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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Fenimore Art Museum’s Glimmer Globe Theatre Presents The Musical “A Year with Frog and Toad”

Written By Editor on 8/28/23 | 8/28/23

Join Frog and Toad for a year’s worth of wild adventures.

 

A limited run of six matinee performances in the Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater on the shore of Otsego Lake.

 

 

Live musical production of
“A Year with Frog and Toad”
Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater, Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY
Saturday & Sunday matinees • Sept 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24 at 1:00pm
Tickets available at Eventbrite.com or at Fenimore’s front desk on the day of the performance.

 

Cooperstown, New York  Fenimore Art Museum’s Glimmer Globe Theatre presents their first full musical production: the Tony-nominated “A Year with Frog and Toad.”  Matinee performances take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 1:00 pm (September 9–24), set against the backdrop of shimmering Otsego Lake in the museum’s Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater. Tickets available in advance at Eventbrite.com or at Fenimore’s front desk on the day of the performance.

This wholesome adventure is sure to delight audiences of all ages. Join Frog and Toad for a year’s worth of wild adventures, as they and their animal friends (Snail, Turtle, Mouse, and more) discover the true value of friendship. Get ready for baking hijinks, exciting sledding trips, beachside pandemonium, spooky stories told in the dark, and more, all paired with a jazzy, infectious score. Many of Arnold Lobel’s most famous tales find their place in this most eventful of years! 

 

Advance tickets are available through Eventbrite.com or at Fenimore’s front desk on the day of the performance. Tickets: $15 Adults (13-64); $12.50 Members and Seniors (65+); $10 Children (3-12); free for ages 2 and under. (Please select the free ticket option for children two and under when using Eventbrite.) Performance details will be sent via e-mail to ticket holders prior to the performance. The show runs just under two hours (including intermission). Find the rain date policy on our Eventbrite page. Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs, though they are not requiredIn the event of rain, a concert version of the performance will take place in the Fenimore’s auditorium. If you have any questions, please contact m.tamburrino@fenimoreart.org.

  

“A Year with Frog and Toad” is sponsored in part by Robert and Esther Black Family Foundation, NYCM Insurance, The Clark Foundation, and C.J. Heilig Foundation, Inc.

 

“A Year with Frog and Toad” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. (www.mtishows.com) The production is licensed by Music Theatre International.

 

Fenimore Art Museum is located at 5798 State Route 80, less than one mile from the center of Cooperstown. For more information visit FenimoreArt.org. 


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SUNY Delhi Enrolls Highest Number of Students in Six Years


Over 1,300 new students welcomed on campus and online this fall

DELHI, NY (08/25/2023) SUNY Delhi welcomed new students for the 2023-24 academic year on Thursday, August 24. This year's incoming class consists of over 1,300 new students, which is the largest cohort of newly enrolled students in 11 years, except for the peak year of 2017.

"SUNY Delhi's enrollment growth reflects the strength of our position in the current higher education landscape," said Dr. Mary Bonderoff, Acting President at SUNY Delhi. "At a time when college enrollments are declining around the nation, our reputation for hands-on, career-focused learning resonates with those looking for relevant skills and education that are in demand in today's workforce."

In the last year, SUNY Delhi made strategic improvements in marketing and admissions operations. Additionally, the college significantly increased capacity for highly sought-after programs in applied technologies.

Delhi's new students were selected from a pool of nearly 7,000 applicants, a vast increase from the previous year. Approximately 1,060 are residential and commuting students, while 240 will be studying online. Geographically, the incoming class represents 58 New York counties and roughly 20 U.S. states. The most popular majors at SUNY Delhi this year are applied technologies, veterinary science technology, biology, business, and criminal justice. New academic offerings this year include a 5-year bachelor's degree in Architecture (BArch) as well as online programs in Veterinary Science Technology (AAS) and Criminal Justice (MS).

