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Opinion

July 5, 2013

Chambers deserve place at planning table

The Otsego County and Cooperstown chambers of commerce have an active role in promoting education/workforce development, tourism, programs for small and large businesses, public policy and quality of life throughout Otsego County. 

The Otsego County and Cooperstown chambers play a significant role in economic development and both recognize the critical role that current economic development organizations play in the economy. We therefore acknowledge that these organizations must co-exist in relationships that encourage collaboration and cooperation for the greater good of the Otsego County business climate. The recommendations would be that the chambers of commerce that are located in Otsego County should all be at the table as part of the planning process.

We come together today as a result of recent conversations and media coverage on a new economic development and tourism model. This proposed model does not reflect the best interests of our entire countywide business community. The Otsego and Cooperstown chambers will take an active role in bringing economic development groups together to have a countywide conversation of how the economic development model may look. This is an important process and should not be done hastily. We as the Otsego County and Cooperstown chambers want to ensure that any economic and tourism plan has transparency and is accountable to all of the taxpaying citizens and businesses throughout Otsego County.

We look forward to working with The Otsego County Board of Representatives as it moves forward in formulating a plan for the economic development and tourism within the county.

Barbara Ann Heegan

Patricia Szarpa

Heegan is executive director of of the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. Szarpa is executive director of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce.

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