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Roefaro taps Soggs as new Commissioner of Urban & Economic Development

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The city of Utica has a new Commissioner of Urban & Economic Development.

Randy Soggs is an attorney and local developer who's served on many board within the community, including the Mohawk Valley Edge Board of Directors. He says he looks forward to hitting the ground running on Monday.

"The first thing is just to try and understand what we've done, what we're currently doing, and get a historical context on the process and see what we can change going forward," says Soggs.

The mayor has asked Soggs to make Harbor Point, the downtown parking garage, the Veteran's Outreach Center and the city's Rust to Green project priorities. Soggs lives in New Hartford, so the mayor had to exercise his waiver power, which applies to department heads only, in order to hire him.

"When we talk about regionalization and you want cooperation between neighbors, if we can't go across our line of our city line and hire people how do you expect that we have regionalization? That's the first thing, the second thing is that when I look at positions, I look at the best person for the job," says the mayor.

Soggs owns several hundred thousand feet of property in the city. He says that's not a conflict of interest for his job as Commissioner of Urban & Economic Development.

"If anything I have a vested interest in seeing the community come back and I don't view that this position is one where I'm out looking to help myself; I'm looking to help myself more incidentally by helping the community in general."

The commissioner position became vacant roughly six months ago, when Mayor Roefaro made then commissioner Robert Sullivan head of the city's Rust to Green project.

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