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Sun., Mar. 29
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Cilley won’t run again for council

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Ogdensburg City Councilman R. Storm Cilley will not seek re-election to a second term.

The 58-year-old retired teacher cited family considerations for his decision not to run again.

“My wife will be retiring in July of next year,” Mr. Cilley, a Republican, said. “I do not want to be tied down should we decide to travel. There is a very real possibil

bility that we will be returning to our hometown (Woodhull, Steuben County) in the next few years. I do not feel that it is fair to the voters to run for office when I might not have the time to devote to the office or possibly not complete the term.”

Mr. Cilley said that being a council member has been time well-spent.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my term as city councilor and I believe that I have represented the interests of the citizens in a fair and responsible manner,” he said.

There were many accomplishments, Mr. Cilley said.

“Getting city-owned properties back on the tax rolls,” he recalled. “Watching the community pull together to save the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility and banding together to let Albany know how important the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center is to this community. I cannot take the credit for any of these things. Rather, the credit goes to the citizens of Ogdensburg. Due to the efforts of the citizens, the Albany politicians and bureaucrats are very aware of the city of Ogdensburg.”

In running for office, Mr. Cilley said, “I felt that there were some problems with the leadership of the city. I believe that those issues have been resolved, and that we are gradually re-establishing the trust of the citizens that their government is working for their best interests.”

But there is still room for improvement.

“We have not been able to change the perception that Ogdensburg is unfriendly to business and is a difficult community to work with when attempting get a business going or undertake improvements,” Mr. Cilley said. “I have had architects and contractors tell me that it is more difficult to do business here than any other community in the north country.”

He said he hopes the hiring of City Manager John M. Pinkerton can turn that around.

“He is working diligently to bring the various groups together to work for the benefit of Ogdensburg,” Mr. Cilley said.

Ogdensburg, Mr. Cilley said, needs to work together with the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, the chamber of commerce, the not-for-profits, and community civic groups.

“They all have the best interests of Ogdensburg in mind and must cooperate rather than compete,” he said.

The biggest issues facing the city are employment and taxes,” Mr. Cilley said.

“The city cannot continue to operate effectively on a residential tax base,” he said.

The city’s waterfront development offers the best shot at attracting new businesses and jobs, he said.

“The available space for such enterprises within the city is very limited,” he said. “While further limiting the areas available for commercial development, the proposed waterfront development plan partially address this issue, and will eventually add some higher-income housing opportunities along with some commercial and tourism activities.”

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