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April 8, 2014

Council to discuss search for manager

By Denise Richardson Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — The Oneonta Common Council next week will discuss the search for a second city manager, a review of the City Charter adopted by voters in 2011 and a department re-organization.

The meeting in City Hall, 258 Main St., will start at 6 p.m. Tuesday, an hour earlier than usual, Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said during a meeting of the council’s Human Resources Committee on Monday.

Michael H. Long, the city manager since Oct. 1, 2012, will retire at the end of May.

During the meeting at City Hall on Monday, the committee informally favored establishing a six-person search committee. Before next week’s meeting, however, city officials will review materials circulated during the previous search and check options for hiring a consultant and tapping into professional networks.

The proposed six-person panel would include two council members, two “outside” members, the personnel director and himself, Miller said.

Miller said he would ask the council about a process to review the charter adopted in 2011. The charter established the position of city manager, among other provisions, and Miller said a review seems timely with the turnover in the city manager’s office and two years of government under the new document.

The committee also discussed transition plans for periods before Long’s retirement, after his retirement and until another city manager is hired and beyond.

Meg Hungerford, city director of finance and acting city manager, will assume Long’s responsibilities May 30. She recommended Monday that the city follow a departmental reorganization plan that streamlines the structure from 16 department heads to several functional areas in order to open lines of communication.

The proposed organizational chart, presented in March by Long, also will be reviewed at Tuesday’s meeting.

The mayor on Monday also reviewed a list of priorities, projects and responsibilities this year in anticipation of Long’s departure and the transition.