Ogdensburg council votes 4-3 for charter changes

Ogdensburg city charter debate

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - It was another tense meeting for the Ogdensburg city council Tuesday.

The council passed a controversial resolution to amend the city’s charter, transferring the hiring and firing of department heads from the city manager to the council.

It’s been one of several topics that have drawn heated debate and argument among city councillors.

The resolution was passed 4 to 3, a familiar vote as a firm line has been drawn on these contentious issues.

Councillors Dan Skamperle, Nichole Kennedy, and Mike Powers voted against the resolution.

Skamperle and Powers reiterated some of the same points they’ve made on the issue over the past few months.

“I don’t support it, won’t support it,” Skamperle said. “Obviously, last meeting I tried to call for a referendum, after citizens put up signatures and I just don’t think it’s right at all.”

The coalition of Mayor Mike Skelly and councillors John Rishe, Steven Fisher, and William Dillabough voted in favor of the resolution.

Rishe and Fisher argued that it essentially cleans up the law to match state guidelines.

Discussion of the vote did get heated.

Skelly told Powers his opinion was wrong and later kicked a member of the public out of the meeting.

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