CGP Community Stories

Carol Waller, November 16, 2011

Title

Carol Waller, November 16, 2011

Subject

Cooperstown (N.Y.)
Long Island (N.Y.)
Government
Politics and culture

Description

Carol Waller, the first female mayor of Cooperstown, New York, is a local businesswoman and lover of the town she calls home. Waller was born in Queens, New York and grew up on Long Island before moving to Cooperstown after marrying. She has spent over 40 years raising her three children and developing a floral business in the village.
Her father was a county representative until his death and heavily influenced her decision to go into politics. After eight years as a representative, Waller ran uncontested for the mayorship of Cooperstown. Her knowledge of living and working in a small town gives great insight into her life.
Waller’s memories vary from her time spent as an only child on Long Island to observations about the relationships she has developed while working in the floral industry. Highlights from the interview include her reflections about life, death, and friendship in small communities.
Mrs. Waller has a distinct Long Island accent but is relatively easy to understand. I chose to leave in some colloquialisms and phrases of speech but have removed others for clarity purposes.

Creator

Catherine Bayles

Publisher

Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York-College at Oneonta

Date

2011-11-16

Rights

New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, NY

Format

audio/mpeg
27.5mB
audio/mpeg
27.5mB
audio/mpeg
23.1mB
image/jpeg
2.5mB

Language

en-US

Type

Sound
Image

Identifier

11-073

Coverage

Upstate New York
1946-2011
Cooperstown, NY

Online Submission

No

Interviewer

Catherine Bayles

Interviewee

Carol Waller

Location

207 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY

Transcription

CB = Catherine Bayles
CW = Carol Waller

[START OF TRACK 1, 0:00]

CB:
All right Carol, what is your full name?


CW:
My name is Carol Bateman Waller, B.A.T.E.M.A.N., it’s my maiden name.


CB:
All right, this is the November 16th 2011 interview of Carol Waller by Cate Bayles for the Cooperstown Graduate Program’s Research and Fieldwork course recorded at Mohican Flowers.

CW:
All right

CB:
All right, when and where were you born?

CW:
I was born in Queens, New York on August 19, 1946.

CB:
Did you live in Queens during your childhood?

CW:
No, well it started out in Queens and then, everyone progressed on Long Island outward, so I moved from Queens to Huntington, Long Island and I grew up in Huntington and then I moved here in 1971. So I’ve been here more of my adult life than anywhere else?

CB:
So who else was in your family while you were growing up?

CW:
I’m an only child, yep, only one.

CB:
And where did you go to school?

CW:
I did not go to college; I just went to Walt Whitman High School. I did graduate from high school, and that was it. I never went to any college or any training whatsoever. No higher education at all.

CB:
Okay. Can you tell me a little bit about the house you grew up in?

CW:
The house I grew up in was what they called a front to back split. It had a lot of stairs. You came in and there was a living room, dining room, kitchen, you went up five stairs to bedrooms, you went down five stairs to the playroom. It was in a beautiful area that was surrounded by farms. As a young girl I used to go in the back and I learned how to milk a cow and do different things like that. We had lots of woods around us and then as the progression on Long Island – as everyone started moving out from the city – it became more mall after mall after mall. It became more subdivision. It lost its individuality. It became more of the burbs. Huntington itself had a downtown but once the mall came it totally died. Long Island just got that real urban sprawl and in my opinion it ruined the sense of community. You went from everyone on the block knowing each other to not knowing your neighbor, and I prefer the small town, knowing everyone. It’s an adjustment to know everyone and everyone know about you. You have to be kind of an honest and open person to survive in that kind of mentality. You can’t just go hide in your house. I prefer that and being part of a community. Maybe it’s growing up with no brothers or sisters that makes me want to do that. No, Huntington became very sprawling and mall oriented. It was Macy’s and Lord and Taylor and then Penney’s and it was like any other place, it was like Wolf Road; it was like Arapaho Road in Denver. You could be anywhere, just change the weather a little bit and the climate a little bit. When I grew up in Huntington the weather was quite different. We used to get lots of hurricanes, lots of snow, and I think – and this is my own theory – as the population went that way, the temperatures became milder and milder. In 1971, my father was laid off. He worked in the aerospace industry. His father was a gardener, came over from England on the boat and my grandmother was a maid. She was sixteen when she came from England and my grandfather was an estate gardener and so gardening was in my father’s blood. He decided at age - I guess he got laid off in his 50s - to come up here and buy a business. Then my husband and I came up and absolutely fell in love with Cooperstown. We felt it was a great place to raise children and we did, we raised three children here. Tell me what you need, tell me what you want, if I need to fill in. Tell me what you need.

CB:
No, this is wonderful. The sense of community that you were talking about in Huntington that you felt, kind of, was lost, it that something that you felt you could connect to when you came to Cooperstown?

CW:
Absolutely, absolutely. Cooperstown, you don’t just like it here, you love it here or you hate it here. People who come here, there’s no one who says I just like living here. People either say I love living in Cooperstown or hate it. Those that are mall oriented or shopping oriented are going to hate it. I went back for my cousin’s funeral on Long Island a couple of years ago and between the calling hours everybody went to the mall! I mean what do you have to get that you can’t sit around and talk with family? What sale do you have to not miss? Here’s a 27-year-old girl who overdosed on drugs and instead of everybody coming together and sharing family time they are running off to the mall to get a sale on something! That mentality, I’m so glad I’m not in it, because I was in it. Every Saturday that was the thing to do, to go to the mall. Clean the house in the morning and go to the mall in the afternoon. What’s wrong with entertaining in the home? What’s wrong with sitting down and talking to people? What’s wrong with watching a great movie together, you know? But some people don’t like everyone knowing everything about them. And it’s hard not to know a lot of things about people because it is such a small community; I mean there’s less than 2,000 people in the village. You go on a cruise there’s probably five times as many, or four times, or the same amount as the village itself. That takes a little bit of adjustment, that people know things about you. You’ve been to the hospital and somebody will come in and before you even had a chance to tell your husband that you cut your hand or something somebody says “oh I saw your wife in the ER” or something. Sometimes that’s a little nerve racking, but it’s a trade off that I’d give any day.

CB:
Are there any aspects of the more urban life that you do miss?

