Ogdensburg approves hiring freeze

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 5:45 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - A hiring freeze has been put into effect in Ogdensburg.

Mayor Mike Skelly wanted to put a halt to hiring in the Maple City.

It comes after a surprise move a couple of weeks ago by new City Manager Mohideen Buharie to add two city firefighters, telling councillors the move can help relations with the fire department, and the city will save money by reducing overtime.

“I saw that since we are on a contract with the firefighters until 2025, the best way of saving the money for the city,” said Buharie.

He says the two new hires for the Ogdensburg Fire Department are still secured, so they begin their position on Monday.

City Councillor John Rishe feels the hiring freeze is a way to stop spending given the city’s budget deficit for next year is more than $2 million. Beyond the cost, he isn’t sure Buharie had the authority to do what he did.

“The manager has the ability to hire and fire people and he gets that authority from council and the charter. But he doesn’t have the authority to create positions,” said Rishe.

Buharie adds this is a horrible time of year for a hiring freeze.

“We are going into the summer season, we have to keep up our pools running, we have to have our recreation activities going on. So having this is going to affect our hiring ability,” he said.

Skelly did not return our call for comment.