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Local News

May 6, 2014

City to hire manager-search consultant

The Oneonta Common Council is poised to hire a consultant to help search for a second city manager.

Dominic “Nick” Mazza of Pittsford was interviewed Monday by the council’s Human Resources Committee.

Mazza will bill at $175 an hour, with an estimated 60 to 70 hours of service, up to $12,250, according to his proposal, which called for the city to pay his mileage, meals and hotel expenses and other costs of the search, such as advertising and hosting of final candidates.

The council, which will meet at City Hall, 258 Main St., at 7 tonight, will consider motions to hire Mazza, to approve personnel actions and further municipal improvement projects.

Also, a 6:30 p.m. reception is scheduled to present the city’s Trailblazer award to Jennifer Stanton, an Oneonta High School senior. The city’s Commission on Community Relations and Human Rights selected Stanton for the award, which is presented annually to a woman who has made outstanding contributions to the community.

Mazza, a principal and municipal consultant with The Bonadio Group, has experience in managing local governments in the state, including 25 years as chief budget officer for Livingston County, the city of Cortland and Cayuga County.

In response to committee questions, Mazza said he has conducted searches for city managers in municipalities similar to Oneonta, including Ogdensburg, Canandaigua and Cortland.

Oneonta initiated a search after Michael H. Long, city manager since Oct. 1, 2012, announced his retirement in late March. Long is Oneonta’s first city manager, a position created when voters approved a revised City Charter in 2011.

This spring, Long’s standing with the council was in doubt, and he and the city reached a separation agreement April 1. Long’s last day as city manager will be May 29.

In the previous search, applicants were sought nationally, and the city paid about $22,324 to The Mercer Group in Atlanta for consulting services, an amount that included a $15,000, plus expenses, which were capped at $8,000. The firm provided a two-year guarantee that if the city manager left for any reason, it would conduct another search at a cost of the capped $8,000 expenses only, city officials said.

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