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October 18, 2013

Council eyes proposals for airport, review of manager

By Denise Richardson
The Daily Star

---- — The Oneonta Common Council is reviewing proposals to establish an airport commission and for a procedure to conduct an annual review of the city manager.

Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller presented documents on the two subjects at a meeting in Common Council Chambers at City Hall on Tuesday night.

Michael Long began as city manager Oct. 1, 2012, and his formal review is set for later this year. The city manager position was created in the City Charter approved by voters in November 2011.

Miller’s memorandum referred to the council’s responsibility to conduct an annual review of the city manager, as outlined in the charter.

The review process will include a report by the mayor and prepared with Long on progress toward goals set by the council in December. Also, interviews with council members and department heads will generate reports to be considered with the progress report in an executive session at the council’s second meeting in December, Miller said.

Miller also listed 2014 goals for the city manager. Three of the nine goals include continued development of the plan, with accelerated implementation, to eliminate the city’s fiscal structural deficit; a process for more timely, 100-percent response to constituents and council inquiries; and demonstrated results from implementation of the Center City housing-related ordinance changes and grant programs.

On Thursday, Long said the guidelines proposals in the review process show that the council is looking for a constructive review process that will result in making Oneonta a better community.

Miller also reviewed a proposal Tuesday to form an airport commission “to establish a permanent method of overseeing the airport and exploiting its potential from an economic development perspective.”

Three volunteers — Len Carson, Dennis Finn and Ed May — have been working on identifying needs and implementing changes at the airport, and Miller said a required report has been filed with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Under the proposal, the commission would have three to five volunteer members appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council, and the panel would be subject to the authority of the council regarding budget, revenues, expenditures, personnel, contracting and other issues. The commission would assure compliance with federal, state and other regulations, Miller said.

Miller said he asked city attorney David Merzig to draft appropriate documents for review by council committees.