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 Greenway in both directions for improved access and trails from South Main Street. “We’ve had flooding since we originally designed the project,” said Nicosia. “The plans we had no longer work. And with the timeline, it’s just not feasible.”
ONEONTA – Mayor Gary Herzig has changed the special meeting to brief Common Council on fire-contract negotiations with the Town of Oneonta Fire District #1 to 3:30 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday). The meeting is open to the public.
By telephone, the mayor was able to poll seven of eight Council members last Thursday, after state Supreme Court Judge Michael V. Coccoma extended the city-town contract until Valentine’s Day, and directed both entities to continue negotiations. They agreed to Coccoma’s directive; this meeting is to formalize that agreement.
Before the extension, City Hall and Fire District #1 had until Thursday at midnight to agree to a contract, or there would be no coverage in the town from New Year’s Day on.
ONEONTA – In the midst of the turmoil at City Hall, City Clerk Douglas Kendall has submitted his formal resignation, effective Sept. 8.
Kendall, who has a Ph.D. in American and New England studies and a background in the museum field prior to becoming city clerk post two years ago, has accepted the position of coordinator – the equivalent of director – at Hartwick College’s Yager Museum.
In his remaining time at City Hall, “I’m hoping to help the transition in the office,” he said.
Kendall, who succeeded Jim Koury in the position, has served during a tumultuous period at City Hall.
ONEONTA – Acting Mayor Maureen Hennessy has called for a special meeting of Common Council for 9 a.m. Saturday in City Hall; the public is welcome to attend. No agenda was released, but the meeting could be to act on a severance counter-offer from suspended City Manager Martin Murphy.
A return call from Hennessy for particulars was being awaited at this hour.
Murphy was suspended by a 5-2 vote, with one abstention, at a special Common Council meeting last Friday, where a severance of 0ne-quarter his annual salary — $27,500 — was also approved. Council had asked him to agree to that severance by Tuesday’s regular Council meeting, but no word had been received.
Hennessy, the First Ward Council member, was named acting mayor in place of Russ Southard, the Sixth Ward Council member who has been filling that role, since he is out of the city on vacation this week.