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The Oneonta Common Council held their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday evening at city hall and passed some big decisions. According to AllOTSEGO, council members unanimously approved the Implementation Plan for Police Reform and Reinvention, a New York State mandated directive from former Governor Cuomo which was created by the Community Advisory Board and Review Committee (CABRC) which worked for six months to come up with the approved plan. The plan includes a Community Police Review board who will have the job of handling any complaints that come in regarding the Oneonta Police Department.

Other business of the evening at the council meeting included a discussion of a decision by the Otsego County Board of Representatives to approve a county ambulance service that has been lacking. The issue at hand for the City of Oneonta is that city residents would be burdened with paying taxes on a service they would never use which caused Oneonta council members to question how the county board plans on funding that EMS service. Oneonta Rep. Scott Harrington, says that Oneonta “historically” has done emergency calls outside the city without asking for reimbursement. “We’ve taken the brunt of it and the county needs to keep that in mind”. Harrington feels that the city should "push back" on this issue with the county.

Add to Tuesday night's council business, the official appointment of Oneonta Police Chief Chris Witzenberg. Witzenberg has been the Acting Chief in the department since former Police Chief Douglas Brenner announced his retirement at the beginning of this year.

It was a busy meeting for the council with other actions taking place including rejecting all bids for sidewalk replacement contracts in 2021, appointing full-time bus drivers for OPT, and renewing OPT contracts with the town of Oneonta for the next three years.

For more on this story from our publishing partner AllOTSEGO, click here.

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