Welcome weekend for new students includes academic sessions and social events to prepare them for a successful start to their college journey. Returning students will move in this weekend, bringing the total number of students at SUNY Delhi to almost 2,900. Classes for all students are scheduled to begin Monday, August 28.


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How to Help Recent Graduates Achieve Financial Stability

Written By Editor on 8/27/23 | 8/27/23



Graduating from college often marks a time in life when young adults take on responsibility over their finances. If you’re the parent of a recent graduate who you’ve supported financially through college, you may be looking forward to passing the torch to them – but you may also want to help them get off on the right foot. Here are some tips you can pass along: 


Study your employee benefits. For many recent grads, this is the first time they’ve been offered a 401(k), health insurance or the chance to purchase additional time off. Before enrolling in benefits, graduates should thoroughly research and understand their options. Remind them that it’s okay to have questions, such as whether they should consider disability insurance or if a plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA) is the right fit. Their company’s human resources department or benefits provider may be good resources for information and support.


If they have questions specific to their financial situation, they could consider meeting with a financial professional. A financial advisor can provide objective advice and answers to more technical questions. 


Have a plan for your debt and credit. Graduates today have more student loan debt than previous generations, which means balancing their post-grad lifestyle with student loan payments should be a top priority. They should consider the value of consistently paying above the minimum amount due. Establishing this responsible habit can help them avoid costly interest rate charges and late fees. 


The same thinking should be applied to all forms of credit. It’s important for young adults to establish a good credit history, so opening a credit card can be a wise financial move. In general, however, it’s best to stick to one or two credit cards to avoid overextending.


Develop a budget. Remind your new grad that without careful planning, it’s easy for their hard-earned paychecks to trickle away. Creating a budget can help young adults feel in control and accountable for their cash flow. Budgeting, while often a mundane task, can help ensure their money is being spent on or saved for the items that are most important to them. 


This is exciting time for graduates, but it’s also an important time to get the right financial discipline in place. Your guidance can help them build a solid foundation.  


###


Michael D. Lanuto, CRPC®, AWMA® is a Financial Advisor with S.M. Miller & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. in Albany, NY.  He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 8 years. To contact him: 518-949-2039; 4 Atrium Drive, Ste 200, Albany, NY, 12205; Michael.Lanuto@ampf.com; https://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/michael.lanuto/lp/request-contact/3/.

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ASF's Multi-Sport Summer Camps Come to a Close

WINDHAM, N.Y. – Over the past two weeks, the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) has hosted two Multi-Sport Summer Camps, bringing in a total of 11 participants for two four-day camps filled with fun outdoor activities. The camps took place on August 16-19 and August 23-26.

Each camp session’s schedules were similar, as the campers enjoyed outdoor and lake activities at CD Lane Park in Maplecrest, an afternoon at Christman’s Windham House for golf instruction and both camps wrapped up with a visit to Heidi Ruehlmann’s alpaca farm, located in Prattsville.

CD Lane Park boasts a variety of fun attractions such as a playground, a soccer field, a baseball diamond, a basketball court, volleyball nets, walking trails and its popular 26-acre lake and accompanying beach. The ASF Campers utilized all these amenities, as each session had a day dedicated to team-sport activities and a day for kayaking with a volunteer lifeguard on hand.

Christman’s Windham House hosted the program for one afternoon during each of the sessions, allowing participants to spend some time on its driving range and practice green. This gave the campers an opportunity to learn proper golf skills and techniques.

The trip to the alpaca farm was introduced at last year’s camp, and the participants enjoyed it so much that Ruehlmann agreed to host the campers again this year. Her, along with Frank Cabrera, a volunteer regularly seen at the ASF’s Adaptive Skateboard Camp and the caretaker of the farm, allowed the ASF campers to feed and interact with the tranquil animals on the final day of each camp session. That entailed the participants holding a piece of fruit or some oats and showing the alpacas, who then would come over and take them right out of their hands. It was truly a unique experience for the campers.

