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What you need to know for 01/24/2017

Yepsen taps state budget official to be Saratoga Springs deputy mayor

Yepsen taps state budget official to be Saratoga Springs deputy mayor

Mayor-elect Joanne Yepsen has chosen an examiner for the state Division of Budget to serve as her de

Mayor-elect Joanne Yepsen has chosen an examiner for the state Division of Budget to serve as her deputy.

Joseph Ogden will become the full-time deputy mayor following Yepsen’s inauguration on New Year’s Day. The 33-year-old city resident is a graduate of Siena College, has a master’s degree from the University at Albany and comes to the position with a decade of work experience, most recently as an associate budget examiner for the state.

Yepsen said Ogden, who worked on her campaign, was the most qualified among a pool of candidates who applied for the position. She said he has valuable policy experience in a number of areas, including public safety, homeland security, disaster relief, veterans’ affairs and Medicaid.

“Joe brings a great deal of professionalism to this position, and he has extensive experience with fiscal policy, budgeting, management and government operations,” Yepsen said.

Ogden will replace Shauna Sutton, who served for six years under Republican Scott Johnson. Sutton, who challenged Yepsen for the mayor’s position, has since taken a job as a deputy to Craig Hayner, the Republican who was elected Saratoga County clerk in November.

“I am excited and humbled to accept this position, and I look forward to working together with Mayor-elect Yepsen to make Saratoga Springs an even better place to raise a family,” Ogden said in a statement.

Ogden will take a pay cut to leave his state job and join Yepsen’s administration. Records show he earned an annual salary of $77,000 at the state — about $8,000 more than the deputy mayor is slated to be paid in 2014.

“He really believes in where we’re going with the city,” Yepsen said. “This means so much to him.”

Yepsen also appointed a new city attorney. City native Sarah Burger comes from the Albany law firm Gleason, Dunn, Walsh & O’Shea, where she specialized in employment litigation, labor law, public- and private-sector labor relations and contract negotiation. Burger will be paid an annual salary of $58,000.

Yepsen said Burger’s experience will be an asset to her office. She said a number of labor contracts will need to be negotiated in the near future, and Burger’s expertise will be welcomed.

“She’s going to be perfect,” she said. “Although there’s a budget line for outside counsel, there are perhaps some areas in those contracts that Sarah will help me resolve.”

In November, Yepsen appointed a transition team of Charles Kuenzel, Cassie Fox, Lynn Bachner, Jennifer Leidig, former Mayor Ken Klotz, former Public Works Director William McTygue, Georgana Hanson and Alisa Dalton. The group helped select her appointees from a pool of candidates she solicited after winning the mayor’s job.

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