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Local News

October 2, 2013

Mayor: City manager Long is 'doing fine'

Officials say executive was wise addition

A parks master plan, grants to support infrastructure and development and an economic plan for downtown are among projects fostered by Oneonta’s first city manager.

Year No. 1 has just finished for Michael Long, 57, who joined the city Oct. 1, 2012, at a salary of $115,000.

The Common Council hired Long to fill a position created in the City Charter, which was approved by voters in November 2011 and took effect Jan. 1, 2012. Before the change, the mayor and council members, who serve on committees, were involved in the mechanics of city business.

Adding the executive position and hiring Long have benefited the city, according to the mayor and a Common Council member.

Long’s formal review by the council will be in December, Mayor Dick Miller said Monday.

But indications are that the city is on-track with an executive manager handling day-to-day operations, which allows elected representatives more time to spend on policy, Miller said. Long requested and has been given informal reviews in April and September, Miller said.

“He is doing fine,” Miller said. “We’re all working to make sure his contributions in the city are being maximized — we’re confident we’re on the right track.”

Long has brought skills developed in other municipalities plus a passion for planning that has benefited the city through the completed parks master plan and development of an economic plan for downtown.

In August, state officials announced that nine projects in Otsego County, mostly in the town and city of Oneonta, won $1.9 million in state funding.

The city projects included the Wilber Park bathhouse restoration at $241,000; the Catella Well No. 1 Pump House reconstruction and well expansion project at $242,000; the Latte Lounge expansion at $41,000; and a housing acquisition and rehabilitation project in the city, which will work with Housing Visions organization under a $400,000 grant. Also, $200,000 in funding was awarded to Otsego County Micro-Enterprise Grants, including three downtown Oneonta projects.

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