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Local News

March 28, 2014

Long to step down as city manager

Michael H. Long, Oneonta city manager for 18 months, will retire this spring or summer, Mayor Dick Miller said Thursday.

Miller issued a statement after inquiries by The Daily Star after a source at City Hall said that Long’s standing with the Common Council was in question and that his job was in jeopardy.

Several council members refused Thursday to comment on Long’s status with the council, saying the matter was a confidential personnel issue.

However, Long’s role and a possible re-organization have been under discussion, although no decisions had been made as of early Thursday, they said.

Miller said he and Long are reviewing retirement plans, including a continuing consulting relationship with the city related to planning and grant seeking. Miller said in the statement that he and Long would have no further comments until the Common Council on Tuesday night.

Miller said a search will start immediately for another city manager as there is no doubt about the position being part of city government.

Long is Oneonta’s first city manager. The position was created in a revision of the city charter approved by voters in 2011. The city manager was to take over day-to-day operations of running the city, which would allow the mayor and council members to focus on policy.

On Oct. 1, 2012, Long, then 56, started as city manager at a $115,000 salary. His performance was reviewed in December 2013, and the mayor said afterwards that his salary remained the same and that there were no changes in the conditions of his employment.

On Thursday morning, Madolyn Palmer, council member from the Fifth Ward, said the council had been discussing Long’s role and a possible re-organization, but no decisions had been made.

As chief executive officer and chief administrative officer of the city, the city manager is responsible for all city affairs, including daily operations, fiscal management, supervision of employees, appointment of department heads and coordination and delivery of services, among other duties.

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