OSWEGO — Port City councilors held a special meeting Monday to conduct the first administrative business of 2020, re-electing councilors Robert Corradino and Kevin Hill to their leadership posts.
The 2020 Oswego Common Council is full of familiar faces, with five incumbent councilors re-elected in November and longtime Council Shawn Walker, R-2nd Ward, returning after a two-year hiatus required by term limits. Councilor Shawn Burridge, R-2nd Ward, is the sole newcomer to city government.
The council president the past two years, Corradino, R-7th Ward, and Hill, R-3rd Ward, the council’s vice president over the same time period, were both unanimously re-elected to serve in those roles by their peers on the common council.
“It is an honor to, number one, be on the council, number two, to be elected president and number three to have it be unanimous,” Corradino said following the vote. “It’s a humbling experience for sure. The council has done a lot of great work in the four years I’ve been here working with the mayor, and I think all that hard work is reflected in today’s vote.”
Hill said following Monday’s vote that he “appreciates the support of (his) fellow councilors,” and looks forward to immediately starting to work for both third ward residents and the entire city.
Mayor Billy Barlow, who was also re-elected in November, called Corradino and Hill “excellent partners in government” over the past two years.
“It’s important to me to have partners in those positions who are committed to our shared vision and goals for the next two and four years,” the mayor said. “They are both dedicated individuals who serve their wards well, attend events and understand the true duties of council leadership.”
In addition to becoming acting mayor due to a mayoral resignation, death or incapacity, the council president is tasked with presiding over meetings in the absence of the mayor and serving as an ex-officio member of standing committees and chair of the budget committee. The council president receives an additional $5,000 in compensation.
Council vice president assumes the duties of council president if the position were to become vacant, and receives additional compensation of $2,500 per year.
Asked about what to expect in the coming year, Corradino said the experience on the council would be a major asset in 2020, citing the prior experience of six of the seven councilors. Corradino said Mayor Barlow has “set the tone” over the last four years, and the current council — largely due to experience — is up to the task of making the city a better place to live and work.
“With (Walker) coming back, we have six people that are experienced, so I look for this council to use their experience to move forward on many fronts to help run the city with the mayor,” Corradino said. “Certainly we want to continue the momentum of taking care of our neighborhoods, keeping an eye on our expenditures and looking for opportunities to increase our revenues.”
First and foremost, Hill said the council should remain focused on code enforcement efforts throughout the city “to ensure residents have the quality of life they deserve.”
“Other than that just continuing to invest tax dollars wisely, investing in infrastructure and ensuring that we’re responsible with taxpayer money while continuing with the same level of attention to detail as we have over the past few years,” Hill said.
As part of the council’s organizational meeting Monday, rules of the common council were adopted to dictate the manner in which councilors will conduct city business, Monday was reestablished as the regular meeting night for the council, city office hours were approved and The Palladium-Times was designated the city’s official newspaper.
Councilors also established committee assignments, with Corradino serving as chairman of the city Administrative Services Committee and Budget Commission. Hill will serve as chairman of the Physical Services Committee, Councilor Ronald Tesoriero Jr., R-6th Ward, as the chairman of the Planning and Development Committee and Councilor John Gosek Jr., R-5th Ward, as chairman of the Human Services Committee.
The full Oswego Common Council is scheduled to meet Monday at 7:15 p.m.