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

December 27, 2012

In our readers' opinion

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — PTA says thanks

The Cooperstown PTA would like to thank the Cooperstown community for supporting our recent Holiday Breakfast held Saturday, Dec. 1. We owe a sincere thank you to all those who made the event possible: school faculty for breakfast items, band director Peter Daum, the tireless kitchen and custodial staff, Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Leo Club and Boys Scouts for providing volunteers, the vendors who participated in the Marketplace, the Silent Auction donors and local businesses for their continued support, Stagecoach for providing coffee and a holding container, Mark Davine for breakfast supplies, Price Chopper and the countless parent and student volunteers who made this year a success.

The PTA would also like to recognize the efforts of Jennifer Stalzer, who organized our Marketplace, Tabetha Rathbone and Melanie Boyer who organized the fabulous Silent Auction, Joanne Crowson and Julie Cring for organizing the kitchen and cafeteria staff, and Cari Lifgren for organizing the book fair.

We wish all Cooperstown students and families a safe and healthy holiday season and look forward to Crayon Carnival coming up next year on Saturday, March 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the MS/HS gymnasium.

Beth Lesko

Sheri Holohan

PTA Co-Presidents

Former trustee against

paid parking

I have been on the village board and read the minutes from the first paid parking proposal public meeting. I then participated in another one. I took the time to talk to business owners and others in the village and heard the opinions, before reversing the law of paid parking on Main Street. I have not been approached by a single trustee, nor has any other business owner that I have talked to. I am not sure what has changed since the last vote, but from what I have heard, opinions have not changed.

As both a business owner on Main Street and someone that owns a house in Cooperstown, I am not in favor of paid parking on the streets for several reasons. I do agree that Cooperstown is having financial difficulty, as is the rest of the country, but to institute paid parking will have a long-term negative effect on Cooperstown, its residents and the businesses on Main Street.

Main Street and its businesses are struggling. There are many shops that are closed and others that are in the process of closing. It will be difficult to bring other potential businesses into the village with paid parking in place. When I talked to business owners the last time this situation was before the board, one comment stuck in my head. A new restaurant that had come to town said that it would not have come if there had been paid parking on Main Street.

When I was on the board, we talked about trying to get new and diverse businesses to Main Street, businesses that weren’t necessarily tourist-related. However, paid parking goes directly against this endeavor, encouraging only stores that rely on tourists. Other stores and restaurants rely on region and repeat local business. Paid parking will have a negative effect on this target group, hurting diverse businesses directly. 

In this market we need to encourage tourists and others to come to Cooperstown and not throw another hindrance on the people that will keep this community alive. There are only so many ways to punish tourists before they stop coming altogether. The Hall of Fame attendance numbers show this is happening, whether it is because of the economy or not doesn’t matter, as any other obstacles will certainly cut further into already-declining numbers.

I have heard from the paid parking proponents that it will not hurt business. This is false; there is no way that business will not suffer if we charge people just to park on Main Street. It will drive down local and repeat business and these people will not come back in the “off-season” once they have gone elsewhere. 

By hurting revenues in the village, everyone pays, especially the taxpayer. There will be fewer businesses, less revenue and the property values of Main Street will go down. Not every business owner lives in Cooperstown, but they do pay a large amount to the village through taxes. When the values of the businesses decrease, so will the taxes paid by the businesses. This will then fall back on the village residents. A short-sighted “fix” will end up hurting the community in the long term.

At this time I am not going to argue whether the paid parking profits will be substantial, although I do not believe they will be. As with the permit lot after increasing permit fees and with the Doubleday lot — they are getting used less and less. 

To say that you have not heard anyone against paid parking only means that you have not been asking anyone or that you are not listening. Please do not place paid parking on the streets of Cooperstown as this is not the cure, it will be more a part of the problem. 

Willis Monie Jr.

Cooperstown

Writer offers

well-wishes to former manager

I left the American Red Cross in August, having served as Community Chapter Executive for the Mohawk Valley Chapter. I only just found out that Toni Christensen, the long-time branch manager for the Cooperstown Office of the American Red Cross, had retired on Nov. 30.

I had the pleasure of working with Toni and know that I join so many in the community and throughout Otsego County, in wishing Toni well as she embarks on this new chapter in her life.

Toni was the kind of manager that any director would want and she made my job easier by doing hers so well.

Hats off to you, Toni! Enjoy your retirement in good health and much happiness!

Victor J. Fariello Jr.

New Hartford