CW:
I don’t miss the traffic. I find if I go shopping, if I can’t buy in town, and I try to buy in town a lot but it’s not easy, I make a list and I’m more productive at it. Now with the Internet, you don’t have to go shopping, you can go on the Internet and shop – not shop – but you can look and see what different products are out there. I do enjoy going to New York City to see the windows at Christmas, to feel the certain vibe in the city, the excitement. Like Chicago, the excitement of the shoppers and the people hustling and bustling, and Radio City Music Hall. I did that a couple years ago again, even though it’s probably the same show as when I was a kid. That’s a fun thing to do. It’s a great place to visit but it’s also fabulous to come home. I feel I have the best of both worlds because we do go to the city. We do go to Syracuse, Albany, Utica, you know. So I don’t miss the traffic, I don’t miss the crime, I don’t miss, as far as leaving the keys in the car – I do that. I don’t miss, there’s nothing very much that I miss about Long Island. My other cousin is very ill now and I talked to my cousin, her sister, and she tells me she visits her every night. She says it takes her to go from one town to another, an hour and a half in traffic. Probably I’ll live a little longer because my blood pressure will stay a little lower, not having all that traffic. I like having one traffic light and if I want to miss it I can go around the other way. I enjoy that a lot.

CB:
Do you have any other family that is living in Cooperstown?

CW:
The only one that is with me now is my husband. Our children are all grown now. We had three children. My parents did own the flower shop. My dad was the county rep here for 25 years in politics. That’s probably why I got into politics. We have no one else. We just have really good friends, people that we have known for thirty years and longer.

CB:
Is it difficult being away from family that is on Long Island?

CW:
Well my father’s side of the family lives in New Jersey and my cousins are on Long Island. They come up every once in a while. They find it boring here. They feel there’s nothing to do. I don’t particularly like going down there that much. My one son is in Washington, DC, and we go there a lot. My other son is on the West Coast in Mercer Island in the state of Washington and we don’t go there very often. My daughter is in Cold Spring, New York, which is not that far. So I see my second son Scott and my daughter Kristen. We go there quite a bit. We try to go every other month to Alexandria, Virginia – but it’s Washington DC – we go there and we go to Cold Spring probably as much as we can too. They come up here a lot. It’s only three hours door to door. My son Scott and his wife and two children come up here too quite a bit. The only one I don’t see that much is my son on the West Coast.

CB:
You mentioned early that people either love Cooperstown or they hate Cooperstown…

CW:
That’s my impression! That’s my impression only!

CB:
Where in that spectrum did your children fall when they were growing up here?

CW:
You’re going to find this very odd but I had Bill, my oldest, in 1969. Then from having Bill, I didn’t realize what a responsibility it was to have a child, being an only child and not having a large family. I was like wow. I used to go to the supermarket just to read the labels and stuff because you needed adult talk. I was used to having parents that were very free with me and then all of sudden being totally tied down to this little body. I waited four and a half years to have my next child, so then I had Scott. He was born in ’72 and then Kristen was born in ’83. So I had a kid in the 60’s, the 70’s and the 80’s! Kristen obviously was a surprise. We were finished, and we were fortunate. I prayed to God that I would have a girl so that it would make it a little easier and I guess he listened. But it’s funny because my kids grew up four and a half years apart and Kristen and Scott were like nine years apart and having a girl after the two boys was almost like having a new family. Bill was a very bright young man, not just because he’s mine, but he was very bright, very intelligent, very involved in politics, and I think that was because my father was. Sunday dinners at my house were, and we did do the old fashioned Sunday dinners, talking about current events, and if you didn’t know current events you were left out of the conversation. My oldest boy did very well in school – he went Colgate. Growing up here he was into academics; he was president of the Senior Class, and president of the Junior Class, I believe. He was not into sports at all. He only played on the sports team to get into college, you know what I mean? You need to be more well rounded [laughter]. He went to Colgate and then he went to Harvard Law, so he did very well. My second son, Scott, was an avid soccer player and my dad; my parents were a very big influence on my husband and my life. My husband had a stepbrother and a stepsister but he was abused as a child, and so he had no contact with his family. He was physically and mentally abused as a child, so he didn’t want to have anything to do with his family. His stepfather used to beat him up and throw him in the middle of the road and tell him that he hoped he got run over. When I married my husband he stuttered unbelievably and then when we were married six months it went away. I mean this is a little off the topic but maybe it will explain why we were very, very close to my parents. So we came up here, Bill was two, my oldest, and I worked in the flower shop. I think they loved growing up here because they could come home after school to the flower shop and they could come do their homework and we were working downstairs. They would just hang out here. They had friends in the houses here and rode their bikes and things like that. When Scott was born we decided that being next to the flower shop was a little too much because people would take for granted on Sunday morning or nights. It was like you didn’t have a life. If you were outside raking and somebody needed something they’d say, “oh can you open up?” So we moved to Beaver Street in the village, but both boys had lots of friends growing up and they loved it. Scotty was into soccer big time. He did very well in school. He was an athlete. I think he probably did better than Bill because he, being one of the head soccer stars. He did very well. He was top scorer, and he had girls all over him. There was a whole bunch of them. There was Marty Smith who’s now a doctor and Ian Porter who owns the candy store downtown, Tin Bin Alley. They had a great bunch of friends. Sara Streck, they still get together, the Lewis boys. They have a thing called the Legends of Cooperstown where they come home and play a soccer game on Thanksgiving, the girls and guys. John Lambert used to be at my house and he played with my kids. He was in between Scotty and Bill and I used to yell at him, “John you can’t do that.” Then when I became mayor I asked him to be my attorney. Can you imagine what it’s like to have someone you used to yell at that now you have to listen to? They were a great group of kids. Boy Scouts were very, very active. My husband was active in the Boy Scouts. They went skiing every Friday night. We went to hockey games at Colgate. They just had a great time. I don’t know. They probably will tell you different stories about being wild and stuff, but a lot of it I probably didn’t know. It’s not like if Scott wasn’t doing well in a subject, I didn’t find out about it on his report card. I found out by a phone call saying that Scott hasn’t handed in his homework in three days or something. I think that it kept the kids on the straight and narrow in school. Scotty tells me now that he wished he had worked harder in school because he could have gotten into a better college. But he’s a teacher. He has his master’s. He teaches at Gonzaga High School in Washington, DC, math and he’s their soccer coach. He still loves soccer. He played under Frank Myers here. There’s just a great bunch of friends that played. Krissy was into horses. She wanted to be totally different than her brothers so she rode. And of course Jane Clark has that wonderful horse show and she rode in that and different things like that. All three kids had sort of different interests and it was interesting having them so far apart. I think growing up with Krissy I was mayor for eight years. I retired in 2010. She graduated from college, and before that I was a trustee for eight years. I think she felt a little more stressed that she had to be better, like she was on display. Like, God forbid that she got picked up doing something wrong. You know my mother’s the mayor, I’ll get killed or it’ll be in the paper. I think she felt a little bit of the political backlash that families can. She couldn’t wait to get out of Cooperstown. She hated Cooperstown. Cooperstown was such a small town. She went to Drew one year, came back and went to Hartwick. [She] loved Hartwick. So she lived down there so it wasn’t like she was living here. It’s funny because I think they think there is more out there, but there really isn’t. I think that it’s tough to come back here because unless you’re a doctor, there is not a lot of employment opportunities. She works for a hospital. She does grant writing. Her husband is a chef and he grew up in Cherry Valley. There’s not a lot of opportunities here to come back for jobs. I think my son would love to come back but I don’t know how his wife would cope because she is a sweetheart and I love her but she’s half Italian and half Japanese. I didn’t realize until he married her that there is bigotry towards Asians and things like that. She went to Washington and Lee Law School, and I was shocked to go down there and see where it said “no jap trucks” and where she was asked to leave a bar because she was Japanese. It just floored me. People are people. It doesn’t matter what color their skin is. So I don’t know if she could survive in a small town, I think she likes to hide, not hide, but blend in a bigger city.

