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Ogdensburg Council announces Pinkerton as next manager

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There were seven smiling faces in the City Council chambers Monday night as John M. Pinkerton was announced as the choice for city manager.

Though his name had been released to the media prior to the meeting, Mayor William D. Nelson acknowledged the selection for the first time after the council emerged from executive session.

“The primary candidate we are looking to hire is John Pinkerton,” he said. The announcement comes over seven months after the city manager position was vacated by Arthur J. Sciorra.

Dominic F. Mazza, a consultant from the Bonadio Group, the Syracuse firm hired to assist with the recruitment, said all that remains is for the city to pass a resolution hiring Mr. Pinkerton.

“I met with the candidate, and we negotiated an employment agreement,” Mr. Mazza said. “We are in agreement of terms. I am very excited; I believe we have an excellent candidate.”

Terms of the hiring agreement were not disclosed. Mr. Pinkerton did not attend the meeting and was unavailable for comment.

Mr. Nelson called for a special meeting of the city council on Sept. 17 to make the hiring official.

The council also passed changes to the city charter during the meeting which mandate that the manager serves at the pleasure of the council. Previously, city managers served an indefinite term per section C-18 of the charter, a stipulation reflected in Mr. Sciorra’s contract.

Former Councilman Douglas W. Loffler sounded a cautionary tone before the vote on the charter changes.

“I hope that the term of the contract does not end at the same year as a mayoral election so we don’t make a political football out of it,” he said.

The council and Mr. Pinkerton hammered out a compromise.

“The recommendation is for the term of city manager to terminate six months before new council members are voted in,” said Mr. Mazza.

Mr. Mazza was first contacted by Mr. Nelson in March, then hired by the council to lead the city manager search. After reviewing 41 applicants, the City Council interviewed five candidates for the position in August, but a majority supported Mr. Pinkerton, whose business experience and local roots fit the requirements of most members.

Mr. Pinkerton, an Ogdensburg native, has more than 31 years of experience in private enterprise. He works as a business adviser at CITEC, a business-development company based at Clarkson University, Potsdam.

He also is co-owner of Adirondack Professional Cleaners and has worked as a consultant and manager for Newell-Rubbermaid.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday to pass a resolution hiring Mr. Pinkerton.

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