Emails Confirm Council Knew About Rental Housing Goal

Emails Confirm Council Knew About Rental Housing Goal

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Emails obtained by 7 News appear to back up Watertown City Council member Steve Jennings in a war of words between Jennings and fellow council member Mark Walczyk over rental housing inspections.

Dealing with rental properties has been a contentious issue in the city of Watertown. 

The controversy heated up with a single tweet on Tuesday when council member Mark Walczyk called fellow council member Steve Jennings "despicable" and accused him of a "scheme" to slip rental housing inspections into the city council's list of goals for the coming year.

This happened while Walczyk and Mayor Joe Butler are on vacation this week.

Jennings says his support for a rental inspection program is widely known. He also says he told council members via email on April 3 that he wanted to pursue the program again. 

That's two weeks before Walczyk's tweet.

7 News has obtained email exchanges between city council members and those emails back Jennings' claim.

Shortly after 2 p.m. on April 3, Jennings emailed city manager Sharon Addison suggesting the city "pursue establishment of rental inspection in city code." 

Two hours later, Addison sent an email to all city council members... with a list of all suggestions, including Jennings'. The rental inspection point was also included in two other lists sent to all council members before Walczyk's tweet.

We've reached out to both Walczyk and Jennings, but have yet to hear back.

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