Come Out and Vote on Tuesday, March 2
12:00 noon to 9 PM at 459 Main Street
Registered voters residing in the Oneida Public Library’s Special Legislature Library District can vote in the election for the one seat on the OPL Board of Trustees that will open up July 1 and vote on the board’s proposed operating budget for the library’s upcoming fiscal year, July 1, 2021–June 30, 2022.
The only announced candidate for the open board seat is Michael J. Kaiser, currently chair of the City of Oneida Civil Service Commission and member of the city’s Traffic Safety Advisory Board. The operating budget being proposed for the OPL’s FY 2021-2022 is $450,407.
The proposed budget reflects an increase of 1.56 percent over the current fiscal year’s operating budget, while the proposed tax levy of $398,407 shows a 1.77 percent increase over that of the current year’s levy.
TAX HELP & FORMS information:
We are hosting Senior Tax Help by appointment only this year, starting February 17th. The program is run through Judy Parker of Cornell Cooperative Extension. To schedule an appointment, please call 315-750-2638. This will take place in our new community room and seniors aged 60+ are welcome.
We are expecting tax forms to arrive throughout the month of February. Patrons are welcome to call for updates on our inventory. Additionally, we can print out forms found online free of charge.
Opus Black, the Central New York string ensemble with brio, returns to the OPL, featuring of Allyson Sklar on viola (pictured above), Julia Heller on cello and Liz Simchik on violin. They will reprise some of their best jazz and pop/rock arrangements and introduce some Hallowe’en selections to set the mood. The concert is free and open to all.
At Oneida Public Library on Wednesday, March 11, at 7:00 p.m., Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz will present a program on women’s political activism in the county during the years leading up to passage of women’s right to vote in New York State in 1917 and, in 1920, a right guaranteed nationally by the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Matthew Urtz, Madison County Historian
In particular, Urtz will highlight the female pro-suffragist forces in Oneida and among the descendants of the Oneida Community and contrast them with the ladies of Cazenovia who adamantly opposed women’s suffrage. Of course, either side had to persuade the men of the county, since only eligible males could vote for state and federal legislators and for or against the state referenda on women’s suffrage. In 1917, the male voters of Madison County by a slight majority joined the majority of voters in the state who passed the referendum to give women 21 years of age and older the right to vote in local and state elections.
Still, as Urtz will describe, the county’s anti-suffrage forces did not give up and lobbied their federal and state representatives to vote no on a women’s suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They lost. Congress passed the 19th Amendment in June 1919; in August 2020, after ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures, the right of women to vote became the law of the land.
Urtz, who was appointed county historian by the County Board of Supervisors in April 2010, has published articles on local history in many local and regional publications and regularly gives historical presentations around Madison County. He serves on the Cabinet of Freedom for the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro and on the Board of Directors of the Preservation Association of Central New York. Currently, he is first vice-president and Region 9 coordinator for the Association of Public Historians in New York State.
As county historian, Urtz has worked to make county government archives and local primary documents available to educators and the public through partnerships with the schools, archival exhibits and ambitious digitization projects, including a current project to digitize the Highway Department’s photographs from the 1940s on. For the renovation of the County Courthouse in Wampsville, he organized the restoration of the courthouse’s numerous portraits and led public tours at its re-opening. Around the county he has organized historical re-enactments at local cemeteries in a program dubbed “If Tombstones Could Talk” and, since 2018, he has led tours of the county’s historically significant restaurants, complete with “historic” dinners. In 2020, Urtz will expand his tours to sites and buildings in the county of historic significance.
Urtz’s lecture is another in a series of special programs in the OPL’s 2020 Centennial Celebration of the Women’s Suffrage Amendment. It is free and open to all. For more information, stop by the Oneida Library, 220 Broad St., or call 315-363-3050.