CB:
Do you think that type of bigotry could exist in Cooperstown?

CW:
I’ve never felt in until we had this case with the shooting recently. I never really felt it. I love Gretchen. I’ll tell you a funny story and I don’t even know if Gretchen knows it – Gretchen Sorin. My sons, I used to say to the kids let me know when you’re bringing a girl home that you’re really, really serious about. I’ll really clean the house well. So, one time I was sitting in the design room and people can hear out at the register and somebody said, “why do you think Bill hasn’t brought this girl home?” And I said maybe she’s black and who’s out at the register but Gretchen? [laughter] I said there’s one black family in town! [laughter] I don’t know if she heard me or not but she would have laughed, I didn’t mean it in a derogatory way or anything. I think it’s how you’re brought up. Now my father was in World War II, my father was at Iwo Jima. The Japanese were ruthless and the Americans were ruthless and yet he loved my daughter-in-law before he passed away. You got to let go. I really think it comes, I don’t think that anybody is born – nobody wakes up and says I want to be gay, nobody wakes up and says I want to be fat, and nobody is a bigot when they are born, or born any of those three things. I think being a bigot is something you learn. I know that my grandparents left Queens to move out further to Long Island because the black people were moving in. They felt the blacks didn’t take as good care of their property and stuff. Other than that there wasn’t any bigotry in my family at all. My daughter-in-law is on her third child and I hope that this one looks a little bit more Asian, because the first two, I feel bad, the little girl resembles me and the little boy resembles my son. She goes to pick up the child at daycare one day and somebody new was on and the woman said, “your little boy is over there” and she said, “no the one with the red hair and the streaks, that one is mine.” People stereotype but I just don’t feel any bigotry towards people. I’m a firm believer of what’s inside and how you treat me. I just can’t see an innocent baby that you hold in your arms being a bigot, but that’s just me. I feel people if they are gay or homosexual, I’ve had arguments with people over this too. People say it’s learned but I don’t feel that way; I feel it’s something in your makeup, your being. Probably getting a little deeper then you want to, but you can edit it! At least you’ll know the true me!

CB:
Do you think the way that you were raised and your schooling is different from the way that your children went to school?

CW:
Definitely. My parents did not take an active interest in my schooling. My husband and I did. We helped out at school. We knew their teachers personally. Yeah I think there was a totally different, that’s probably why I hated school and my kids probably loved school. There was no question in our house; all kids were going to college. It wasn’t are you going to college, do you want to go to college, no, what college are you going to? The school system here, when my children went, was great. I mean, there’s criticism now but I don’t know if it’s true or not. Where else do you have a cotillion where they learn how to dance? Boy Scouts was real popular. I asked the kids, they said there were drugs but there were too many other things to do. There’s drugs everywhere. I don’t know I think the kids here have such great opportunities. When Scott and Bill were little we used to leave them on the corner down here by the bakery with their lunch and five bucks. The bus would pick them up and take them skiing all day Saturday up to Mt. Otsego – that’s where they learned how to ski. Dr. Savoie, Dennis Savoie, used to teach. He taught my son Scott how to ski. You would leave them at nine and pick them up at five. The bus would bring them back to the corner. They were home and they were so tired. They went to bed. They had a great life growing up. We didn’t have a lot of money. My husband worked at the hospital and it was an okay job. We had good times. We never wanted for heat or food. We used to have a Jeep and I remember it didn’t have a radio and that’s how they all know their Christmas carols and stuff when we would go shopping. We’ve come a little bit from that now. We used to bundle up in a Wrangler and go to Albany or whatever and all the way sing all the Christmas songs. The boys gave me a hard time every now and then. Krissy gave me a hard time. They’re not perfect, don’t get me wrong, but knock on wood I didn’t have drugs. I don’t know if they tried them or not. I know they drank. I know at graduation everybody here goes to a spot. I remember them calling our house at one o’clock in the morning and my husband went and picked up a bunch of them. He said it was so bad in the car he had to put all the windows down. I’m not condoning it, but it happened. They drank. They probably did things they weren’t supposed to do. My son Scott cut school a lot. My husband was on his way to Albany once and saw him on the side of road. He had broken down. He just gave him his credit card and said, “don’t tell your mother.” Things like that. They weren’t perfect children, don’t get me wrong. They did their things. I think that they had every opportunity here that they would have anywhere else, on Long Island or New Jersey or wherever. I think it’s a little tougher growing up because everybody does know about them and does care about them and will call you when they’re not doing well or cutting up in school or having a problem. Sports here is a very good motivator for kids because if you’re not passing then you’re not playing. We decided that this was a great place to raise kids. We did move away in ‘85 to Colorado. My husband had a job opportunity out there. We left Bill here because he was in his junior year and he had a chance at winning the big Clark scholarship, and we’re very fortunate that he did. So left him with my parents for a year and a half. He’d come out for summers and every holiday. You had to have four consecutive years here, so that’s why he stayed with my mom and dad. The other kids went to school out there and it was very interesting because we moved back five years later. We started Scotty all over again in high school. He took things in Colorado like “Food for Teens.” It wasn’t as focused on the academics as Cooperstown is.
[START OF TRACK 2, 0:00]

We moved back in ‘91. Colorado was a wonderful experience. I felt like I was on vacation all the time and I’m glad that I lived there. I said to the real estate [agent] I want to see an older house and she showed me one that was built in the 70’s, things like that. We moved back in ‘91 and I don’t regret it and we’ve been here ever since. This is my home and that’s all there is to it.

