Plan to shift Ogdensburg manager duties moves to public hearing

Ogdensburg city council

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Ogdensburg city leaders are debating the way the city is governed.

Council members voted 4-2 Monday night to hold a public hearing on a law that would change the powers and duties of the city manager.

The vote was held about 9:15.

If passed, only the council would be able to appoint, suspend, or remove department heads.

Right now the city manager has that authority.

Mike Powers and Dan Skamperle voted against the resolution. Skamperle says it is dangerous and would change the city's form of government.

The hearing will be held on at 7 p.m. on August 24.

Council members voted unanimously to extend the city's sales tax agreement with St. Lawrence County for one year.

That agreement determines how the last 1 percent of sales tax is shared and was set to expire at the end of November.

The city and county are working on negotiating a new agreement.

A change in state law has given the county the upper hand.

Mayor Mike Skelly says he appreciates the opportunity.

“I’m glad to see this back,” he said. “It’s a very, very, very big issues for everyone for everyone in the county. These negotiations are going to affect 110,000 people. Every community relies on this sales tax for approximately 25 percent of their budget. We have the opportunity as a city to bargain for them and to make sure they can continue to receive revenue and possibly more revenue.”

Council members also voted in favor of a public hearing to change the residency requirement for the city's police chief.

If passed, officials could expand the search for a chief outside of the city.

The person selected would then have to move to Ogdensburg after being hired.

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