OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Common Council got reorganized Thursday evening.
Councilors voted to reappoint Ronald Kaplewicz (Seventh Ward) as the presiding officer of the council for 2014.
He was approved 6-1. Councilor Shawn Walker (Fourth Ward) noted no.
The councilors also approved appointed Eric VanBuren (Sixth Ward) as the council’s vice president.
That vote was also 6-1 with Walker casting the nay vote.
He didn’t vote against the person, just the raises each position carries, he explained.
“It’s not personal,” he told Oswego County Today. “I’m sticking to my guns. I haven’t been for the raises ever. I voted no because of the raises.”
The rules of the council state that an additional compensation of $5,000 per year for the council president and $2,500 for the vice president be paid to those two councilors.
As council president, Kaplewicz will assume the mayor’s duties in his absence; and, if he becomes incapacitated for any reason, he would take over as the acting mayor.
The council president can be reached at 216-4045 or [email protected]
Walker was council vice president in 2011, 2010 and 2009.
Kaplewicz said there is a lot of work to do on the 2015 budget and the council will get started soon.
“We have to seriously look at every department again. We have to find a better way of doing business as a city,” he said.
Incoming councilor Bill Barlow (Fifth Ward) said he wasn’t nervous at all about his first meeting.
“I was excited to actually get going,” he said. “I learned a lot from attending the meetings last year. It was interesting sitting in on the meetings and getting up to speed that way.”
His focus will be on making the downtown area “more vibrant,” he added.
Prior to the meeting, the councilors were sworn in for their new term.
The rest of the council includes: Fran Enwright (First Ward), Mike Myers (Second Ward) and Mike Todd (Third Ward).
Also, the councilors approved the Rules of the Common Council and voted to continue having council meetings at 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Unless it’s a legal holiday and would then be held the following day.
Fifteen minutes prior to each council meeting will be an opportunity for the public to speak.
Three banks were designated as the depositories for public money – JP Morgan Chase and Community Bank, both in Oswego, and M&T Bank (EFC Funding) in Buffalo.
City Chamberlain Deborah Coad was appointed the chief fiscal officer for the city.
The council also adopted regular office hours.
Office hours for the mayor shall be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The following offices shall be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday: Assessor, City Chamberlain, City Clerk and Municipal Records, Community Development, City Engineer, Mayor’s Office, Personnel Department, Plumbing Inspector, Purchasing Office, Water Billing Office (in Chamberlain’s Office), Zoning and Planning Office.
The following offices shall be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Fire Chief’s Office, Police Chief’s Office and the Traffic Office/Police Department.
The following office(s) shall be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Public Works Department (includes Parks, Recreation and Waterfront).
The following offices shall be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Wastewater Treatment Plant, west office; Water Treatment Plant office.
The Animal Control Office shall be open from 7 to 11 a.m. for staff only. It will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The council also approved a tax anticipation note for the new year.