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hungerford

Editorial: Properly Implement City Charter

EDITORIAL

After 3 Years, It’s Time To

Properly Implement City Charter

Incoming Council member Melissa Nicosia’s fresh perspective cut through the accretions: Qualifications contained in the Oneonta City Charter matter. With her is fellow charter review member David W. Brenner.
Incoming Council member Melissa Nicosia’s fresh perspective cut through the accretions: Qualifications contained in the Oneonta City Charter matter. With her is fellow charter review member David W. Brenner.

Read the city charter: Meg Hungerford does not have the qualifications to be Oneonta city manager.

Efforts to put her in that position regardless damaged the last year of the Miller Administration, and continuing efforts to do so are preventing the implementation of a sensible city charter approved by 75 percent of the voters.

It’s past time for Mayor Gary Herzig to close the door on the Hungerford option and move on.

Instead, by forming an ad hoc committee to review the charter, and asking that the review be done before the end of the year so the current Common Council can fast-track any changes, the new

mayor risks poisoning his administration with many city voters before it’s even begun.

By all accounts, Hungerford is an excellent financial officer. But she lacks the training, experience and qualifications specified in the charter for the $120,000 position:
• One, she lives in East Meredith, 10 miles from Oneonta (and in another county, Delaware, not Otsego.)
• Two, she lacks the master’s degree in public administration or a related field. (Does the home to Hartwick and SUNY Oneonta really believe that doesn’t matter?)
• Three, she lacks the relevant professional experience.

There’s nothing the matter with not meeting the qualifications for Oneonta city manager. Many people don’t. Many brainy, happy and successful people don’t meet the qualifications for brain surgeon, or construction engineer, or ship captain; but they don’t seek do brain surgery, build skyscrapers or pilot a Viking cruise ship.

Spending Goes Up 6 Percent In City’s Preliminary Budget

Spending Goes Up 6 Percent

In City’s Preliminary Budget

Meg Hungerford
Meg Hungerford

ONEONTA – A preliminary 2016 City of Oneonta budget, unveiled this evening, calls for a 6 percent spending increase and an increase of $34,000 in property tax revenues.

Acting City Manager Meg Hungerford outlined the spending package at a special Common Council meeting.

Higher spending is driven by “wage increases based on department requests, contractual obligations, equipment purchases and health insurance increases,” said Hungerford. “Taxes would be increased within the tax cap requirements which allows the levy to increase .73 percent”

The city’s budget process calls for the city manager to review department requests from mid-October to mid-November.

The Common Council gets the budget proposal on Nov. 17 and usually votes on a final budget during the first meeting in December.

– DON MATHISEN for AllOTSEGO.com

SHARING FINANCE DIRECTOR WITH NORWICH WAS AIRED

SHARING FINANCE DIRECTOR

WITH NORWICH WAS AIRED

$15,000-20,000 Extra Pay Discussed, Former City Manager Says
Norwich City Hall, left, and Oneonta's had discussed sharing the services of the latter's finance director.
Norwich City Hall, left, and Oneonta’s had discussed sharing the services of the latter’s finance director.

By JIM KEVLIN • for allotsego.com

ONEONTA – While Dick Miller was mayor, discussions were initiated with the City of Norwich about the possibility of sharing the services of Oneonta Finance Director Meg Hungerford, three days here, two days in the Chenango County seat, according to former city manager Martin Murphy.

Murphy said today, recapping a conversation in July, that he was surprised to learn of the idea – after Mayor Miller’s passing and he was three months into the job – at a meeting in January with Norwich Mayor Joseph Maiurano.

“I was very surprised to learn the discussions had gotten to that point without me being aware of what was going on,” he said.  “It all came as a surprise to me.”

The idea was that the finance director would receive an additional stipend of $15,000-20,000, Murphy recalled.  “We never really got to that point,” he added.

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