The Adaptive Sports Foundation
The Adaptive Sports Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, has been providing sports and recreation opportunities to thousands of children and adults with both cognitive and physical disabilities. Considered one of the top adaptive sports programs in the country, the ASF has been on the cutting edge of adaptive sports programming and has provided what participants have often described as “life changing experiences.” For more information or to donate to the foundation, please visit www.adaptivesportsfoundation.org.


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Audubon's Franklin Mountain Hawkwatch 35th SEASON UNDERWAY IN ONEONTA

Written By Editor on 8/22/23 | 8/22/23

The annual southbound migration of birds through the upper Susquehanna region and the Catskills has begun, and with it comes the start of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society's hawk watch at the group's wildlife sanctuary on Franklin Mountain near Oneonta.
    This season marks the 35th consecutive year of counting raptors at the site, according to Andy Mason, DOAS co-president.  The hawk watch is one of the prime spots in the eastern U.S. for observing some species in the fall.  "We get excellent numbers of red-tailed hawks and golden eagles," said Mason.  "Franklin Mountain is always near the top among hawk watches in the Appalachian region for those birds."
    The first wave of hawks is expected in the period between September 15 and 25, and should consist primarily of broad-winged hawks, one of the few hawks that travel in flocks.  Groups as large as several hundred birds have been spotted at other watches, according to Mason.  "We've never been lucky enough to see a spectacle like that," he said, "but we have had flights of 50 or 60 birds in view at a time."
    The data recorded at the Franklin Mountain site is submitted to the Hawk Migration Association of America, where it is combined with numbers from hundreds of other watches to provide a picture of raptor populations and movements across the continent.  Locations along the Appalachians such as Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania are among the best-known and most popular hawk watching sites.
    Franklin Mountain's reputation is well established in hawk watching circles, said Mason.  "We get 20 or 25 people on the mountain, particularly on a good day for golden eagles--a rare bird in the East," he said.  The peak for this large species is late October through November.  The site set its seasonal high for golden eagles in 2018 with 323 birds, including a record daily count of 128 eagles on Oct. 25.  
The Audubon sanctuary provides a panoramic view of the Susquehanna Valley and Oneonta--another draw in the fall, said Mason. 
    Last year's total count was 4366 raptors of 14 different species.  The best flights come on north or northwest winds, typically a day or two following passage of a cold front.  "We're hoping for another good season, if the weather cooperates" said Mason, "but just the sight of one soaring eagle makes it all worthwhile."
    Directions to the Franklin Mt. Hawkwatch and more information, including how to sign up for email alerts of anticipated good flights, can be found at www.franklinmt.org.
A bald eagle Soars over the Franklin Mt. Hawkwatch; Photo by Courtney Moore.

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Indictment Unsealed in Child Sexual Abuse Case

Written By Editor on 8/19/23 | 8/19/23

DELHI - Delaware County Acting District Attorney Shawn J. Smith announced that John Macrabie, 26, of Walton, New York appeared for arraignment on a four-count indictment in Delaware County Court. 

Counts One and Two of the Indictment accuses the defendant of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, each Class A Misdemeanors.  Count Three of the Indictment accuses the defendant of Disseminating Indecent Material to Minors in the First Degree, a Class D sexually motivated felony.  Count Four of the indictment accuses the defendant of Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree, a Class E Felony.

The defendant is alleged to have sent the child naked pictures of himself on a social media account in an effort to engage in oral sexual conduct with her.  The defendant later engaged in oral sexual conduct with that child, while in the presence of a 2-year-old child. 

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the Hon. Gary A. Rosa released the defendant to the supervision of the Delaware County Probation Department under non-monetary terms and conditions.  

The case is scheduled for a conference on September 5 at 9:00 A.M. 

Acting District Attorney Smith commended Sergeant Tyler McAteer of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office for his thorough investigation into this case. Smith also thanked Cassandra Spatafora, a victim’s advocate from Safe Against Violence, for her supportive assistance in guiding the child victim throughout the legal process. 

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.




