Watertown's City Manager Takes New Approach To Budget Process

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There'll be one thing missing from next year's Watertown city budget - the suspense.

"When I came in, took this position, I was going to run things a little bit differently and take a more proactive approach, more transparency. So, trying it out for the first time, see how it flies tonight," said Watertown City Manager Sharon Addison. 

This doesn't mean you should look for many budget details at Monday evening's council work session. 

But Addison is looking for council suggestions on tough issues like how to pay for a big hike in next year's pension costs.

"It's obviously a balance between personnel, salaries, benefits, pension contributions, as well as projects," said Addison.

Mayor Jeff Graham has seen a lot of city budgets and says this will be a refreshing change from the way it usually works.

"And then this document comes out and everybody looks at it like it's the holy grail and its sacrosanct and the numbers are frozen in amber," said Graham.

But if there's one thing we won't learn Monday, it's what next year's tax rate will be.

"I'm not going to tip my hand. It's totally unknown at this time. It's what the council would like to do," said Addison.

The budget is due out next month.

Thursday, July 31, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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