately, there is a list of candidates that have experience, ideas, commitment and have demonstrated real, meaningful results — this too was proven at the  debate. Vote for county repcandidates Jim Johnson — District 8, and Ray Holohan — District 7, and for town of Otsego council vote for Bill Michaels and John Schallert — on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines. Sheila M. Ross Fly Creek Ross is the Otsego County Republican Party chairwoman.

Gas drilling is big issue for elections This year, because of the gas hydrofracking issue, we are seeing a strong upsurge in citizens willing to enter political life, often for the first time. We should consider ourselves lucky. We are fortunate that talented people are willing to work for nominal pay, often at thankless tasks.

I’m writing to support John Kosmer for county representative and Julie Huntsman for Otsego Town Council. Both Kosmer and Huntsman were far out ahead on the hydrofracking issue, educating first themselves and then the public on the dangers of this type of gas drilling and what we could do to stop it. John deserves much of the credit for highlighting fracking as the most critical issue facing us.

Julie Huntsman spent countless hours organizing informational forums and later, volunteers for a largescale opinion poll of our neighbors. She was able to show that by a large majority (more than 80 percent) we did not want hydrofracking in our community. Shortly after, our council voted to ban this type of heavy industry.

I’m also writing to support Bill Michaels in his re-election bid for town council. This was a harder decision for me, only because I think Bennett Sandler would be a valuable addition to our council as well.

But I believe Bill has proved himself to be conscientious and reliable. He’s also come out on the right side of the fracking issue. We need Bill’s experience and he deserves another term.

Bill Schaeffer

Fly Creek

Elect Holoran

On Tuesday Nov. 8, I urge voters in District 7 (Cherry Valley, Middlefield and Roseboom) to elect Ray Holohan to the county Board of Representatives. Ray will bring his skills as a CPA and small-business owner to work on the issues the county faces daily. Issues such as budget and finance, public safety, the Otsego Manor, MOSA, roads, bridges, social services, assistance for the elderly, early childhood intervention and managing county personnel, to name a few. Many residents have legitimate concerns about hydrofracking. As a Middlefield resident with a wife and young children, Ray shares those concerns and has been very supportive of our efforts to ban heavy industry. He understands that only the state and federal governments have the authority to regulate gas drilling and only townships have the authority (through home rule) to ban it. We all need to be very concerned about gas drilling, but not at the expense of the many other issues facing county government. As a CPA, Ray knows firsthand that many county residents struggle to make a living and pay their taxes. He is running because he has concrete ideas on how to improve government so residents can live and prosper in a safe, clean environment. Again, I urge you to elect Ray Holoran county rep for District 7.

David Bliss


Bliss is Middlefield town supervisor.