CB:
Was it difficult to uproot your family and move across the country and then come back?

CW:
It was extremely difficult but we looked at it as an adventure and I’m married 44 years – marriage is a give and take. He had a great opportunity. The company since folded. From that company – he’s a biomechanical engineer - he got an offer from another company. It’s in the medical field, so they moved him back here. They said you really do love the East Coast, so my husband now has a territory. He is a teacher and he teaches other people and he goes into the operating room and he does pace makers and defibrillators and stuff. But he has to travel – he goes to Albany, Syracuse, Utica – he has to travel a lot. He probably does 60 or 70,000 miles a year so that we can live here. Bassett is in the territory but the big cities are where most of it is. Part of the problem is that they thought that baby-boomers would need more pacemakers and defibrillators, but baby-boomers, which I am the beginning of, have been healthier. A lot of them have been running and doing different things and so they are a lot healthier. They are not needing as many devices as I think these pacemaker companies thought. We both loved living here so much and family was here. We were very close to my parents. We wanted to come back here. So here we are, again.

CB:
You mentioned earlier that you disliked school. Do you think that had anything to do with your deciding not to go to college and to do small business instead?

CW:
I disliked school. Part of the problem was when I was younger, before my parents moved out on the island. They moved out when I was in what they called sixth grade. I went to a Catholic school. I’m a good Catholic, and I’m just telling the truth here. When I went to school I was not taught how to read. I was taught to memorize. My mother and I had the same principal and she was old when my mother had her, and the same nuns. A lot of the nuns would sleep during class. In those days, you would do religion from 9-12. There was no such thing as gym. I didn’t know what gym was. You wore a uniform. You weren’t told how to diagram a sentence and you weren’t told how to sound out words. You were told that word is dog, that word is cat, and that word is up. So I learned to read just by seeing the words. So then we moved out to Long Island and it’s very tough. In order to get into the school in Queens my grandparents had to donate a cross and a whole bunch of things to the church. Out there they wanted a lot more money to go to Catholic school, so I went to public school. You go in 6th grade and they’re diagramming sentences and sounding out words, they’re outlining. I didn’t know how to do any of that! They wouldn’t keep me back so learning how to read. I can remember things like catechism for three hours, and there was no science. I had no science. I got into this with somebody about “oh Catholic schools are wonderful.” Well, my experience with Catholic schools, it wasn’t wonderful. I had to learn how to outline. We used to do a lot of writing so yeah - my handwriting is beautiful. How to sound out a sentence? How to sound out vowels? I don’t know how to do that! That word was cat, that word was dog, that word was Mary, that word was John. So now I have a great memory. Here the girls use me like a phonebook – what’s this person’s telephone number? I really didn’t. I don’t think my early education was anything that made me excited to want to learn. I felt from 6th grade to 12th grade, I was doing nothing but catch up. We used to do hours and hours of penmanship that was one of the things. So I could probably do calligraphy if I wanted to nicely. I still like to write. It’s like having the kids at different ages. Bill didn’t get a computer probably until he went to college in ‘87 and Kristin had a computer when she was in kindergarten. Her handwriting is awful! Everything for her is texting [and] keyboard. Then Bill had a harder time, being the older, because they just didn’t have computers in school then. Probably what turned me off to school, if I think about it, is my early education. I hated to go to school when we went to public school because I was so far behind. Vocabulary words, we never had anything like that. I don’t know whatever happened to the rest of the kids that went there. You get sent to the principal’s office and she’d be sleeping. She must have been 90. They didn’t retire the nuns or anything. You had to take piano. You weren’t taught piano. That was our extracurricular thing, I guess. You weren’t taught piano by these are the keys or these are the notes or anything. You were taught by this is what you do and this is what you do! How much memorization can you do? You weren’t taught about other religions. You weren’t taught about Latin and derivatives or where things come from. There was no such thing as a foreign language or anything like that. So probably that’s what turned me off of school because I really hated school. I came out of school, I did well, but I came out. Took all academic courses in my high school years, but I also had a thousand kids in my class that I graduated with. I graduated with my husband and I didn’t know him because my last name was a B for Bateman and his was a W for Waller. I probably graduated two hours before him. I just didn’t want any more of that struggle. I guess I’ve never really talked about it, but I guess that’s what honestly turned me off.

CB:
So what led you, after you graduated from high school?

CW:
I worked in an insurance company. I met my husband in a gas station going to a discothèque because that’s what we used to do in those days. He was putting himself through college. He came over for a date, and he found out that – he said, “what’s my yearbook doing on your coffee table?” I go, “that’s my yearbook!” Then we realized that we graduated together. We were confirmed together. We received communion – no we didn’t receive communion – we were confirmed together. We went to the same church. But again, everything was alphabetized so we didn’t know each other. We were very young and foolish and got married. He was 20, and I was 21. I think he wanted out of the house. His parents had assigned for him to get married, and I was 21, so we got married. He finished college. I worked. He finished college and then we started having babies. You know, we had the first and I told you that was a real struggle for me. I think I went through a lot of post-[partum] depression. Like I said, my parents were not involved in my schoolwork at all, not involved in school or anything like that. My mother used to love to read and my father loved to garden and work around the house. I was an only child, given a lot of freedom growing up. The only thing I had to do was clean the house on Saturday mornings, basically.

CB:
So how did you go from moving to Cooperstown and working in your father’s shop to owning the floral shop?

CW:
I started working here. I used to hang out here and six months later I was here full time. They decided to incorporate. My father gave [me] the shop. He was the president. I was the vice president. My mom never really liked the shop at all. She liked being more social and doing stuff like that. So the cooperation was my father, myself – because he believed in bloodlines, and my three children owned the shop. Then when my father passed away there was a trust so that everything went to me and my three children. But I’ve worked here, except for the five years in Colorado, six days a week normally for forty years now. It just progressed to me. My children don’t want it, none of them because they see how much hard work it is. They see that there’s not a lot of monetary return. They also see that you have no holidays. Nobody schedules when they’re going to die so if somebody dies on the 23rd of December and the family wants the wake on Christmas Eve, you have to do it. There’s no I’m taking off from the 22nd to the 26th or something like that. So you go home on Christmas Eve and you’re tired. It’s a different way of life. You don’t know what your day is going to be like until you walk in and see the obituaries or see what’s going on. It’s been wonderful in a different way, though, because being here forty years and being in a small town, I’ve got to know people, lots of people. And I’ve gone through with them. [I’ve seen] their kids growing up, their parents passing away, their kids having babies because they’re into celebrate or their having a shower, to their spouses dying. You form a lot of really wonderful close relationships with people in town that you normally wouldn’t. When people become ill, they’ve been a good customer here, and they pop in. I guess even some of the merchants feel it to. They’re coming in to plan their child’s wedding or they’re coming in to do their husband’s casket cover. It’s a very rewarding thing to get that close to a lot of people. You know you do all a lot of the prom corsages and the kids come in and show you their dresses. That’s kind of cool too. You get to know people more on a different basis than you would if you were selling them something in the supermarket or something. Not that people in the supermarket aren’t friendly and can make friends. I think I have a lot of acquaintances and friends from the shop. You have a lot through your children but you also have a lot with a business like this. If that makes any sense to you. If I’m not making sense, like I said you’re welcome to edit this in any way, shape, or form and take what you want.

