Congratulations would appear to be in order to various people connected with the hiring Friday of Michael H. Long of Poughkeepsie as the first city manager in Oneonta history.
It is long overdue for a city the size of Oneonta to have its day-to-day operations overseen by a professional who answers to the Common Council and mayor rather than interest groups and voters.
The first mazel tovs go to Mayor Dick Miller, who has pushed for a city manager virtually since taking office in 2010, and Common Council member David Rissberger, who before his election chaired the Charter Review Commission that led to voters approving a new city charter last November that included approval of the city manager position.
Also deserving a slap on the back are Personnel Director Kathy Wolverton and the Common Council Human Resources Committee, chaired by Maureen Hennessy. Its other members are Rissberger, Madolyn Palmer and Russ Southard.
But mostly, congrats should go to Long.
Oneonta, he will find, is a much, much better place in which to live and work than Poughkeepsie.
Of course, the job will be what Long makes of it, but he would seem to have the credentials to get the job done.
He has been city administrator in Poughkeepsie since 2008. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in landscape architecture from the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse.
Proponents of the new charter — this newspaper among them — said a savvy manager would earn his pay several times over in applying for grants and achieving various efficiencies.
Long’s professed areas of specialization include: revenue stream management, cultural and historic preservation, capital projects management and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) development, energy projects, grantsmanship, downtown revitalization and economic development.
“Mike Long is a consummate professional,” Miller said in a statement Friday. “His areas of particular expertise match well with the specific needs of the Oneonta community today and as we look into the future. … He will not only conduct the affairs of his office based on his experience as a professional, but will apply skills in community and economic development and facility planning.”
Whether Long is worth his $115,000 salary is, of course, still to be determined. His hiring allows the Council and mayor to focus on other things without having to deal with the daily minutiae of running a city.
Meanwhile, he serves at “the pleasure of the Council.”
He begins his work no later than Oct. 1 with our good wishes and — yes — congratulations.