AUBURN — City Manager Doug Selby was warmly welcomed by the city council after the unanimous approval of his contract — again.
A requirement of his contract based on a 20-year-old opinion of the state Attorney General stipulated that the hiring agreement be re-ratified after November’s local elections, in which a majority of the council seats were up for grabs.
The councilors, including Peter Ruzicka and John Camardo present for their first regular council meeting Thursday night, gave high marks to Selby’s job performance during his first three months at the city’s helm.
“We welcome you and your family to the community, and hopefully we have a good working relationship and can move Auburn forward in a positive direction,” Camardo said before casting his vote to approve the contract.
“I’d like to welcome you a second time to Auburn,” Councilor Matthew Smith said. “We’re glad to have you and I look forward to working with you. I know we have a lot on our plate, but I know you’re up to the task.”
Ruzicka said that although he hasn’t worked with the manager much in the past few weeks, he values his opinions and is sure they “can establish a good working relationship.”
Shortly after Selby signed the contract in August, several of the councilors questioned the need for the clause in the contract requiring it to be re-approved.
According to Corporation Counsel John Rossi, the language was put into the document after the discovery of the Attorney General’s legal opinion, which stated that a current council could not enter into an agreement that could “bind a future council.”
After the unanimous vote, Selby, who is still in the process of moving into a home purchased in the city, thanked the councilors.
“Thank you for your vote of confidence, I look forward to working with everyone,” he said to a round of applause from the gallery.
Selby’s first three months have been dotted with trials and tough decisions, from the firing of the city comptroller to a vehicle accident in which the manager was struck by a pickup truck while crossing the street in front of City Hall.
Councilor Smith and Mayor Michael Quill poked fun at the latter incident, recommending that Selby look both ways in the future.
“Councilor Smith, just so you know I did give him a fluorescent vest to keep him safe,” Quill said. “Maybe (Police Chief Gary Giannotta) could work out a little hard hat with flashing lights or something, too.”
In other news:
* The council approved Cayuga County’s proposed property tax rate, which includes a 3.5 percent increase in the city’s share of the levy and a slight decrease in city residents’ responsibility to Cayuga Community College.
Several councilors questioned the formulas used to determine how each municipality’s shares are determined.
Staff writer Nathan Baker can be reached at 282-2238 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at CitizenBaker.