CB:
I have a question. Is it difficult to go through that grieving process with people that you are close to in your community?

CW:
Yes, yes it is, because you feel that you’ve known them. You’ve known the husband when he’s sent her flowers. Like now, Dr. Wright has passed away, and I’ve know Cheryl probably 35 years since they’ve moved here, 32 years I don’t know how long. Their last daughter Flannery was married in May and we did that wedding. It’s tough. It’s also nice knowing that tonight or tomorrow morning I’ll make the flower for the church. There’s a lot of love that goes into those flowers besides just making flowers for them. I’ll do the very best I can for them and I’ll go to the service. Yeah, it’s tough. When anyone in the community dies that’s been here, that you know. It’s tough because it’s like part of your extended family has passed. I mean, Dr. Wright was a radiologist and I had a couple of times when my mammogram wasn’t, well they were concerned. And I remember calling him and saying, “Peter, it’s Friday, and I haven’t had the results yet.” And he stayed until after work and called me back and said, “I don’t want you to have a bad weekend, your mammogram was fine, your imaging was fine.” Then I had to have a biopsy and he sat down and talked to me and said, “you know we’re 99% sure that this okay but we’re going to go for more” and so he did a biopsy on me. So I have that relationship with him too. My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer last December or January. Dr. Campbell, who’s a friend of ours and who has been at our house, talked to my son. The one boy was here, Scott, from Alexandria. He went to the appointment with Bill and he talked to Scott, told him he should be tested, [and] told him all the side effects. [He] told him what the treatment was going to be. Our daughter, who is very close to my husband being the only girl and being the princess that she was, they came over to our house. Her husband made hors d’oeuvres, we had drinks and they sat for three hours and talked to her. Bill, my husband, obviously said it was okay. They said ask us any questions that you want. There was never any “have you told us everything, is there any more, are you hiding anything” because Tim was there, Tim Campbell, and he opened up to her and said this is going to happen and that is going to happen. I think your father will die getting hit by a car or falling off a ladder or something like that. So there’s a wonderful relationship there. I mean some doctors don’t even have five minutes for you!. He spent three hours at my house, answering her questions and explaining to her all about the different cancers and how his results were and what was aggressive, what wasn’t aggressive, and how the treatments went. You don’t find that in a lot of places. You’re a number and you’re not a number here, you’re a person here.

CB:
Can you talk a little bit about what it’s like to run a small business in Cooperstown?

CW:
It’s very challenging. It’s very rewarding. Long hours. It can be hurtful if someone you’ve been doing business with goes somewhere else. It can hurt when a supermarket comes in and offers things cheaper retail then you can buy wholesale. But again it is rewarding because you get to meet people and you get to meet them on a different basis. It’s a struggle. You can make much more money working for the county, working for government, or for the hospital or something like that. Because when money is tight then you don’t get paid. Claire I’ve had with me over 30 years, she’s like part of the family and Dale’s been here 10 years, but it’s tough having employees and balancing employees. But all in all I feel like I have a creative side to me and I like to create different things so this is perfect for me. I can have my creative outlet and put it up for sale and still make some money at it. My husband does very well in his job so that allows me to play and do what I want here. Other than that, it’s challenging. I don’t wish it on my kids because there are long hours and things like that. They grew up in it so it’s their choice to make. It’s funny because the one that was probably the wildest is now the teacher and now he has a daughter. I tease him. I go, “what are you going to do when the boys start?” She’s five and she’s really cute. He says, “I’m going to put bars on the windows mom!” [laughter] I said, “yeah you know it all, you know all the tricks!” Having a business, like I said, is a challenge, but I’d say it’s 90% good and 10% not so good. Long hours, things like that. Lots of people ask me for donations. But all in all, in a small town like this it’s fun. Maybe in a bigger city where I didn’t know people that well it would be more of a business to me, but it’s a lifestyle here. Does that sort of answer your question? Tell me where I’m lacking! [laughter]

CB:
I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the balance between owning the business and keeping this endeavor up, and that creativity, and also going into government and that decision that you made?

