Ogdensburg alters buyout deal with city manager, shortens health insurance agreement
BY JIMMY LAWTON
North Country This Week
OGDENSBURG — Ogdensburg City Manager Stephen Jellie will leave his post Nov. 4 after the city agreed to alter an earlier agreement in which Jellie was set to leave Nov. 30.
The news followed a brief executive session.The original buyout included $50,000 and health insurance for Jellie until the end of 2023. The new agreement extends the insurance only until the end of 2022.
It also dropped the requirement to include Jellie’s photo on the wall of the fire hall.
Jellie had announced plans to resign his position in July, but later changed his mind at the request of four members of city council. He eventually agreed to stay through the end of 2022, but now it looks like he’ll depart about a month earlier.
At the past few meetings several residents have questioned when and if Jellie planned to resign, though the topic did not come up Monday.
Jellie has been a controversial figure since he was hired in 2019 without the traditional search and lengthy interview process typically involved in such hiring.
He’s received great praise from Ogdensburg Mayor Jeffrey Skelly as well as Deputy Mayor Steve Fisher.
He also received significant criticism from Councilors Michael Powers, Dan Skamperle and Nichole Kennedy, as well as members of the community.
During his time as city manager Ogdensburg has seen drastic reductions in its police and fire department.
The city has also outsourced comptroller services and is entangled in lawsuits with the fire union and St. Lawrence County.
The city has also begun collecting its own sales tax and requested the county take over a variety of services.
Property taxes have dropped significantly in the wake of staff reductions during his time as manager, but Jellie says that the cuts will do little for the long-term health of the city.
The City Manager’s departure doesn’t leave much time for the city to find a replacement, but Jellie said the city has received several applications.