Meet The Watertown City Council Candidates, Part 1

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Are you going to raise my taxes?

That's what most people want to know from city hall.

Challenger Rod LaFave says only as a last resort.

"If taxes were to go up, it would be for public safety or to let the departments in the city run as they need to," said LaFave.

Another challenger, Cody Horbacz, feels pretty much the same way.

"In certain circumstances, it might be necessary as far as sustaining departments for public safety or the well-being of the community," said Horbacz.

but challenger Steve Jennings says the city should look long term by increasing the tax base.

"So that we're increasing values of property that are in distress, both residential and commercial, which will increase property taxes and make it more equitable for everyone," said Jennings.

Watertown has its share of substandard housing.

So another question is - what would you do to improve the city's housing stock?

Jennings says housing goes hand in hand with overall neighborhood improvement.

"Bring together the brain leaders in the community with the people who live in those neighborhoods and try to work together to solve the problems," said Jennings.

Horbacz says work from the inside, out.

"Instead of directing funds toward some of the larger developers on the edge of the city, I think we should direct them toward our neighborhoods," said Horbacz.

And LaFave has been researching a rental inspection program.

"It will require landlords to register their properties with the city and then inspections would be done perhaps on an annual or three year basis," said LaFave.

On Thursday, we'll hear from the one other challenger, plus the two incumbents in the race.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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