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Local News

October 2, 2013

Mayor: City manager Long is 'doing fine'

Officials say executive was wise addition

(Continued)

The city’s awards signal a benefit of having a city manager, Miller said, and though not all credit goes to the city manager, Long played a major role in the city’s success. The Catella Well No. 1 project wouldn’t have been funded if Long hadn’t been involved, the mayor said.

A year ago, Long was new to Oneonta’s budget process. On Tuesday night, the mayor announced that the council will continue working on the 2014 budget, which has a greater-than-projected deficit gap of $1.6 million.

The city manager, with help from the director of finance, is required to present a budget to be approved by the eight-member Common Council.

Oneonta faces budget hurdles, including the governor’s 2 percent cap on property taxes, though the city fiscally is ahead of many other municipalities across the state, said Long, who attributed the status to work by mayor and council on the city’s five-year plan.

In the past couple of years, the city has spent a lot on capital projects, such as reconstruction of Spruce Street, Long said, and whether that level of spending can be maintained is a question to be answered.

“We’re just starting to get into the budget process,” Long said Monday.

Long said challenges ahead, in addition to the annual budget, include working toward long-term financial stability and implementing projects funded by the grants awarded this year.

“We’re going to be very busy,” Long said. “We have a lot of really positive things going on.”

Miller said the addition of a city manager has been a big change for the city, a process that will continue into the months and years ahead.

Organization of city departments and their cooperation have been good results of having a city manager, said Common Council member David Rissberger of the Third Ward, and the matching of city needs and grant resources also was a benefit to Oneonta.

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