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July 2017: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

June 2017: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

May 2017: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

April 2017: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

March 2017: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

February 2017: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

January 2017: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

December 2016: Weblink to minutes is here and here.

 

November 2016: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

October 2016: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

September 2016: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

August 2016: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

July 2016: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

June 2016: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

May 2016: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

April 2016: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

March 2016: Weblink to minutes is here.

 

February 2016:

Weblink to full minutes is available here.  
 
The second full Board meeting of the year was held and it was the first ever County meeting to be recorded. This is an important and long overdue step toward greater transparency. Recordings of meetings will be available online in the future.
Sandy Mathes, Otsego Now and Jim Becker, MidTel, gave an update on the status of the Broadband project updating the board on the background work and efforts to ready Otsego County to pursue additional NYS funding opportunities.  The merger between Time Warner Cable and New Charter is affecting our area's ability to qualify for grants for broadband expansion. They are awaiting FCC approval  the PSC will require New Charter to upgrade system, install line extensions, create a new low income broadband program, and invest in the improvement of customer service. 
Round 1 of the broadband grants will apply to areas with less than 25Mb download speeds, which are considered "unserved" and areas with 25Mb-100Mb download speeds, which are considered "underserved." TWC/New Charter franchised municipalities/areas are excluded from Round 1, leaving only about 49,000 unserved and 40,000 underserved premises eligible for bid statewide.
 
Round 2 will address areas New Charter does not build out allowing for more opportunities to become available, including in Otsego County.  We are hopeful that Otsego County will do well in Round 2 and that should move forward this summer.
The Board passed a resolution "supporting development of a 100 percent state funded indigent legal defense system as a way to provide mandate relief and lower property taxes."  Criminal legal defense is an important constitutional right of citizens but the way the program is currently structured has allowed it to become one more mandate unfunded by the State.
The only contentious issue during the meeting was a late resolution for an appointment to the County of Otsego Industrial Development Agency (also known as OtsegoNow).  The Otsego County Board of Representatives approves appointments to the OtsegoNow Board, which allows the Board and our constituents to have oversight over OtsegoNow.  The County Board Chair nominated former County Rep. Rick Hulse to the position. He was voted out of office last fall and has consistently advocated against OtsegoNow, so his appointment came as a surprise and appeared distinctly partisan (and was in fact approved by only Republicans. One Republican joined the Dems in opposing the appointment.) My other concern was the process by which the nomination came forward. I and other Board members had to learn of the proposed appointment by reading about it in the paper the day before our meeting. No one was given an opportunity to speak with this or any other candidate. The County Board's oversight duty is an important responsibility- some of the IDA board members have been there since the 1970's or '80's. Appointing a new member is an important job and should have been given due diligence. Additionally, this appointment was labeled as coming from the IGA cmte, one that I serve on. In fact, it was never once discussed in our committee meetings and we did not vote on a resolution. Currently the Otsego Now Board is 100% white males. This is anachronistic in 2016 and the County Board should have had the opportunity to interview female candidates for this important job. It's regrettable that the County rushed this partisan appointment and did not give it the due diligence it deserved. Hopefully future appointments are more transparent and thoughtful. 
 
 
 

January 2016:

The Board held its first meeting of 2016 and handled many organizational matters. The Board appointed Kathy Clark (Otego) as Board Chair. We received our various committee assignments and will begin meeting as Committees in the next few weeks. The Board listened to a presentation from Sandy Mathes of Otsego Now/IDA about the economic development initiatives going on in the County. The Town of Oneonta has the first "shovel ready" site in the County. Additionally, we are poised to benefit greatly from the potential railyards development which is moving forward. The only contested vote was in regard to a proposed Board bylaws change.  Rep Stuligross from Oneonta proposed that we move our Board meeting times from 10 AM to sometime in the evening between 5 and 7. This would allow the public to attend our meetings in greater numbers and would also allow more people to be able to run for office. As it is now, only retired or self employed people tend to show up. I voted in favor of the proposition because I believe our number one duty is to represent our constituents and being more transparent and available to them is part of that duty. The motion failed unfortunately and we will continue to meet at 10 AM on the first Wednesday of each month.

Weblink to full January Board Meeting Minutes: Full Board Minutes

(It's not printed in full here because it's about 50 pages.)


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