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Local News

February 7, 2013

Miller pushes unity, progress

Relocating police and fire departments, beautifying park entrances and assuring the cleanliness of downtown were among many issues pitched Wednesday night as priorities for Oneonta this year and beyond.

The review of tasks to do, plus a few wish-list items, included familiar topics, but the mayor and city manager emphasized a need for cooperation among Common Council members, city department heads and staff to see projects developed and completed.

About 30 people, including council members, department heads and residents gathered at the Sixth Ward Athletic Club to hear Mayor Dick Miller and City Manager Michael Long review city projects and needs.

Long reviewed projects, associating them with council committees and department heads. For example, revising the city’s multiyear plan to eliminate a structural deficient falls under the Finance Committee working with Finance Director Meg Hungerford he said.

The list ranged from financial matters and union contracts and to marketing of the airport and replacement of buses and fire department equipment. The emphasis was for progress this year, Long said, but some areas will involve multi-year phases.

“The key to making an organization like this work is the term ‘we,’’’ Long said.

Miller concurred.

City governance is like an orchestra, Miller said, though it wasn’t clear if he was the conductor or first violin to Long’s baton. Parts may be individual, Miller said, but the composition is performed as a whole.

“There’s percussion, there’s brass — there are strings,’’ Miller said. “Working together, they’re something wonderful to hear.’’

The city will seek to prepare projects for grant applications, Miller and Long said.

Miller said Wednesday’s meeting was the third such session held since he took office in 2010. Previous meetings led to formation of the Oneonta Fire Department Task Force and re-organization of the Department of Public Works, he said.

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