Tillapaugh:  I Am Ready To Serve My Hometown
To the Editor:
As I have walked around the village over the past few weeks while campaigning for a trustee seat on the Village Board, I have enjoyed meeting new residents and visiting with long-time friends. 
I have listened to your concerns. Many of you know me and are aware of my years of leadership in local organizations and my service to our community. You know I will work objectively and thoroughly for solutions with all who are elected to serve.
From my experience with the League of Women Voters, I have a strong non-partisan basis, which will be beneficial on the board.
I am ready and willing to serve my hometown community and I feel fortunate to have undertaken this political journey with Walter Franck, Jeff Katz and Jim Dean – a very strong slate of candidates.
Walter’s fiscal and administrative expertise at Bassett Hospital will be an asset to our community.  Jeff has served diligently and conscientiously as a trustee for six years, and has successfully raised revenue from non-tax sources.  Jim’s passion and advocacy for the environment and the village will also serve us well. 
Please consider all we have to offer our community when you vote on Tuesday, March 15, to vote. 

Franck:  Increase Revenues, Lower Costs
To the Editor:
Our beautiful, beloved village is facing trying times. We live in an economically challenged region of New York State at a time when global and national economies are suffering. We have empty stores on Main Street; we lost Hoffman Lane Bistro and Agway, among other businesses we valued.
This occurred despite the fact that our two major industries have continued to draw many visitors to our village. Bassett has never been busier, with 350,000 visits to its Cooperstown clinics alone, and over 10,000 patients admitted to its inpatient service; our museums continue to draw thousands of families to our community.
We are burdened by substantial federal, state, county, village and school taxes. Village-specific revenue-generating programs have been developed. Yet our net income is insufficient to maintain some of our basic infrastructural needs, the best example being the many streets that await repair.
We must continue to explore, in depth, any and all means to increase our revenues and/or decrease our costs, without imposing further financial hardship on our villagers. We must do this, and maintain the security and safety of our village and our environment.
For 28 of my 38 years at Bassett I have been the chief of medicine. In that role I have been intimately involved in the evolution of Bassett as a financially sound system that is secure and provides services needed throughout our region. Bassett’s budget is now about $379 million. As chief of medicine I was accountable for a little over 10 percent of the hospital budget. My job included program development, revenue enhancement, cost control and strategic planning. This experience is what I can provide Cooperstown residents in its government.
In the course of the past six weeks I have come to exchange ideas with very talented colleagues. Jeff Katz is incredibly knowledgeable about the administrative and financial issues required for effective village government; Ellen Tillapaugh has had a stunning array of civic interests and responsibilities and is one of the most impressive individuals I have met; Jim Dean’s passion and commitment to our community and environment is one which I heartily endorse and support. We have developed professional working relationships, which, if translated into village government, could serve our community well.
Please consider us carefully when you vote March 15.

Dean: Let’s Be Honest, Open, Fair, Thrifty, Creative
To the Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts and feelings about the village we love and call home.
As a village resident and local businessman for 34 years, I believe that I have a good sense of the economic health of Main Street and the village in general. As a supporter of Main Street and other local businesses, I have concerns about the economic future of the village. We do not live in a vacuum, and we may not always be an oasis in a tumultuous, changing world. We cannot save or hope our way into the future, but must plan our way forward. In short, we are going to have to work for our living. 
Planning our way forward starts with identifying and protecting the assets we have, building on them and working toward a sane and sustainable future based on the facts and wise investment and decision-making as we move ahead.
I support keeping the village police department under local control. I would also support some reduction of the force, if possible, to make that goal even more secure. I do not support the outsourcing of our local police department.
I support our Main Street businesses, the face of our community.  Main Street makes its living from the efforts of all of us. It is a symbiotic relationship, not a confrontational relationship. We are going to sink or swim together. 
We need our fellow Americans as tourists and visitors to help us support the safe, tranquil, healthy, life that we have almost taken for granted. We also owe our visitors a great value, a memorable, and a safe experience when they come to visit with us.
I support inviting more people to come join us in our great small town experience. I would invite them to bring their families, their hopes, dreams, creativity and businesses to help us all to grow and thrive. Young families are the future of Cooperstown.
We owe ourselves the future that we planned on enjoying for many years to come.
There are, and will be, issues that need ongoing attention for everyone to keep moving forward. I do not anticipate any difficulty in being honest, open, fair, thrifty, and creative in working through and resolving all upcoming issues without prejudice or personal agenda. I will explain my current positions on every matter clearly to anyone who asks in. I will invite opposing positions on any issue and I will support the position that is in the best interest of the village of Cooperstown. I will not have any predetermined outcomes that I will defend to the end. Life is a process, and I am only one of many voices. I do not expect to like everything that I may ultimately support but I will do so if it survives an honest discussion of the honest facts.
The Cooperstown quality of life is likely the major reason why most of us live here. I am, as many of you are, very concerned about the environmental, economic, and quality of life impacts that gas drilling would have on our community and our State. I believe that as New York State goes, so goes the village of Cooperstown.
I am very happy with all of my fellow candidates Ellen Tillapaugh, Jeff Katz and Dr. Walter Franck and I am asking that we all be given your careful consideration when you vote in the village elections on Tuesday March 15.  I respectfully ask for your support.  I will promise to earn your trust and confidence.  Please feel free to call me, on my cell, at 607-435-0255 with any questions or concerns.
The place is here, the time is now, and the decision is ours.