CW:
When we moved backed from Colorado; my husband was very active before we left. He was a volunteer fireman, he was a Lion, and he was all those things. And when we moved back he said to me, why don’t you get involved, the kids are old enough to get involved in different things. So my father being in politics, we always talked about politics a lot, said why don’t you run for village board? I said I don’t know a thing about that. So I did. I ran for trustee. I thought, oh I’ll give it a try, how hard can it be? I need an outlet from this to take my mind off the flower shop 24/7 to have my mind go somewhere else. I only won by two votes. That was the election. I drank a little too much the night I won, because I was like, oh God what am I going to do now, I’ve won. I went to my first meeting, I was so scared. Thought oh I’m going to screw this up. There’s a 4 million dollar budget! I got put on finance my first year, oh my lord. I got put on police. I was a nervous wreck. Had a mayor, him and I have come to terms, but [he] put me on entertainment. Entertainment then used to be planning and entertainment. Entertainment was getting a cup of coffee and he said to me, “you can go get me a cup of coffee.” I got him a cup of coffee and it’s the first and the last I’ll get for you. I’m a little bit of a woman’s libber when it comes to that. [I] found it very fascinating. It taught me tremendous patience. Here if I want something done I’ll do it or I’ll tell somebody please do this. There, you’ve got to go through this committee, that committee, this regulation, that regulation. It taught me how to listen. It taught me how to open my mind. A lot of times I would look at everything, make up my mind, and I’m very stubborn and I’d say that’s the way it’s got to be. But in government, you have to listen to the people. So when you listen to the people you realize that there’s more opinions out there. Sometimes, if you listen, some of the things you’ve made up your mind about are wrong. I think you have to like people. I served as a trustee for four years. The next election I won handily, it’s a three-year term. Then the next election I think won again, I only ran twice as trustee. It’s a three-year term. It wasn’t for the money. It was a give back. I made $600 a year as trustee, big money. Then the mayor who was there for the eight years decided to retire and I had a year left as trustee. I was deputy mayor at that time. We had different philosophies. His philosophy was put everything in the bank and my philosophy was spend a little more. They said he’s going to retire, would you like to run for mayor. I tell you one thing that kind of excited me was being the first woman major of Cooperstown ever. So I ran and I was unopposed. I planned to stay until 2007 but then 2007 they announced [Cal] Ripken[’s induction to the Hall of Fame] and I thought we really have to start planning because they were saying 50,000 people were coming and it turned out to be what, 72,000 people that came? I mean you’d stand up here and you’d look down and there was just a sea of people. So I stayed through that and then I decided to retire. I’m Republican. One thing I regret is there are people that won’t speak to me because I supported, for my successor, a Democrat. I believe in supporting people. This past election I had a Democrat sign on my lawn and a Republican sign on my lawn. I believe it’s the people here, not the party. There are some people in town; there are two people in town that will not talk to me because I did that. But life goes on. I want the best for the village. I had to fire people. That was tough. I didn’t do it lightly. I’ve only fired one person here in the flower shop I think, in the forty years. My father used to be a wimp, he would say, “you do it! You discipline the people!” John Lambert was my attorney, like I said. He was absolutely wonderful with me. Then he ran for judge and now he’s a judge in the county. It was a very rewarding experience. Being mayor was probably 99% good and 1% bullshit. There were people that yelled at me for getting parking tickets and told me they’d never shop in my store again, but that lasted a month and they’re back. Jane Clark, who is a wonderful steward of this village, we talked. But she never called me up and said I want you to do this or I want you to do that. I would ask her her opinion on things and she would give them to me, but she was never forceful in her opinions. She would never say that if you did this or if you did that, I’ll be angry. She would just say, did you think about this or did you think about that. [She was] very much [about] just letting me have a free will. Yeah, we’re a company town, lets face it. If we didn’t have Jane we would be like a small town that had a lot of empty stores. Some of the merchants gave me a hard time, especially the baseball merchants. It’s a very tough balancing act here because you’ve got 2,000 residents supporting a million people that come here. If you figure people come here for the hospital, you’ve got 350,000 outpatients a year that come to the village. You’ve got 300-400,000 that come to the Baseball Hall of Fame and you’ve got the rest that come for weddings, Otesaga, opera, lake. You’re having a million people step foot on our streets every year and you’ve got 2,000 residents supporting these million people. We went to the county and finally got some money from the county. My father and I would fight vehemently because the longer he was on the county board, the more he was like the rest of the representatives. He was 84 when he passed and he was still a rep. I kept saying to him that Cooperstown was the economic engine that drives this area. He used to say don’t be such a me person; it’s not all about you and Cooperstown. But it was. It is kind of a like snotty attitude I guess but everybody wants to be close to Cooperstown. Look at Cooperstown’s All Star Village, look at the Dreams Park. I had my doings with them too because even though they were nice to me and took me on a tour and everything else. They are the types of people that do things and then ask forgiveness and that bothered me a little bit. They filled in the wetlands. They had to pay a $200,000 fine, but they did it. They were supposed to put that traffic light up and it took forever for them to put that traffic light up. They are living off the village and yet giving nothing back to the village. Although it is probably good for some of the economy here I’m a very big believer of giving back. My salary for being major was 3,200 dollars a year, big deal. I only put in for one conference in 16 years of public service and I spent most of my salary on – I took a closet down there and made an office, bought a rug for the entrance room. My husband and I refinished the floors. We bought the paint. Different dinners I went to, different functions I had to go to, different gifts I had to give out, were all out of my salary.
[START OF TRACK 3, 0:00]

Basically, I used to say it cost me to be mayor. I had the privilege of meeting Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, which I did not like at all. Because she was senator and I was the mayor and he kept butting in like it should have been all about him but it wasn’t all about him. I had the pleasure of meeting George Bush, Pataki, Giuliani. I’m not one of those people that have heroes. If I had to have a hero in life it would probably be Congressman Gifford with the way that she has forgiven her people and come back. She has forgiven the person that shot her and stuff like that and she didn’t make a big deal when she came back and voted. But I’m not in awe of Hillary or anything but it is nice to be able to say that I’ve met Hillary. I’ve met George Bush Senior. I’ve met George Bush Jr. I have met different political people. One nice thing is that I have a great relationship with Senator Seward and we’ve become really good friends. Bill McGee, he’s a Democrat, and Jim Stewart is a Republican. That was fun. Jane, knowing Jane, being able to pick up the phone and say “Hi, Jane, how are you?” is kind of a cool thing to and going to lunch with her. But a lot of people say oh she called the shots and she told you what to do. That’s not true. She’s very much of a freewill person. You know she has her opinions but she doesn’t shove them down your throat and crucify you if you don’t do what she wants. We used to have little discussions about what problems there were in the village. She didn’t think there was as much as a parking problem as I did, but she gave us the trolleys, the first two. She does a tremendous amount for the village that not everyone knows. People are like; oh she doesn’t pay tax at the hospital or the museums. But there are people that she has paid their hospital bills that nobody knows about. I only know because one of them was a friend of mine. She is very generous when you need things in the village. She bought us our fire truck. She dropped off a check for 100,000 dollars at the fire chief’s house. He was embarrassed because we didn’t clean the house and here she rings the doorbell with a check for us, because we couldn’t afford the big AeroChief, you know things like that. She doesn’t go around putting big headlines in saying that I bought the fire truck or I paid so and so’s hospital bill or I put a ton of money into the Otesaga so that it would help the economy here. She’s not like that. She knows what she wants and she does it. You meet her on the street and she’s kind of generous. Again, she does let you have a free will, for anybody that thinks you’re a puppet for her, it’s not true at all. Very interesting lady, she’d be great to interview, ehh?

CB:
Definitely!

CW:
She gave an interview once and it bit her in the butt. She finally gave an interview.

CB:
You mentioned meeting a lot of very famous politicians, kind of across the board, Republican and Democratic. Do you think that the party politics that’s in Cooperstown has an impact on the way government runs?