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Opinion: Careless Mayor Botches Budget, Time to Audit Books

Written By Editor on 8/18/23 | 8/18/23

By Matthew Avitabile

Several weeks back I wrote something to the effect that I would hold off on writing an extensive opinion on the Cobleskill Police Department situation. There’s still a lot more to write, of course, but we’ll start here. Below is my opinion based on primary sources.

In our July 28th edition I wrote a front-page article in the Cobleskill Herald regarding the current Village of Cobleskill/Cobleskill Police Department budget. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart. Doing the municipal budget was likely my favorite part of eight years as mayor and six years as trustee in Middleburgh. I’m still not sure why I liked it so much, but I was good at it. Nine of those thirteen years saw me take on primary responsibility for those budgets. They were all balanced and they were all under the tax cap. They came with significant increases in the Middleburgh Fire Department’s budget and improvements for local events and parks. Our taxpayers didn’t get soaked.

During Tuesday’s Village of Cobleskill meeting, Mayor Becky Stanton-Terk dismissed the article as if it was false, saying that the information wasn’t corroborated.

To quote from the meeting, the mayor said, “They did not get any information to back that up. So or you to claim that that is accurate because you read it in the paper, I will totally disagree.”

She also used the word “misinformation” to describe press coverage.

We should know that it’s not quite true. Not quite true statements are a politician’s dream. Fitting for one of the few local elected officials who treat the job more as a politician seeking a political ladder rather than a local public servant.

So, were my numbers corroborated? Let’s take a look directly at the Village of Cobleskill’s Annual Update Document (AUD), which is the yearly summary of its budget situation. Does it agree with what I wrote? Here’s a photo of it.


And how about the tax situation? Were those numbers manipulated or misunderstood by our paper? Well, take a look at the village’s own budget and see if it is inaccurate:

Or perhaps the argument is that the village’s reserve fund balance is not too high? Again, I have the experience of understanding the state Comptroller’s Office recommendations. If you look at a Comptroller’s audit from June (double check our sources here: https://www.osc.state.ny.us/local-government/audits/school-district/2023/06/09/olean-city-school-district-reserve-funds-2022m-187), the office wrote about the Olean City School District made a critical error holding so much in reserve funds without justification.

To quote directly:

“The Board and District officials properly established the District’s nine general fund reserve funds totaling $10.9 million but did not use the reserve funds and could not demonstrate that approximately $8 million held in seven of these reserves was reasonable or needed.”

“In addition, the Board and District officials did not:

“Adopt a comprehensive written reserve fund policy or transparently fund reserves.

“Take appropriate action to address overfunded reserves.

“Funding reserves at levels higher than necessary for operations and/or need creates an undue burden on taxpayers and withholds funds that may have been used in a more beneficial way.”

Perhaps a school district’s audit is too vague? Let’s take a look at the Comptroller’s Office official recommendations (double-check our sources, page 13 here: https://www.osc.state.ny.us/files/local-government/publications/pdf/reserve-funds.pdf)

“When preparing a tentative budget, if the current balance of the contingency and tax stabilization fund exceeds 10 percent of the eligible portion of the annual budget for the current fiscal year, any excess must be used to reduce the amount of real property taxes needed to finance the eligible portion of the annual budget for the next fiscal year.”

The current reserve for the Village of Cobleskill is about 50%. I understand that by massaging the budget, this may be a few percentage points different, depending on your point of view. However, it’s certainly not five times different.

The requirement is clear— this money should be returned to the people through a tax cut or spent responsibly. Since the current mayor inherited a very good budget situation from previous Mayor Linda Holmes, this should have already been done.

Just to make sure that this information isn’t lost in the wind, we’re doing three special things. First, we’re going to republish the entire article below so you can double-check and see if we were wrong. We welcome open examination.

The last audit for the Village of Cobleskill was released in January 2020 and pushed hard by Mayor Stanton-Terk. For all of the complaints about hours used by former Clerk-Treasurer Samantha Moyster, the financial carelessness expressed both by the CPD disaster and the too-large fund balance is a recipe for a fiscal nightmare.

