More candidates running for Watertown City Council

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 10:48 AM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Two more people announce they are running for Watertown City Council.

Robert Schorr told 7 News Thursday morning he will again seek a seat on the council, after attempts in 2018 and 2021.

Schorr, who lives on Leray Street, is a driver for Cleveland Funeral Home’s transportation service and is retired from running Schorr’s Service Center. He is a longtime volunteer firefighter.

Why is he running? “Civic pride,” Schorr said Thursday. “I know it sounds cliché, but I’m trying to give back to the town what it gave to me.”

As for issues facing the city, Schorr says finding new sources of revenue and developing the city’s resources, like the Black River, top his list.

He is also very concerned about bringing the city’s water treatment plant up to date.

Two issues that have taken much of the current council’s attention, city pools and the golf course at Thompson Park, “are being dealt with,” he said.

“They’re pretty much a moot point,” he said.

Schorr is a native of Watertown who has lived here most of his life.

The other candidate is Timothy ‘T.J.’ Babcock, a current member of the city’s planning board.

Babcock last ran for office in 2022, making a run for Jefferson County Legislator against Scott Gray in District 13.

Babcock is an operations manager for the HP Hood facility in LaFargeville.

Babcock would like to see the city council run more professionally, leaving emotions out of decision-making.

“I have the business acumen to do it. I’m going to be level-headed, listen to the facts, and make sound decisions. Use common sense in those decisions, and leave the emotion out of it,” he said.

The council has two seats up for election this year, one held by Patrick Hickey, who is seeking re-election, and the other is the seat being vacated by Sarah Compo Pierce, who is running for mayor.

Watertown resident and former city council member Leonard Spaziani has also announced plans to run for council. Spaziani served on the council for several months in 2021 when he was appointed to fill a vacancy.

Other names who have picked up petition paperwork include Jason Traynor, Matthew Melvin, and Maryellen Blevins.

Candidates need at least 165 signatures on their petitions, which are due to the Jefferson County Board of Elections by April 6.