Watertown mayor candidates face off in forum

Updated: Jun. 19, 2019 at 8:19 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Watertown community members had the chance to hear from all four candidates running for mayor ahead of next week's primary.

Candidates Cody Horbacz, Cliff Olney, Jeff Smith, and Allison Crossman were at a forum Tuesday night at the Italian-American Civic Association.

They were asked questions about such city issues as zombie homes, the Watertown Golf Club use of city-owned park land, and fixing up the Thompson Park pool.

Here's what they had to say when asked about the pool:

"Because so many people told me they wanted it when I was knocking on their doors," Horbacz said. "So many taxpayers said 'I dont care, that's what I want to pay for.' We need to give people a reason to want to plant their roots here, start their businesses here, and stay here."

"We have the money, but it's how the money is being spent," Olney said. "It's not being spent how the people want, it's being spent on the things that the special interests want to see accomplished.

"We don't need it, we can't afford it, and I am not going to invest two-and-a-half-million dollars plus all the maintenance costs and fees for something that's open three months a year," Smith said.

"I love bringing my kids up to the splash pad and I think that's sufficient for us now," Crossman said. "We can't afford the pool, and of course staffing plays into that, and we need to move on from that idea right now."

The primary vote is next Tuesday. The two candidates who get the highest votes will face off in the November election.

The forum was organized by WTNY radio.

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