It’s well past time for another audit.

The mayor’s comments sparked us to be in a giving mood, and we will be gifting the State Comptroller’s Office, Division of Local Government and School Accountability a complimentary subscription to our paper.

Lastly, we will also begin a formal investigation into the collapse of the Cobleskill Police Department. Just as the situation with Dr. Amy Gildemeister was incorrectly reported by the Times Journal earlier this year, we’re here to set the record straight. We uncovered $150,000 in alleged fraud in Delaware County in the spring and would be happy to collect more information to get the whole story. Got a tip? Call or text my cell at 518-763-6854 or email us at cobleskillherald@gmail.com.

Unfortunately the mayor chose to double down on misleading statements. The information about the budget was misleading and the comments at the meeting were dismissive and incorrect. Fortunately, I know much more about municipal budgets and how the village’s budget is not being used to help the people the mayor represents.

Please find the original article below, unedited.

Mayor Digs In After CPD Resignations

A Closer Look at Cobleskill’s Budget Situation

By Matthew Avitabile

COBLESKILL — We reviewed the mayor's statements that 83% of the village's annual general tax levy goes to the police budget. 

Forgive the math, but here is some context. Local government budgets are derived from multiple sources, often with the largest chunk coming from the municipal tax levy (local property tax). 

The Village of Cobleskill's 2023 general fund budget is $3,574,080 total, with $1,888,503, or about half, coming from local property taxes. The general fund is generally everything but water and sewer, which are funded largely through usage rents.

The mayor is correct that the salaries for the officers represent a significant portion of that, with almost $940,000 budgeted for 2023 alone. The police budget, including non-personnel expenses, does represent more than half of the total village taxes.

In addition, there are a number of other direct costs tied to the police department, including liability insurance, health insurance, and retirement costs. They’re not parted out in the budget specifically, but it is not unreasonable to believe that they represent about the percentage of the tax levy the mayor stated.

However, that’s only a part of the story. The little more than $1 million in the police budget represents less than a third of the overall budget, not 83%. The mayor did not claim that the police budget was 83% of the total, but for those not familiar with municipal budgeting, it would seem as if the vast majority of property taxes were forked over to the police. That's not the case.

There are other questions for future articles, including the fact that nearly half of Cobleskill's land value— 47.4% to be exact— is exempt from taxation, usually due to use by non-profits. Right now the village taxes on the $155,912,979 that is eligible for full valuation, while a little more than $140 million is partially or totally exempt.

The police budget has also grown in recent years, with personnel costs increasing from about $918,000 in 2019 to almost $940,000 in 2023. This is a 2.5% increase overall. 

However, what was not explained effectively at the last meeting is that the village government had cut back its police personnel budget from 2019 (about $918,000) to 2020 ($903,000) to 2021 ($880,000) to 2022 ($903,000).

Increases to the police budget have been a major portion of the village's government for years and represent a major factor in the budget's overall growth. There are two crucial elements to consider. 

Number one is that while the funding for police wages has increased by 2.5% in four years, the overall general fund has increased from $2.968 million in 2019 to $3.574 million in 2023, a 20.4% increase. Proportionally, police spending has not kept up with the remainder of the budget. 

In addition, the village has increased its fund balance (the amount left over at the end of each year) from $1.583 million in 2019 to $1.973 million in 2023. A large majority of that is "unassigned," meaning that it could be used for any purpose, including the police. the village of Cobleskill now has a fund balance of more than half of its operating budget, which the State Comptroller's Office recommends against. The state often recommends that municipalities either spend the money or lower taxes.

A closer look at the budget shows that there was a possibility for a compromise, at least as far as numbers are concerned. We will continue our research in the coming weeks and months.




