School official makes too much money budget chief administrator Michael Shea received $208,467 ($165,000 plus benefits) in 2010-2011 (1,800 students)! In 2005, enrollment was 1,900 and Shea received a $125,000 salary. Enrollment dropped but Shea's compensation climbed 30 percent-plus ($40,000) over five years!

While receiving an obscene salary and outrageous increases from the board of education, Shea has whined, condescendingly "explaining" spending cuts in music, languages, etc.

In 2010, Shea cut the OMS choral teacher position. Under strong pressure and petitions from parents and taxpayers, he made a "deal" with Mrs. Dyer. He claimed hero credit for "solving the problem."

In 2011, he dropped Ms. Nader's OMS band teacher position, while she's on leave. Administrators obliged Mr. DePauw to teach OMS band and OHS band, requiring three to four other band teachers to assist with OMS band, which sees four to five band teachers!

Then, with 1,800 students, we can delete two administrators, drop 189 Main St., offices, let three principals cover four schools, like music teachers run now! End Shea's obscene salary and restore full staffing to OMS and OHS choir and band.

Enrollment is down? Music enrollment is up! OHS Band: 40 in 2008; 60 in 2011, a 50 percent increase! Immediately restore DePauw's full-time commitment to OHS band, so he serves talent, continues earning NYSSMA Gold awards, and continues developing All-State musicians, as in 2010 and 2011.

Shea's compensation is a revolting insult to taxpayers. Maybe he'll donate $100,000 to our schools! We'll use $100,000 to restore music, languages, textbooks. Serve our students, not his personal profit. Taxpayers, come to the meeting Jan. 11 at OMS! Scream!

Denise Michelson

West Oneonta

We serve the people

The final County Board meeting of 2011 was bittersweet. I watched Chairman Dubben wield his gavel for the last time and thought the county has been well-served by his leadership.

I looked around the room and felt the ping of excitement knowing I will join the board in a few short days. I think it important that we all remember that we were elected to serve the residents of our districts. We were not elected to serve our own personal interests.

Setting aside our own personal interests is not always easy to do, but it is essential for governing fairly. We should and must hold ourselves to the highest ethical standard.

When we entered the board room on Jan. 4, we had signed the county's code of ethics that states in section III, paragraph A: It is the policy of the County Legislature that all officers and employees must avoid conflicts or potential conflicts of interest. A conflict or a potential conflict exists whenever an officer or employee has an interest, direct or indirect, which conflicts with their duty to the County which could adversely affect an individual's judgment in the discharge of his or her responsibilities.

Each vote we take and each decision we make should be guided by the idea of what best serves the residents of the county _ not our own personal interests. The residents of Otsego County have placed their trust in us to make well-reasoned decisions, to protect their safety and security and to listen to their concerns.

Beth Rosenthal


Rosenthal is the new Otsego County representative for District 7.

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