Union Says Primary Was 'Big Win' For Watertown Firefighters

Union Says Primary Was 'Big Win' For Watertown Firefighters

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Tuesday night's primary results mean there will be at least one and possibly two new members of the city council come January.

The Watertown firefighters union endorsed the three city council challengers and they finished, one, two and three. That means Councilman Steve Jennings will be out and it doesn't look good for Councilwoman Teresa Macaluso.

The union believes stalled contract talks are part of the reason.

"I think it was a big win for the firefighters union," said Dan Daugherty, president of Watertown Firefighters Local 191. "The throwing away of grants, the contract dispute with the fire department, there's just been controversy after controversy."

Council member Cody Horbacz says the primary results are reminiscent of 2015 when he and Mark Walczyk were elected.

"The voter, the taxpayer, they wanted change in 2015 and they didn't get enough of it. So they voted for more of it last night," said Horbacz.

He thinks one or two new council members will change the course of negotiations with firefighters and reopen the Thompson Park pool.

Mayor Joe Butler says one or two new council members won't change his stance on firefighter negotiations.

"What we don't like is a contract that we think is unfair to the taxpayer and has been for decades. It's a framework that's very costly," said Butler.

Butler pointed out that newcomers to political office don't often get their way on all issues and the learning curve can be very steep.

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