FULTON – Oswego County Opportunities will hold paper ballot elections for candidates who are seeking to fill seats on the agency’s Board of Directors.
The elections will take place March 19 through 22, at various program locations throughout the county.
All Oswego County residents, with the exception of OCO employees, are eligible to vote.
There are four candidates vying for two open seats.
Here is a profile of each candidate.
Tracy Kinne As a longtime journalist, Tracy believes she has the critical thinking and interpersonal skills, as well as compassion and empathy to be a good board member. She understands from personal experience, the challenges the low-income experience to achieve self-sufficiency. She is familiar with OCO services as a result of her work as a substitute teacher and cashier at Wal-Mart. She was a volunteer for SAF–OCO’s Domestic Violence program. She was also a volunteer for Farnham, Inc., United Friends of Homeless Animals, Oswego County Hospice and Friends of Parish Public Library. Tracy has been a lifelong resident of Oswego County and cares deeply about her neighbors and she would like to see OCO continue to serve others as well as improve services where opportunities present.
Laura Smith has been an OCO board member since 2009 and has served as Board Secretary in 2010/2011. She was previously employed at SUNY Oswego as the Assistant Director of Continuing Education and Assistant Dean for Student Services. Laura says her previous experience in working with different age groups, ethnic groups and income levels as well as her counseling background helps in any group she works with. In addition to her work with OCO, Laura is also involved with Oswego County Visually Impaired, and is a Board member of Aurora of Central New York. She believes that OCO and her work on the OCO Board is a way to help people live a fulfilling life, not just an existence.
Deborah Twomey has been a foster and adoptive parent, ran her own day care and worked for United Cerebral Palsy and a Head Start Program. Deborah is familiar with many of the programs offered by OCO and has been grateful for these programs that have assisted she and her family members. She understands the needs of the community and those hoping to attain financial security on their own and as a result, can bring this understanding and experience to the OCO Board of Directors. Deborah graduated from SUNY Oswego and is currently working online as an independent contractor in the field of Social Media Manager/Mommy blogger.
Olivia VanSanford has served on the OCO Board of Directors since 2009. Olivia currently manages a child outpatient mental health clinic, intensive case management and school based case management through Oswego Health. She was previously the Director of the Oswego County Child Advocacy Center and has wide experience in human services, which include managing a Probation Sex Offender Management Grant, Service Coordination for adults with disabilities, and managing adult group homes. Olivia believes her experiences have a provided her with a broad understanding of the needs of the community and that by being an OCO Board member she can give back some of what she has learned.
The 21-seat board of directors for OCO is made up of a combination of residents of the communities that the agency serves, appointed and/or elected officials from throughout Oswego County, and members who receive services from OCO.
OCO’s Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier explained that the board’s composition assures that the agency’s efforts are as effective as possible.
“The governing structure assures that the people served by OCO have a voice in shaping the agency’s future,” she said. “The consumer population brings insight and experiences that are unique to the people we serve. They know first-hand how services are provided and their input is invaluable in making improvements, adding programs, and so forth. The officials help OCO connect with all levels of government, build productive partnerships, and accurately assess community needs. Finally, our community representatives complete the picture by bringing talents from their professions, sharing experiences with other agencies and service organizations, and helping OCO establish relationships in schools and in neighborhoods.”
Voting takes place at the following OCO program locations, during normal program hours unless otherwise noted:
Senior Meal Site, St. Bernadette’s Church, County Route 49; March 20, 21, and 22.
Backstreet Books & Bistro, 201-203 Oneida St.
Fulton Health Center, Lee Medical Office Building, 522 S. Fourth St., Suite 500.
Fulton Senior Meal Site, Municipal Building, 141 S. First St.
Fulton WIC Site, 701 Hannibal St.; March 20, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
OCO Administrative Office, 239 Oneida St.
Senior Meal Site, Hannibal Library Community Room, 162 Oswego St.; March 19 and 21, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Senior Meal Site, Presbyterian Church, 4310 Church St.; March 22, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Oswego Health Center, 10 George St.
Oswego Senior Meal Site, Pontiac Terrace, West First Street; March 20 and 22.
OCO Crisis and Development Services Office, Midtown Plaza (lower level).
Oswego WIC, 10 George St.; March 19, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and March 22, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Senior Meal Site, Presbyterian Church, 814 Rider St.; March 19, 20 and 22, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Discovery Day Care, 80 County Route 59 (just off Route 481).
Phoenix Senior Meal Site, Congregational Church, 288 Bridge St.; March 19 and 20, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Senior Meal Site, United Methodist Church, Harwood Drive; March 19, 20, 21 and 22, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.