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Hunter Safety Certification Program Upcoming

Written By Editor on 8/16/23 | 8/16/23

By Elizabeth Barr

SCHOHARIE COUNTY — The Hunter Safety Certification Course provided by the Schoharie County Conservation Association will be available in September. The Richmondville Fish & Game Club is sponsoring a hunter's safety course for the bow course on September 23, and the gun course is on September 30.  All information about this course and others in the area is on the DEC website. You need to sign up on the website. https://www.hunter-ed.com/newyork or call 1-800-830-2268 8 am – 8 pm Mon-Fri, 8 am – 5pm Sat–Sun. 

The Schoharie County Conservation Association consists of groups of several different clubs in Schoharie County that have joined together with over 1000 sportsmen and sportswomen.  They want to preserve and promote outdoor activities. Many of the clubs make funds available to allow a boy or girl to attend the DEC Conservation Camps during the summer months. They offer special monetary awards for various contests including fishing and wildlife events.  They teach our youth how to enjoy the outdoor activities in Schoharie County. The member clubs include the following:

Please consider joining them. They are always looking for new members.



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Special Plea to Cobleskill Residents

Written By Editor on 8/15/23 | 8/15/23

WE HAVE A FAVOR TO ASK COBLESKILL RESIDENTS

At tonight's Village of Cobleskill meeting, Mayor Becky Stanton-Terk dismissed our coverage as if it was false, saying that the information wasn’t corroborated.

To quote from the meeting, the mayor said, “They did not get any information to back that up. So or you to claim that that is accurate because you read it in the paper, I will totally disagree.”

She also used the word “misinformation” to describe press coverage.

We stand by every word and have the entirety of the article in our last post.

At the end of the meeting, the mayor asked to enter executive session and invited the Times Journal and not us.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Would you be willing to share what the mayor doesn't want you to see?

Help us get the word out? Would you consider picking up a trial subscription for yourself or friends or family that don't read us yet? Best of all, get 13 weeks print or digital for $5.

That's how serious we are.

PLEASE HELP US GET THE WORD OUT

Sign up below or call 24/7 at 518-763-6854 to sign up.

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A Closer Look at Cobleskill Budget Amid CPD Crisis


By Matthew Avitabile

COBLESKILL — We reviewed the mayor's statements that 83% of the village's annual general tax levy goes to the police budget. 

Forgive the math, but here is some context. Local government budgets are derived from multiple sources, often with the largest chunk coming from the municipal tax levy (local property tax). 

The Village of Cobleskill's 2023 general fund budget is $3,574,080 total, with $1,888,503, or about half, coming from local property taxes. The general fund is generally everything but water and sewer, which are funded largely through usage rents.

The mayor is correct that the salaries for the officers represent a significant portion of that, with almost $940,000 budgeted for 2023 alone. The police budget, including non-personnel expenses, does represent more than half of the total village taxes.

In addition, there are a number of other direct costs tied to the police department, including liability insurance, health insurance, and retirement costs. They’re not parted out in the budget specifically, but it is not unreasonable to believe that they represent about the percentage of the tax levy the mayor stated.

However, that’s only a part of the story. The little more than $1 million in the police budget represents less than a third of the overall budget, not 83%. The mayor did not claim that the police budget was 83% of the total, but for those not familiar with municipal budgeting, it would seem as if the vast majority of property taxes were forked over to the police. That's not the case.

There are other questions for future articles, including the fact that nearly half of Cobleskill's land value— 47.4% to be exact— is exempt from taxation, usually due to use by non-profits. Right now the village taxes on the $155,912,979 that is eligible for full valuation, while a little more than $140 million is partially or totally exempt.

The police budget has also grown in recent years, with personnel costs increasing from about $918,000 in 2019 to almost $940,000 in 2023. This is a 2.5% increase overall. 

However, what was not explained effectively at the last meeting is that the village government had cut back its police personnel budget from 2019 (about $918,000) to 2020 ($903,000) to 2021 ($880,000) to 2022 ($903,000).

Increases to the police budget have been a major portion of the village's government for years and represent a major factor in the budget's overall growth. There are two crucial elements to consider. 

