What hiring freeze means to Ogdensburg

wwny What hiring freeze means to Ogdensburg

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Hiring is frozen in the city of Ogdensburg. It’s the first big act of a new council after November’s election upset. And a long-time councilman makes a surprise return.

You won't see any new Department of Public Works employees workers, police officers, or firefighters hired any time soon in Ogdensburg. The new mayor and his new majority have instituted a hiring freeze.

“Just to give us some time, get our feet wet, find things out, talk with the department heads, see what their staffing is...What we can afford and what we can't," said Mayor

Mike Skelly.

That was the new council's first big action at its first meeting Monday. Skelly and new Deputy Mayor John Rishe are standing by their pledge of a 25 percent tax cut.

“It's definitely happening," said Skelly. "Ogdensburg will get their 25 percent.”

The freeze applies to current job openings such as police officer and DPW worker. The city also will need a new fire chief. It was the first time other council members could remember a formal hiring freeze.

Monday was a big night for another reason at the Ogdensburg City Council. It marked the return of Councilman Dan Skamperle, who was critically injured in a hunting accident in November.

“A lot of surprised faces, I think, to see me walking in there. And a lot of the staff came and shook my hand. And it was nice. I got a great welcome,” said Skamperle.

Skamperle gets about now with the help of a walker. He should be walking on his own by April. As far as his council duties, he wants to use his 10 years of experience to help the newcomers.

“I think we have a common goal. Let's get taxes down. And let's try to make the city more business friendly and residential friendly,” he said.

Skamperle voted against the hiring freeze. He wants a new fire chief on board. But he voted with the new majority on several issues, including developing 5-year projections of taxes and water and sewer rates.

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