Potts: I Will Listen To Your Views
To the Editor:
With the upcoming election for the Village Board fast approaching, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has encouraged me so far. 
It was not lightly that I agreed to the appointment from Mayor Booan just a couple of quick months ago.  It is my sincerest hope that I rewarded that show of confidence in me by representing both the village and its diverse group of residents both fairly and to the best of my ability.  I view the chance to serve as a privilege and an honor, and while I was given this first chance, I want to earn the next, from you, in the election.
As an interested resident, I have attended meetings, had great discussions and debate with both other residents and our elected officials.  Voicing an opinion is one thing, but being responsible for a vote that changes a policy or village law, is quite another.
I have not, nor will I, take that responsibility lightly.  This is especially important in the months to come as we already are and will be facing some large and important challenges that in one way or another, will impact all village residents.
Frankly, I did not feel my opinions, or a majority of others, had been heard or heeded on recent problems. In short, that is what made up my mind to accept the mayor’s appointment.  What is an elected or appointed trustee without the ability to listen and be influenced by public concern?  At the very least I would be ineffective, and at worst, I would violate the trust I ask you to place in me with a vote for village trustee.

Katz:  It’s Been A Privilege To Serve
To the Editor:
It has been a privilege to serve this village that became our home almost eight years ago, when Karen and I moved our three boys, Nate, Robbie and Joey, from a busy suburb and relocated them to Cooperstown.
In my six years experience as trustee, two of those as deputy mayor, I have shown measurable accomplishment as I’ve served on virtually every committee. On those committees and boards I have worked diligently, doing thorough research to approach old issues with new information, or come up with fresh, innovative ideas to present and act upon.
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 discussion, with one overriding principle: what is for the good of the residents of this village.
While there are many different constituencies, and they all must be listened to, the residents are who we are elected by and who we represent.  A good elected official never has a personal agenda, never makes up his or her mind before they do the hard work and gain the knowledge it takes to make a reasoned decision. I never lose sight of that in my work as a trustee.
If re-elected, I pledge to continue to fight for this village we all love and to use my years of governmental experience and deep knowledge of village affairs to do the thorough job it takes to be the type of trustee the village deserves.


Jeff Katz For Trustee – Now More Than Ever
To the Editor:Jeff Katz and I have been good friends for six years. First, as freshman trustees, our seats on the Village Board were next to each other and we served on many of the same committees. Having been elected from different political parties, our relationship was somewhat adversarial at first; until I came to understand the sincerity of the man.
Jeff is one of the most intuitive persons I have known. He researches every issue to the very core before taking a position and then articulates his findings and solutions extremely well. He is resolute but listens to others’ points of view. He is an independent thinker and will never allow friendships or politics to influence his decisions.
Being a native son or daughter is something to be admired, but there is a very special love for a place exhibited when a man uproots his family and moves them hundreds of miles away to a community because he wants his children to grow up there. This is Jeff Katz.
Jeff has served two terms on the Village Board. He has done so with great vigor and distinguished himself as an honorable and trustworthy public servant.
He has served on almost every committee in village government and knows the inner workings of the Village more than anyone else. He is admired and respected by leaders in the Town of Otsego and county.
Jeff has earned my respect and friendship. He has also earned my support for his re-election even though our political ideologies may occasionally differ. This is an extremely important election for Cooperstown; we need Jeff’s experience now more than ever.

Local Police Can Better Understand Community
To the Editor:
This is an open letter to Mayor Booan:
We find it extremely questionable that you chose to use our tax money to try to convince us to scuttle our police department. There has been no precedent that we know of that an elected official in Cooperstown has used taxpayer money to promote his own political purposes in this way. We wonder why you worked behind the scenes and without the full knowledge and cooperation of the Village Board to set in motion the dissolution of our police department and to put the county Sheriff’s Department in its stead.
The fact that you chose this method of communication instead of holding a public hearing matches the fact that you also chose to meet with the county Public Safety Committee without letting the public know about this meeting.  Such behind-the-scenes activities do not fit the role of mayor in a democratic community.
We also find questionable your statement that replacing the police department with the sheriff’s department will save us money. We know of other small towns that have explored that possibility and found it would not save money but rather would cost additional money and therefore scrapped the project.
We believe that the first responsibility of the police is to protect all the people in the community and that a community is best protected by police who are themselves part of that community and therefore know and care for the community.
Having police with a first-hand understanding of the makeup of our town means a more efficient police force, police officers who can do their job with first-hand understanding of the community they are serving.
Most essential, a truly local police force encourages mutual respect – another ingredient of a safe and harmonious community, a place where police are seen not as boogymen but as people we can talk to, and reason with, and ask for help.
Hilda & Sam Wilcox