CW:
Now it does. I tried to be very bipartisan. If I asked you to serve on a board I didn’t check your political background. I appointed Diana Nichols and she’s a Democrat. Somebody said well did you know she was a Democrat? Well her father is in charge of the Democratic Party in the county. Yeah, I had a good feeling that she was a Democrat. I appointed Brian Clancy, DPW. He’s a Democrat. I appointed people who I felt were honest and hardworking and loved the village. All politicians say well I want to get elected because I love the village, but you have to actually love the village. A tough thing I had to do when I was mayor was to separate my business from the village. I could say, we could do this and that would be good for the businesses in town, including mine, but you really have to do what’s right for the village and what’s right for the residents. The residents put up with a lot here, they really do. You have to separate that. I think that now it’s gotten very, very nasty. It’s gotten very, very political. When I supported Jeff Katz to be my successor, I probably came out too early in doing that. He’s Jewish. I was really very, very appalled and taken back at the people that said yeah he’s okay for trustee but we wouldn’t want a mayor that’s Jewish. I was surprised that there was that bigotry here. There was some merchants downtown that called him some names that I will not repeat because of his religion. I don’t even know if he’s that strong in his religion. He’s an absolutely brilliant man who when I was mayor the last two years was probably co-mayor with me. He was my deputy major. He has a great head for figures and things like that. He did all the finance and everything and was excellent. The village did not elect him. I don’t know if it was because of him being Jewish or what, or if he was just too new to this area. I mean, I find it very ironic that the Native Daughters, I cannot be in that club until I’m here 50 years so I’ve got another 9 years to go or so. But I could be their mayor, so that was very interesting. It did come up in that election two years ago that some people here are still bigoted. I don’t know. I never felt it. There was this whole thing with the Pacherilles that Catholics and Italians aren’t welcome. I’m Irish and I’m Catholic and I never had a problem being Catholic here. I never had a problem being Irish here either but maybe it just didn’t bother me.

CB:
What were some of the major issues that you faced when you were in office?

CW:
The parking. Trying to catch up. The mayor before me was Wendell Tripp. He was a wonderful man, loved the village. But he didn’t believe in spending any money. Trying to play catch up, and you know with an older house you can’t let it go. The estimates to do the village office roof was $60,000 when I was trustee and when I became mayor, and we did do the roof, it was $400,000. And we did do 300 and some odd thousand of it. One of the greatest accomplishments, and you’re going to think it’s a very silly accomplishment, but it’s one of the ones that I most proud of – we put a sidewalk on Walnut Street right to the gym so none of the kids had to cross. The property going to the gym on Susquehanna is Ed Stack’s property. Jane paid for half the sidewalk coming from Walnut to the gym and the village paid $75,000 to put a sidewalk from the elementary school right to Susquehanna. The reason we did this was the county put in a new bridge. Mr. Tiderencel, who is county highway superintendent, and we get along really well, he said, “where do you want the pedestrian walkway?” and I said can we have it on both sides, and he said yes. And even though we’ve got a crossing guard there and stop signs and stuff, it makes it so much safer I feel. There are so many kids. We are so lucky to have a gym like that. There are so many kids that just walk that way. You go to the gym in the afternoon and the backpacks are all over the place. The gym was here when my kids grew up. They went to the gym every day only it was down where the Hall of Fame is. And my daughter, obviously, had the new gym. The sidewalk was a great thing. I had a great time. I drove one of those machines when we re-did Main Street. We dug up Main Street. I said if we’re going to do a street, we’re going to do it correctly. We’re going to do water, sewer, dig up the whole street and not just do this paving on top. We found a hole big enough for a Volkswagen to fall into by CVS down here. I guess somebody cut something or did something and they left a big whole there. We’re lucky nobody fell in. But I got to drive one of those paving machines. That was cool. I have pictures of that. Like I said I got to greet Hillary on a one-to-one. She had a private tour of the Hall of Fame and my husband and I were at the end of the private tour to greet her. The parking was a big issue. We got rid of the sandwich signs and went with the directional signs that we now have on Main Street. Many of the merchants would like to bring back the sandwich signs. We had very strict zoning, which I used to get a lot of grief about from the merchants. I think people come here for the quaintness. I don’t think they want the honky-tonk. It doesn’t bother me that we have a lot of baseball stores. You wouldn’t go to Hershey’s and expect to find a baseball store. For us to have a Hershey’s chocolate store would be, you know, different. I think it goes with what the Hall of Fame is. I’m not an avid, my husband is an avid baseball fan and we watch a lot of the Yankees. I’m not, but I am so grateful for what baseball has done for Cooperstown. Although they don’t support the Hall of Fame monetarily, Major League Baseball. Jane told me that when it was the American League and the National League they used to each give $15,000 but now they give nothing, which is deplorable with the salaries that people and the owners are making. Baseball has been good for the village. Let’s face it. We have all these tourists. I love to see the tourists. I love to see them go home. It’s like family. You love to see the kids come and have them play in the house and have a great time but then you need to put your feet up when they leave. I think it’s exciting when people come. I think it was so exciting when Cal Ripken came and all his family and things. But then it’s nice to get the village back and have the dinners and just go over to your friends’ house and sit up and put your feet up or something. My friend across the street has a B&B and it’s so nice to go over there and the guests are there and they’re sitting on the porch having a glass of wine. You get to meet different people from different walks of life and why they’re here and things like that. Being mayor, it had its challenges. I guess the biggest thing was the parking issue that happened during my time. The residents just did not want it and it didn’t go through. It did go through at Doubleday Field and it’s been a big success. It’s made a lot of money for the village. I don’t know we might have to change our mindset because people are not riding the trolleys. One of my biggest failures was that I wanted the trolleys to be free but they are an enterprise fund and they must support themselves. The village only owns one parking lot and that’s the blue lot. The red lot is owned by Leatherstocking and the yellow lot is owned by NYSHA or something, basically Jane. We can’t charge in the lots or anything so the trolleys have to pay for themselves. My idea was to have the trolleys for the tourists and have a special green trolley that ran around for the residents that could take them to the supermarket or the hospital, downtown or whatever and that it would be a dime or free. I just couldn’t work that out. The County was willing to take over the trolleys but at that time I didn’t trust them. [I was worried] that they would not put them in with the Bernie bus and we’d wind up with the Bernie bus and the trolleys would wind up in Oneonta. I think it’s a very unfair situation, the way that the sales tax is divided up here. The county collects a hundred million dollars or a million dollars in sales tax and they keep 75% of it. Then Oneonta gets 12.5% of the million or whatever. It must be more than that, because I think Oneonta gets 4 million. I forget what the number is. Cooperstown, who raises most of the sales tax, only gets like $300,000 a year so it must be like 50 million or 75 million that they have. I petitioned the county and they used to say that you’re not going to get one red dime! But finally we got them to give us $100,000 but then that went away and now I’m hoping it’s coming back again. Because the county, you can’t just keep bringing people here and touting Cooperstown and then not paying for it. If you’re at a seminar and people say where do you go to school and you say Otsego County they’ll go what, where? If you say you go to school in Cooperstown, New York, nine out of ten people will say, “oh the Baseball Hall of Fame?” Right? So, yes the town of Oneonta gives a lot of sales tax because that’s where the car dealers are but the city of Oneonta does not contribute very much. Because they’re a city they have special rights and they get a lot of the sales tax back, which is unfair in my opinion. I think the county needs more bed tax here and more sales tax back to the village.

