OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Less than 3 months after sweeping into office, Ogdensburg’s mayor says it’s time for the city manager to go.
Mayor Mike Skelly says differences with city manager Sarah Purdy are at a point where they can no longer work together to move the city forward.
Skelly says differences over how to negotiate a new sales tax agreement with the county were the final straw.
He said a resolution to end Purdy's employment could come as soon as the council's next meeting.
“We worked together good for some time and then more recently, things have changed and I need to find someone that is going to support the path going forward for Ogdensburg that I envision,” said Skelly. “My ideas are different than what's been done in the past and some people just can't see that vision.”
When contacted Thursday, Purdy said she had no comment. Her contract runs through June 30 of next year. She is paid $118,000 per year.
Skelly’s plans are opposed by the Ogdensburg Police Supervisors Union.
President Corey Maxner issued the following statement:
The Ogdensburg Police Supervisors Union has received news that some of the city council plans to remove current city manager, Sarah Purdy, at this coming Monday’s closed door council meeting. Our membership adamantly opposes this decision for several reasons.
First, timing: as our nation is in a state of emergency we must come together as citizens and support one another and get through this trying time. We all need each-other and we need a stable leader for our city who knows how to handle these situations. This is not the time to make knee-jerk terminations based on differences of opinion. Furthermore; the same timing creates an inability for public attendance at this meeting. A time when public presence is prohibited is not the time to make major decisions that have an immeasurable impact on the citizens. This eliminates the ability for the public to be able to stand at a podium and look at each council member while voicing their opinion.
Second, merit: Sarah Purdy took over as city manager with a dwindled fund balance following years of stagnant tax rates to keep the citizens happy. She, as well as the council, made the necessary decision for our city to raise taxes to continue city services at that time. Since that time, Sarah has worked tirelessly for our city. She has made difficult decisions, cutting positions and amending services accordingly. Most recently, Ms. Purdy negotiated contracts with all city unions garnering concessions in healthcare that will save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. All that was presented by some were wage increases, but if you look at budget numbers you will see the good that she negotiated for the city.
Sarah has, and we believe always will, take the high road in the face of adversity. She is a great communicator who puts tremendous thought and effort into everything she does. She did not create the financial crisis our city faces, she has only tried to steer us through it. She will only do so, however, ethically and within state and federal boundaries. Some may not agree with this approach.
We understand our mayor and council have a difficult job, as Ms. Purdy does. We also believe each have the best intentions for our city. Ms. Purdy has the experience and knowledge of the process to reach this goal, coupled with the ideas of new and experienced council members alike.
Please contact a council member if you also disagree with this dangerous agenda. We need support and unity in our city to get through this time. We hope each of you remain healthy and safe during this difficult time.