ONEONTA _ A second alderman will offer a month's salary to city employees who come up with ways to reduce energy usage.

Sixth Ward Alderman Veronica Diver joined Third Ward Alderman Erik Miller, who at the Feb. 19 Common Council meeting pledged one month of his $7,000 a year salary to start an incentive program.

Miller said he was eager to act on the goal set at a Jan. 15 Common Council meeting _ a 5 percent reduction in non-renewable energy used by city government in a one-year period.

After the setting of that goal, Mayor John Nader sent out a memorandum seeking suggestions on how to achieve cost and energy savings.

Building on that, Miller pledged to give $100 each to five city workers for their energy-saving suggestions.

Since his announcement, he was joined by Diver who is offering $500 to the worker or department that comes up with the best energy saving initiative of 2008.

A memo dated Feb. 25 and sent to all city employees, boards and commissions outlines the plan.

"I thought it was a great idea," Diver said Sunday night. "Hopefully, monetary perks will get everybody's thinking caps going."

Diver said she won't miss the $500.

"I didn't even know I was getting paid for this job," she said. "I'm all for giving back to the people."

Diver said she doesn't think it will be hard for the city workforce to come up with ideas.

"Sometimes it just comes down to common sense," Diver said.

One of five freshman alderman, Diver said she would like to the see the city do more to recognize its work force. This is a good step toward that goal, she said.

The winning employees for the $100 award will be announced at Common Council meetings in April, June, August, October and December.

The $500 for best implemented idea of 2008 will be awarded in January 2009.

City employees are asked to send all ideas to City Clerk James Koury via e-mail at jkoury@oneonta.ny.us.

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