18 Express Interest In Watertown Council Seat

18 Express Interest In Watertown Council Seat

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There are now 18 people who have expressed interest in filling the Watertown City Council seat, which will be open when Mark Walczyk leaves for the state Assembly.

"I think that's a good amount," said Mayor Joe Butler.

The candidates include former City Council member Steve Jennings, Deborah Cavallario, who was behind the city's notorious "roommate ban," and former council candidate Cliff Olney.

City hall has also received resumes from:

- Darrell Main
- Aaron Clemons
- Lori Ring
- Bruce Irwin
- Calvin Stanley
- Michelle Appleby
- Timothy Drew
- Amanda DeMar
- Timothy Babcock
- Jessie Roshia
- Sarah Compo
- