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Sun., Nov. 23
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Ogdensburg will wait for manager candidates’ qualification check

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OGDENSBURG — The review of city manager candidates’ qualifications may take longer than council members once expected.

Though the council has interviewed a short list of preferred candidates and selected a presumptive hire, members currently await City Clerk Kathleen A. Bouchard to complete a review of the applicants’ qualifications.

Ms. Bouchard said she doesn’t know how long the review might take.

“It all depends on our consultant,” she said. “I am receiving information from him. This process may be a few weeks to a few months.”

In May, Ogdensburg contracted with the Bonadio Group to conduct its city manager search for a sum not to exceed $15,000. Since that time, Dominic F. Mazza has acted as a consultant for the council.

Council members are waiting for Ms. Bouchard’s review because some fear their not-yet-named preferred candidate, chosen by a 4 to 3 vote, might not meet the charter’s stipulations.

“The way we advertised it, he meets the qualification,” said Deputy Mayor Michael D. Morley. “I don’t see any reason Kathy wouldn’t find the guy qualified. I thought she’d be done by now.”

The charter requires city manager candidates have at least one year of training in public administration and finance and three years of experience in an executive position in government, or “any equivalent training or combination of experience and training sufficient to indicate capacity for effective governmental administration.”

In the meantime, the council continues work to amend the charter to change the city manager’s term. Currently, the charter requires city managers serve an indefinite term.

“Whoever we hire, of course, we have to negotiate a contract with them along with charter changes,” said Councilman Daniel E. Skamperle. “It will probably be a multi-week ordeal.”

Councilwoman Jennifer Stevenson hopes the council will set a time line to reveal its candidates at a Monday night meeting.

“I imagine that Monday night we’ll go into executive session and we will be discussing the candidates, and then at that time I hope I’ll find out what the time line is with exposing information,” she said. “Of course, all of us want this handed over as quickly as possible, but we’re being cautious and prudent with our decision-making process.”

Currently, City Comptroller Philip A. Cosmo is filling in as interim city manager. In January, Ogdensburg terminated the contract of City Manager Arthur J. Sciorra without cause.

The council meets at 7 p.m. Monday in city hall.

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