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Local News

March 20, 2013

Long details Oneonta finances

Oneonta is fiscally in better shape than most of the cities across the state, the city manager told the Common Council on Tuesday night.

But council members and the mayor should be aware of federal and state mandates — plus trends in sales tax revenues and other economic factors — as a longer-range plan is developed to provide city services and staffing, City Manager Michael Long.

Long presented his first State of the City address to the mayor and council during a meeting in council chambers at City Hall on Tuesday night. The 28-page document included graphs and charts with actual and estimated spending, plus reports from department heads.

View the full report here: (Note: This report is best viewed using Internet Explorer or Chrome.)

The city of Oneonta has about 130 employees, a staff that has declined through attrition by about 10 positions in the past three years. The city’s 2012 general fund was $14.8 million, though the financial books have yet to be closed, Long said.

In the address, Long said Mayor Dick Miller was correct in guiding the city toward a reconfiguration of revenues to balance operating budgets, with objectives toward preserving fund reserves.

Long was hired Oct. 1 as city manager at a salary of $115,000. The position was created by the revised Oneonta City Charter, which was approved by voters in November 2011 and took effect Jan. 1, 2012.

The charter outlines powers and duties of the city manager, who is responsible for day-to-day operations to allow the eight-member council and mayor to focus on policy. The charter also requires the city manager to “communicate a general statement of the affairs of the city, in relation to its finances, government and improvement, to the Common Council.’’

After the meeting, Miller praised Long’s report and said the level of details should convince any skeptic about where the city faces fiscal challenges.

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