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Sun., Jul. 13
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In north country cities, unprecedented firings

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In our readership area — Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties — there are two cities.
Last night, those two cities fired their city managers, the top bureaucrats and policy drivers for Ogdensburg and Watertown.
Ogdensburg city manager Art Sciorra's ouster was months in the making, with most members of City Council having pledged in the 2011 election to fire him.
Watertown city manager Mary Corriveau's contract not being renewed came as a surprise to some, but not others.
In the 2011 election for mayor, a consistent whisper campaign kept managing to find its way to my ears: Jeff Smith, a city councilman and challenger to Mayor Jeff Graham, was telling people that one of his first acts would be to fire Mrs. Corriveau.
When I tried to get a story on it, Mr. Smith was mum, and would hardly go on the record about her performance. Mr. Graham was similarly reluctant to jump in with both feet, but it was clear that he supported Mrs. Corriveau.
Mr. Smith was one of the ones to vote to end her tenure. He was joined by City Councilman Joe Butler, whose mayoral aspirations are pretty clear, and Councilwoman Roxanne Burns.
A few moments ago, an editor here with a long history and a long memory said that firings striking twice was unprecedented for the north country.

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