Afton residents to vote on new town hall

Residents of the village of Afton will vote Feb. 7 on whether to borrow $400,000 and use up our capital reserve fund to build a new town hall outside the village. In a time of financial uncertainty, with an aging population on reduced incomes, and high unemployment, there are many fiscal reasons to vote no.

But I will be voting no because I think that a new town hall that is not physically connected to the businesses located in Afton is bad for our community. We need to preserve our current town hall, which can be done without borrowing money while utilizing its historic character to influence Afton's potential as an attractive community for its residents and its visitors.

Afton has a historic district with Victorian and Greek Revival houses from the 1800s, including the current town hall. Our broad and attractive Main Street is a public space where people walk, see neighbors, catch up on local news. Our many fine restaurants attract out-of-towners to visit and walk around. The town hall is currently a part of that community.

Strangers stop by for directions, people read the notices in the windows, conduct town business, e.g. paying taxes this month, but also to look up information on real estate, buy dog licenses and ask questions of the assessor or the town clerk.

A town hall that requires driving out on Highway 7 toward Bainbridge will not ease people into our butcher shop or bakery after they've done their business in the town hall. They might even drive to another community to shop or go to a restaurant. While I live outside the village, I will vote no in order to keep the town hall in the village.

Mary Jo Long

Afton

Otsego Manor offers great 24-hour service

As a native Long Islander for 70 of my 80 years, and a volunteer in three highly respected rehabilitative facilities, in my opinion, Otsego Manor is superior to all of them. Following a fractured hip replacement, I was interviewed at the hospital and accepted for its restorative therapy program.

Qualities that differentiate the Manor from other rehab placements include, private, comfortable rooms, family-style meals in a "neighborhood" setting, not exceeding 12 residents, which are personal and intimate, and choices of varied, interesting and nutritious foods. All visitors are welcomed throughout the day and night.

I applaud the commitment of the 24-hour staff. They assess the physical, mental, emotional needs and anxieties of each patient. They create an accepting and comforting atmosphere, and encourage progress toward independence.

The Physical and Occupational therapists are professional, concerned and attentive. They manifest exceptional knowledge and training. They respect individual limitations, persist in efforts to increase abilities, and are tenacious in achieving recovery goals. The transition home is supported by excellent home care services.

Otsego Manor's structure is enhanced by Otsego County input and control. Private ownership is fraught with uncertainties regarding standards and the quality of resources. The Manor is a vital organization in Cooperstown, deserving continued funding and community support.

Eleonore Roll

Oneonta

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