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Local News

December 26, 2012

Status quo big winner in elections

In the 2012 election season, from the presidential to local races, incumbents stood strong.

And while many players were the same, candidates and voters had to figure out newly configured districts in congressional and state races.

In the national elections, voters overall cast ballots for the status quo. Democrat Barack Obama was re-elected president, defeating Republican Mitt Romney; the Republicans maintained a majority in the House of Representatives; and the Democrats held on to the reins of the Senate.

Meanwhile, this year, the city of Oneonta made significant transitions initiated in the 2011 elections. Five of the eight Common Council members have almost completed their first year in office, and the council started implementing changes in government required by a city charter approved by voters last year, including realigning boundaries of the city’s eight wards and hiring a city manager.

Michael Long, previously the city administrator of Poughkeepsie, started as Oneonta’s city manager, earning $115,000 annually, on Oct. 1. This month, the council approved a lengthy list of priorities for 2013. He will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the city, including personnel and fiscal matters, which will allow the mayor and Common Council to focus more on policy.

Mayor Dick Miller recently said the council’s longstanding committee structure will remain in place, but the setup may be reviewed later.

A city redistricting commission reviewed 2010 census figures and worked through multiple map options before recommending one approved by the Common Council and the mayor. The wards have more-evenly distributed populations and meet city charter and other requirements, and commissioners worked to preserve neighborhoods.

The next Common Council of representatives from the revised wards will run for election in 2015 and start their four-year terms Jan. 1, 2016. Until the new term, current council members will represent constituents in existing wards.

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