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New year, new Watertown City Council as new members swear in

Published: Jan. 1, 2022 at 5:34 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - In front of family, friends and Watertown city leaders, incumbent councilmember Lisa Ruggiero and newly elected members Patrick Hickey and Cliff Olney were sworn into office by City Court Judge Anthony Neddo.

For Ruggerio, she says she’ll continue working hard for the people she represents.

“After all, I feel that, you know, we are here to serve the residents of Watertown, and if there are things that we can do to maybe give them a voice, then we should try it,” said Ruggiero.

Hickey and Olney have some of the same priorities in their new roles, both looking at ways to bring in more money and make improvements around the city.

“I think we need to start somewhere in the hydro, we need to find out what the potentials are for that, what we would have to do increase capacity if that’s something the city wants to go for,” said Hickey.

“Move on the pools because we will open all three pools this year and it may be something as simple as replacing the sand in the filter rather than having to buy a whole new filter, which I’d ask about and now we find that may be possible,” said Olney.

Some have said this new lot of council members is going to cause a shift in power, seeing as Ruggiero, Hickey, and Olney have similar beliefs on city issues.

But all three assured they are independent thinkers.

“Some people may think that we are coming in as a team. That couldn’t be further from the truth, we all operated independently with our campaigns,” said Ruggiero.

“Does Cliff have some of the same though processes that I do? Sure, but that doesn’t mean we are all voting the same way,” said Hickey.

“The main issue that we are aligned on is working for the people of Watertown rather than the special interests, and so I think that the focus is going to be on more deciding and determining what is in the interest of the most people,” said Olney.

Now sworn in, all three will get to work right away serving the community. They will join Mayor Jeff Smith and Councilwoman Sarah Compo-Pierce for their first meeting as the new council on January 3rd.

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