Advertisement. Advertise with us

Charter Committee Recommends:

 Let Mayor Vote On City Manager

Joining the Charter Review Commission was new City Council Member John Rafter, Seventh Ward. Behind him is Council Member Russ Southard, Sixth Ward. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Joining Mayor Herzig’s ad hoc Charter Review Committee is new Common Council member John Rafter, Seventh Ward. Behind him is Council member Russ Southard, Sixth Ward. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • for www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Though a mayor’s vote is normally limited to breaking ties, the ad hoc Charter Review Committee is recommending that a mayor be part of the search for the city manager, and be allowed a vote along with Common Council to make the appointment.

“Both have to be heavily involved,” said Council member Russ Southard, Sixth Ward.  “Otherwise, you don’t have a buy-in.  Mayor Dick Miller was heavily involved in the search for the first two city managers.”

The continued clarification of the mayor and city manager’s roles were discussed in length at the charter review meeting this evening.  Former Council member Maureen Hennessy had resigned from committee, and Mayor Gary Herzig appointed new Council member John Rafter to take her place.

Among the recommendations was the removal of the public hearing in the case of the city manager’s suspension or removal. “The city manager is a managerial-confidential employee, so he’s not entitled to a public hearing the way some other positions are,” said committee chair John Nader.  “A public hearing serves neither the Common Council or the manager.”

However, Nader said, the Council and mayor could elect to put provisions for a hearing into the manager’s contract.  “Council shouldn’t limit their own powers under the law,” he said.

Kay Stuligross and Steven Londner, members of the original Charter Revision Commission that created the current charter, were in attendance, but neither could recall why the public hearing was included in the original charter.  “What you’re saying about removing it makes a lot of sense,” said Stuligross.

“I think it was a recommendation from the consultation,” said Londner.

But many of the committee members hoped it would never need to be used. “It could be a very different charter if we continue to dismiss city managers,” said Rafter.

“There won’t need to be a different charter,” said Council Member Melissa Nicosia, Second Ward.  “Because this one is going to work.”

The “chain of succession” was also clarified so that, should the mayor and acting mayor – written in the charter as “designated Common Council member” – both be unable to perform their duties in an emergency or disaster scenario, the remaining Council members may appoint a person to fill the vacancy.

The next meeting will be held 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20 in the Mayor’s Conference Room, City Hall.

“They’ve put a lot of consideration and thought into this,” said Stuligross.  “They’re all invested in the process of producing a document that will work for the city for many years.”

Posted

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Greenway Project Suspended, But Trails Still Open

Greenway Project Suspended, But Existing Trails Still Open By LIBBY CUDMORE • for AllOTSEGO.COM ONEONTA – For now, at least, plans to expand the Susquehanna Greenway are dead. “The city would have to come up with $40,000 just to do a redesign,” said Council member Melissa Nicosia, Second Ward, who brought the resolution to suspend the project from the Community Development Committee.  “We would have to start the work by September and finish in January.  It’s just not in the best interest of the city.” The resolution, which passed unanimously at tonight’s Common Council meeting, suspended the proposed plan to expand the…

JOHN NADER NAMED COLLEGE PRESIDENT

JOHN NADER NAMED COLLEGE PRESIDENT He’ll Lead Farmingdale State As It Becomes 4-Year Campus ONEONTA – John S. Nader, former Oneonta mayor and SUNY Delhi provost, today was appointed the ninth president of Farmingdale State College on Long Island by the SUNY Board of Trustees. Nader will succeed W. Hubert Keen, who has served as president of Farmingdale for the last nine years, effective July 15, 2016. SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall said, “As provost at SUNY Delhi and a former mayor, the Board has every confidence that Dr. Nader can step seamlessly into the leadership role at Farmingdale…

Sixth Ward Will Fight River Street Housing Project

THE TARGET: RSS PROPOSAL 50 Neighbors Uniting To Fight Housing Project By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com ONEONTA – Christened “Sixth Ward Neighbors United,” River Street residents and businesspeople met for more than two hours with  city, county and state elected officials at the Sixth Ward Athletic Club Thursday evening  to discuss strategies to oppose RSS’s housing development in their neighborhood. “There are multiple bad reasons for RSS’s project,” said Fran Colone, a vocal critic of the housing development proposal since last October. “So, we’re turning up the heat and upping our activities.” “It is bad for Oneonta’s economy,…