Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane sent out a general update e-mail this evening that y’all might find interesting, especially since some of the information has been discussed here several times.
Here’s the text of Thane’s e-mail:
This is to inform you that after several interviews, a candidate has been identified to take the City Engineer position. He will work full-time and relocate from Syracuse to Amsterdam. We are doing a background check, calling references, conducting drug/alcohol testing and processing his paperwork. I will call a committee meeting of the whole when I get back from vacation so that you may meet the gentleman in person before the appointment is blessed by resolution.
The Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Senecal has started work this week. He will be tackling vegetation/garbage complaints in order to familiarize himself with our operations, Amsterdam’s layout and to start to manage the overwhelming number of complaints we have received in this regard. I will remind you that this now brings the codes department back up to staffing levels that did not work in the past. Hopefully, you will consider the hiring of a part-time employee to address exterior complaints and Jeff may move to structural/health & safety concerns as well as building permitting.
It is my understanding that the Senior Accountant vacancy has also been filled. Heather may update you as to the particulars.
Bridge Street reconstruction will start on Tuesday, September 7th.
I am away from the 5th until the 12th. If you have an emergency, please do not hesitate to call me on my cell. I am available here at the office tomorrow.
Good thing the mayor informed the council about the hirings, because it avoided a meeting 4th Ward Alderman (and announced mayoral candidate) Bill Wills was trying to schedule. Here’s an e-mail he sent out on Wednesday:
“I am requesting a joint meeting of the Personel and DPW Committees to go over the list of applicants for City Engineer, establish interviews, and then appoint per the Charter a new City Engineer. We need to do this ASAP due to the projects currently underway and those coming. Also, you can see what happens when three people act in that capacity, some things don’t get done.”
The message was sent to the members of the council and to members of the local media who cover the city. However, the message was not sent to Thane. It also appears, based on a few other back and forths, that the meeting was to take place before Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, when the mayor is on vacation.
The mayor found out about Wills’ request, and sent the following to council members today:
I was surprised to receive the following correspondence regarding the business of the council from a third party. I do not understand why I would not have been part of this discourse as I serve as head of the Council and am acting CEO for the City. To not have been included in this conversation is disappointing at best and a disservice to our constituents.
Mr. Wills is again inaccurate in stating that things are not getting done. We were required to advertise, waited for replies, review resumes and hold interviews. After research and discussion, we are confident that the Council will find the chosen candidate to be a great addition to staff. I contacted several of you yesterday in person to tell you of our decision and was under the impression that you were comfortable with this course of action.
In the future, please have the courtesy to include me in all correspondence concerning city business. This is supposed to be a team effort. We must work together to achieve what is best for our community.
Quick take: It’s good to see that some movement is being made on some very important issues facing Amsterdam. As far as the Wills-Thane stuff goes, the Democratic primary for mayor is Sept. 13, 2011, so expect another one year and 11 days of this.