Sharon Addison was confident she could do the job of Watertown city manager, she just wasn't sure she'd get the opportunity to fill the vacant position.
"I had the leadership and management qualifications to apply for this position. I was a longshot, didn't have the municipalities background, but knew that I could take the knowledge and skills and apply them and be effective in this position," Addison said.
She'll get that chance now, after accepting the position during a special city council meeting Saturday morning.
Addison, who replaces Mary Corriveau, agreed to a two-year contract at a yearly salary of $120,000.
The SUNY Potsdam graduate has spent the last 27 years working for the National Security Agency in Maryland.
Although she was not dealing with city councils, city budgets, or community needs in her previous post, officials say Addison brings valuable assets to her new position.
"(Not) in the sense of coming from another municipality, having city manager experience, but a solid management background, but working with people, managing delicate and tough situations, managing a budget that far exceeds the city's," explained city council member Jeff Smith.
Plus, officials liked that Addison has ties to the North Country, including having a residence on Fisher's Landing.
"She's got some roots up here, she's from upstate, and I think that was very important to the council to have someone who wants to be here," said Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham.
Officials say Addison was one of many qualified candidates, making the entire process of finding the right person an easy one.
"We didn't have any blowouts or anything like that. We knew had a task to do, a job at hand and we proceeded well through that," Smith said.
"Sometimes these kind of searches can drag on for a while. We had one back in the mid-90s that went for 13 months. So, it's not always easy, but we had great candidates," Graham said.
Before her official start date in July, Addison says she plans to sell her home in Maryland and buy one in the city.
Also at Saturday morning's special city council meeting, lawmakers passed Watertown's 2012-2013 budget.
It calls for a 1 percent increase in the tax levy. The tax rate remains flat.
The new budget goes into effect in July.