© 2023 WSKG

601 Gates Road
Vestal, NY 13850

217 N Aurora St
Ithaca, NY 14850

FCC Public Files:
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ithaca Common Council sets salary range for city manager as it continues forming new position

Ithaca Common Council voted to set the salary range for the new city manager position Wednesday.
Vaughn Golden
Ithaca Common Council voted to set the salary range for the new city manager position Wednesday.

The city of Ithaca is on the precipice of a major change to its governmental structure and common council members are working to define the new city manager position set to come into effect next year.

Under the new structure, an unelected city manager would take over many of the responsibilities currently carried out by the mayor and chief of staff. Many cities, like Cortland and Elmira, have similar models where a manager oversees the various department heads and the day-to-day operation of city hall.

The council decided unanimously this week to set the salary range for the new manager at $160,000 to $185,000 per year.

Council members are still working out other specifics, like the procedures for removing the new city manager. Alderperson Jorge Defindini said he thinks a simple majority of the common council should be able to remove a manager.

“We are actually trying to encourage more democratic control over the administrative processes of the city by having a city manager that the council has jurisdiction and oversight over,” Alderperson Jorge Defindini said during Wednesday’s meeting.

The city is working with a consultant to fill the manager position and several other vacancies amongst city hall’s senior staff. Once a candidate is found, the council will have to approve their appointment.

The city will still have an elected mayor that will essentially function as the head of common council, including having a regular vote on the body.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.