Majority of council members remain tight lipped about Watertown Golf Club deal

Watertown city council meeting
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 5:47 AM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The Watertown Golf Club deal was at the center of several issues discussed during Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

With litigation now over Mayor Jeff Smith and council member Sarah Compo Pierce wanted to learn some of the information that the majority — council members Lisa Ruggiero, Patrick Hickey, and Cliff Olney — were reluctant to share when litigation was pending.

However, the majority didn’t feel like it was the right time to share new information with the public.

Instead, Ruggiero said she hopes moving forward will bring unity back to the council.

“I sure hope that some of this divisiveness will end,” she said. I know we have many other issues. I think that this decision hopefully will help us go forward.”

“The judge came back and found out exactly what we already knew, that we were within our rights and that this was the best deal for the city taxpayers,” Olney said, “and we took and looked at every detail carefully.”

“It’s just amazing that we are not going to tell the public what the facts are,” Smith said. “You can criticize me telling the facts, the fact of the matter is that this was an assets sale, what were the assets, and I’ve said this publicly before multiple times — land, golf carts, equipment, and buildings — who put the number on the assets? The people these three were meeting with privately, no independent appraisal.”