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Posted on: September 7, 2021

Press Release From City Manager Stephen P. Jellie Regarding Lawsuit Against City and Mayor Skelly

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The City of Ogdensburg has retained the law firm Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP to represent the City and the Mayor in the matter brought against it by a small group of local government disruptors (Cynthia Layng, Douglas Loffler, Brian Mitchell and Angela McRoberts).   The City will defend itself and the Mayor vigorously against these charges and remains confident that all its actions taken since January 2020 are in the best interest of the entire city, it’s taxpayers and residents and more important they uphold the law.  

Regrettably, this same small group of disruptors continue to attack the city government and its officers because they remain angry over the staggering 2019 election defeat of then Mayor Wayne Ashley, Councilor David Price and Councilor Jennifer Stevenson.  Since taking office in January 2020, Mayor Jeffrey M. Skelly and the Majority City Council received a challenge on each and every action taken to save the city from financial ruin and remove the cronyism and mismanagement that reigned during the previous administration.   For months this group has been seeking a “silver bullet” to force the resignation or removal of the Mayor and Majority Councilors to no avail.  First a “conversation” between the Mayor and an outside attorney was their reason for him to be removed; the mayor prevailed.   Next was changes to the city charter that restored accountability and efficiency to the organization were “illegal”; the mayor prevailed.   Then, this group was going to sue the city for not holding a public referendum on a topic not allowed by NY State Law: the mayor prevailed.  Most recently this small group of disruptors rallied support and raised money for what they called “the moment we have all been waiting for” as they purported that an arbitrator’s decision concerning an employment matter constituted the removal of the Mayor; the mayor prevailed.  

The City and its elected and appointed officers will not be intimidated by the ridiculous calls for boycotts against city businesses and individuals that support change nor will it allow favored employee labor unions to control the city’s financial future.  This behavior is not that of citizenry voicing concern and participating in government, it is simply weak attempts to instill fear, create anxiety and disrupt progress in a city that needs drastic change in order to survive and ultimately revive.  

 

 

 

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