Number one is that while the funding for police wages has increased by 2.5% in four years, the overall general fund has increased from $2.968 million in 2019 to $3.574 million in 2023, a 20.4% increase. Proportionally, police spending has not kept up with the remainder of the budget. 

In addition, the village has increased its fund balance (the amount left over at the end of each year) from $1.583 million in 2019 to $1.973 million in 2023. A large majority of that is "unassigned," meaning that it could be used for any purpose, including the police. the village of Cobleskill now has a fund balance of more than half of its operating budget, which the State Comptroller's Office recommends against. The state often recommends that municipalities either spend the money or lower taxes.

A closer look at the budget shows that there was a possibility for a compromise, at least as far as numbers are concerned. We will continue our research in the coming weeks and months.



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New to Investing? Here’s What You Need to Know

Understanding the basics of investing is an essential first step toward building a strong financial foundation, but many people don’t know where to get started. Here are five concepts that can be helpful for new investors to grasp: 


  1. If you are young, time is on your side

Building wealth through investing is not about getting rich quickly. Rather, it’s about taking advantage of what works best for your circumstances. If you have recently entered the workforce, your biggest advantage is time. Earnings generated in your portfolio, even if modest in the beginning, can compound over time. The more time you give your money to grow, the greater the potential for growth over the long haul.


  1. Be prepared for market swings

Any variable investment you choose – such as stocks, bonds or real estate – is subject to fluctuation. History shows that markets move up and down over time. Be prepared to see your portfolio suffer losses at various points throughout your investing life. Historically, markets have recovered from negative periods (although in some circumstances, individual investments such as a specific stock can suffer losses and never recover). Try to maintain a long-term view with your investments by not reacting to day-to-day events. 


  1. Find your comfort level in the markets

Markets are unpredictable, so it’s important that you’re intentional about the level of risk you’re willing to accept. If you have a lower risk tolerance, you can choose investments that are less susceptible to fluctuations but be sure to consider the effects of inflation eating into your rate of return. On the other hand, if you have a higher risk tolerance and you can stomach watching your portfolio fluctuate more widely in value, you may want to pursue investments that offer potentially higher returns.


But remember, there are no guarantees. The key is to find a level of risk you can live with over the long-term and invest accordingly.


  1. Spread your wealth through asset allocation

Asset allocation is the process of spreading your investment dollars across several categories of investments. The mix of categories, or asset classes, you own is an important factor in your overall portfolio performance. In other words, how you divide your money between stocks, bonds, cash, cash alternatives, mutual funds, and other asset classes will determine the outcome, and hopefully return, you realize. 


As you select your investments, consider dividing your money among asset classes that respond differently to market forces. This investment concept, called diversification, can help you minimize the effect of market swings. If your investments in one class are performing poorly, investments in another class may be performing better. Ideally, gains in one class can help offset losses in another, which can help minimize the overall impact of volatility on your portfolio. 


  1. Make your long-term financial security a priority

It can be challenging to focus on the long-term when you have other pressing financial obligations, such as paying off student loans or building an emergency fund. However, if you can allocate a small portion of your budget to your future goals, you may ease your financial burden down the road. Consider investing a percentage of each paycheck into a workplace retirement plan or an individual retirement account (IRA). You’ll become accustomed to living within the rest of your paycheck while the amount you have earmarked for retirement is given time to grow. If your company offers a match on those savings, be sure to take advantage of it.


A successful investor maximizes gain and minimizes loss. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be effective, and all investing involves risk, these basic principles can help you strategically build your nest egg over time. 


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Michael D. Lanuto, CRPC®, AWMA® is a Financial Advisor with S.M. Miller & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. in Albany, NY.  He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 8 years. To contact him: 518-949-2039; 4 Atrium Drive, Ste 200, Albany, NY, 12205; Michael.Lanuto@ampf.com; https://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/michael.lanuto/lp/request-contact/3/.

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