UTICA, N.Y.-- After a week of tensions regarding the city clerk position, Michelle George has been appointed to the job many felt she was poised to assume.
Members of Utica's Common Council voted Wednesday to promote George to the position of city clerk after interviewing outside candidates Tuesday night.
Councilwoman Maria Pezzolanella-McNiel (D-1) and Councilman Mark Williamson (R-At Large) sponsored the proposal to promote George.
The council unanimously adopted the proposal and George was sworn in following the vote.
"This is the best way to round out my career with the city of Utica," George said. "Anytime you're in an interview process, you automatically think there might be somebody out there that can perform this job better than you."
Councilwoman Samantha Colosimo-Testa (R-6) and Councilman Joe Marino (D-4) both disagreed with the decision to list George's job publicly before appointing her.
"I have no problem with listing any job in the city, but we need to be consistent," Marino said. "We haven't done in it the past, we haven't done it with other appointments we've made."
"If they want to advertise for the Deputy Clerk or whatnot, that would be understandable," Colosimo-Testa said. "But she's really, right now, a hundred percent more qualified than any candidate that put in the application."
In addition to listing the clerk's position, Colosimo-Testa and Marino have expressed similar public views on a few key issues facing the city, including term limits. It's an overlap they claim is rooted only in their goals to help city taxpayers.
"We have a lot of the same beliefs, we've been on the council for the past, going on our seventh year together," Colosimo-Testa said. "So we understand a lot of what's been going on. If you go back to say what me and Joe might be for or against, if you look at the legislation that's been presented, it has been initiatives that have been in our districts that obviously we've taken more of a concern."
"We do have a similar way of thinking, again, when it's not personally motivated, those kinds of like feelings sometimes tend to collide," Marino said.
Both, however, claim the common council is in lockstep most of the time, and neither could anticipate an upcoming issue in 2018 that will cause major division.