OSWEGO — Port City councilors convened Monday for the first time in 2021 after a two-week hiatus, and unanimously re-elected Council President Rob Corradino and Council Vice President Kevin Hill to lead the Oswego Common Council in the coming year.
The Oswego Common Council is nearly identical to the body seated last January following the 2019 election campaign, with the exception of Councilor Timothy Plunkett, R-6th Ward, who was appointed to fill a vacated seat in May 2020 and won a special election in November to finish the term. Corradino, R-7th Ward, and Hill, R-3rd Ward, have led the council each year since 2018, overseeing a number of legislative and infrastructure initiatives.
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow congratulated Corradino and Hill on their unanimous re-election, and said he looks forward to continuing their work together.
“Councilors Corradino and Hill have been great leaders of the council the last few years and both spend quite a bit of time and energy bringing other councilors up to speed on upcoming issues and acting as a sounding board for me to bounce ideas off,” Barlow said “The last few years the administration and council have really acted as one cohesive unit, working together and operating on the same page most of the time, and I think that’s been a large contributor to the progress we’ve made recently.”
Both Corradino and Hill called their re-election to the leadership roles an honor, and said they’re looking forward to building on recent successes and continuing the city’s forward momentum in 2021.
“I’m honored and grateful that my fellow councilors elected me to a fourth term,” Corradino said. "I’ve worked very hard to not only do the job as council president but to share the information as best I can with them so we can all help the mayor run the city... I certainly feel honored that they’ve trusted me with the job.”
Per the city charter, the council president presides over council meetings in the absence of the mayor, serves on each of the council’s standing committees, oversees the council’s budget discussions and becomes acting mayor upon the death, resignation or incapacity of the mayor, or at the mayor’s request upon his absence from the city. The council vice president assumes the duties of the council president if the position becomes vacant.
First elected in 2017, Hill said his priorities in the coming year would be a continued focus on constituent services and quality of life issues. Hill also vowed to maintain his commitment to responsibly managing taxpayer funds while investing in the city’s vital equipment and infrastructure.
“We made a tremendous amount of progress during my few years on the council and I have no intentions of slowing the momentum,” Hill said. “I’m proud to have the continued support of my colleagues on the council and look forward to working closely with them as I represent the residents of the Third Ward and the entire city.”
In recent years the council and Barlow have largely been united, with disagreements few and far between and rarely combative. Corradino said Barlow’s leadership over the past five years has been “instrumental in fostering a better relationship between the mayor and council,” adding as council president he’s done his best to keep lines of communication open between councilors and between the mayor’s office and council.
Corradino, who was first elected to the council in 2015, said Barlow’s leadership and communication are key to the city’s success in recent years, but also credited councilors for their hard work. The longtime council president said each councilor thoroughly reviews the information provided by the mayor’s office and department heads prior to meetings, and does the necessary research or asks the required questions before making decisions.
“We all seem to be on the same page and get things done in a more efficient manner because of the council working so hard behind the scenes,” Corradino said. Corradino said there were a number of construction and infrastructure projects to look forward to in the coming year, and also noted the council would “continue the course the mayor has set to be fiscally responsible to residents and constituents and run the city as efficiently as possible.”