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Ogdensburg hires new city manager

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Ogdensburg has a new city manager.

City council members unanimously appointed John M. Pinkerton as city manager at a special meeting Monday.

Mr. Pinkerton will start his new role on Oct. 15 under a three-year contract. He was chosen unanimously out of 41 applicants after a seven-month search.

“Everyone is ecstatic,” Mayor William D. Nelson said Monday.

Mr. Pinkerton, an Ogdensburg native, has 31 years of experience in private enterprise, and currently works as a business advisor at CITEC, a business-development company based at Clarkson University, Potsdam. He is also co-owner of Adirondack Professional Cleaners and has worked as a consultant and manager for Newell-Rubbermaid.

Mr. Pinkerton said he counts his past and current business experience as one of his greatest assets for city manager.

“I am very confident in the skills of the city’s departments,” said Mr. Pinkerton. “I have a background working with teams. I am confident we’ll all work very well together. Management is all about working with people—it doesn’t matter if it’s public administration or private enterprise—it’s about helping people develop their skills so that they can work together within the community. It’s the people who get things done.”

During the hiring process, the council was impressed with Mr. Pinkerton’s knowledge of the city’s issues, Mr. Nelson said.

“He’s got great business experience, he’s a lifelong resident, he’s coached little league, been a member of various civic organizations, and knows the ins and outs of the city of Ogdensburg,” said Mr. Nelson. “He will represent us well. He is well-respected and will hit the ground running. He knows what the issues are and has very practical solutions. He will help us tremendously with waterfront revitalization and economic development.”

Mr. Pinkerton said his first goal as manager will be to establish a vision for the city.

“Once we develop a vision, we’ll work with each of the city’s departments on how to achieve our goals,” Mr. Pinkerton said. “We’ll also perform a gap analysis to see what areas we can improve.”

Mr. Pinkerton said he is looking forward to helping the city commercialize and develop its waterfront.

“I am quite impressed with the city’s planning department and their plans to develop the waterfront,” Mr. Pinkerton said. “We have to find a way to promote commercial enterprise. We’re across from one of the affluent parts of the world. I think we need to tap into that and be more progressive. But that’s not something that is short-term.”

Mr. Pinkerton will earn $84,000 a year as the city’s manager. Mr. Pinkerton declined the use of the city’s vehicle.

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