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Local News

July 3, 2014

Ex-mayor: City manager's role is a bit unclear

Former Oneonta Mayor David Brenner urged commissioners Wednesday night to review the City Charter’s job description for the city manager.

Dual titles of chief executive officer and chief administrative officer may be confusing, Brenner told the Charter Review Commission during a meeting in City Hall. A CEO provides vision, ideas and policy analysis, he said, and a chief administrative officer is someone who “is going out to get things done.”

To have both titles creates “a very large plate,” said Brenner, who suggested using one or the other.

The Charter Review Commission held a special session for public input at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. About five people attended the meeting in Common Council Chambers, and four spoke during the half-hour session.

Comments included suggestions about fine-tuning some definitions and adding specifications about duties or roles.

A city charter details how city government is organized and is to function. In 2011, after two years of work, the Charter Revision Commission proposed a document that, along with presenting definitions and regulatory references, created a full-time city manager.

The manager would oversee daily administration of city government, thereby freeing the Common Council and the mayor to focus on policy, commission members said previously.

The Oneonta City Charter was approved by voters in 2011 and took effect Jan. 1, 2012.

In April, Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said a review of the Oneonta City Charter and its implementation seemed timely with the departure of the first city manager in May and more than two years of governance under the revised Charter. The Charter Review Commission was created by Common Council on April 15.

Commissioners, serving on the original and review panels, wanted to hear comments from residents to add to feedback gathered recently from Common Council members, department heads, the mayor and the former city manager, and Wednesday’s meeting was scheduled. 

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