CB:
When you were mayor, did you have to deal with any environmental issues?

CW:
When the Mobile station was knocked down, there was a problem there. I’m very disappointed in the DEC because they just closed the case on it. But I guess there was some spill there and for 15 years they had a pump there because that’s very close to Willow Creek. They just closed the case on it because they couldn’t do any more. You hear the DEC is so strong. But again, the Dream’s Park filled in the wetlands and all they did was fine them. You know, I would have done a little more, something stronger than that. The other thing was the zebra mussels in the lake. One thing I did do, there was a lake commission around the lake and I invoked what they call Law 1100 as mayor which says that is our drinking water and that we have control over the lake. This was a tough thing to do too. With the help of Dr. Peters, Ted Peters Sr., we went around and inspected all the camps on the lake. So I was not the most popular mayor in town for that. I think half the camps on the lake failed. A lot of them had just raw sewage going into the lake. So, I think all but about one or two camps now are up to compliance. It was a three or a five year plan, I can’t remember that well. But we did 1/3, inspected 1/3, 1/3 and we did get some grants to help the people with their septics. Some people had owned the camp or the camp was in their family for 50 years and they hadn’t had their septic pumped out. Come on, 50 years – it’s got to go somewhere! I think all the situations have now been corrected. We tried to keep out the zebra mussel as long as we could with the boat inspection. We got a lot of grief with the boat inspection. Finally it came, it was in Canadarago, it was in the Susquehanna and now we have zebra mussel. That was kind of inevitable to try to keep out. It just cost us more money in pigging the lines because the mussels shed their shells and their shells stick to rope and porous things like that and people get cut. Now people have to swim with sneakers on and things like that so you don’t get cut. Dogs, my daughter’s dog, got his paws cut. So it will just make a clear lake and eventually they’ll eat themselves out and it will go back in the cycle. I very much believe in protecting the lake. I didn’t have the gas drilling then. Well we had a little bit of the gas drilling but not like it is now. My feeling on that is that the gas is there. We will get it out someday. You cannot pollute this lake. We are just as important, like Jim Seward said, as New York City, as anywhere else. We drink this water. It’s tougher to get back a polluted lake than to keep it from getting polluted. This is such a wonderful natural resource that we have here. Besides being a recreational lake, we drink it. It is our water. While I was mayor we built the water storage tank on Glen Ave up there. [We] upgraded the sewer plant to ultraviolet so that the chlorine and things would be taken out by the lights instead of putting in more chemicals to take out. I’m a firm believer that we’re probably going to find out that cancer and all these things come from all the stuff we’ve screwed the environment up with. I’m not a fanatic where I don’t say the children should be vaccinated but I’m also a believer in don’t pollute if you don’t have to. I’m not “motolist”, because I do have a motorboat. What do they say, everything in moderation?

CB:
With the recent election, how do you think the hydrofracking controversy factored in?

CW:
Oh definitely, tremendously. I think they have elected people with no experience and under one issue. It bothers me. I did support Julie Huntsman because she’s more than just a no-fracking person. She’s more for the environment and waiting. I think the oil spill that we had was so awful because we are drilling and we have no way of turning it off. It was a plumber who came up with the idea on how to turn off the oil spill and sent it to a professor at Stanford and he revised it and gave it and that’s how they eventually stopped the oil spill. Let’s wait. The candidates are right, let’s wait until we have a solution or we can get it out safely. Don’t just drill willy-nilly and ruin the environment and ruin the water and everything else. We can all turn the thermostat down a little. We can all do other things to help with the conservation of oil right now. Lets do things safely and let’s have a way to correct it if anything goes wrong. My concern about the election is that the county really has no say. The towns have all spoken. Otsego wants a drilling ban. Cooperstown wants a drilling ban. Middlefield wants a drilling ban. The county, other than expressing to their reps their feeling, has really no say. If you’re a one-issue candidate, what happens when that issue is stopped? I remember saying to the one gentlemen, well what about the highway? There is more than fracking. There are roads. There are roads that have to be maintained. They have to do something with Medicaid. They have to stop any fraud there. There are a lot of people that have been on welfare and the county spends I think $350,000 a week just on DSS and Medicaid and things like that. The state bills them for. We’ve got to get it under control. People are going to have to suck it up a little bit. You hurt your back. My back hurts; I have spinal stenosis. You’re going to have to suck it up a little bit and work. You’re not going to be able to say oh I’m 30 years old and my back hurts and I can never work again. This disability thing is a little much. Yeah, everybody hurts a little bit now and then and the older you get, the more you hurt. Things like that have to be looked into. There are more issues. They have $100,000,000 budget at the county and they don’t have a county manager and they have 14 part time reps there. My father was a rep for 25 years, I know, whoever sucks up to them the most gets there way as a department head. They really need somebody managing their budget and making sure somebody’s not selling them a bill of goods and making sure we don’t have waste and things like that. The hydrofracking played, most of those candidates won, they said 14 won, 14 lost but in this area most won. This is Claire. I’m just concerned that once the issue is over or people have spoken, are they versed with the other things and will they be as excited with dealing with roads and all these other issues that they have to deal with, the employees and things like that.

CB:
All right, well are there any other topics…

CW:
I can’t think of any. Obviously I’ve talked your ear off. You should listen to this and see if we have any place that you feel we’re lacking or if I didn’t answer it the way you wanted it to.

CB:
Okay. Sounds good.

CW:
I just believe in being honest and straight forward and just telling it like it is, in my words and my opinions.

CB:
Well thank you so much for meeting with me today.

Duration

30:00 - Part 1
30:00 - Part 2
25:13 - Part 3

Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbps
128 kbps
128 kbps

Files

Citation

Catherine Bayles, “Carol Waller, November 16, 2011,” CGP Community Stories, accessed October 18, 2017, http://cgpcommunitystories.org/items/show/117.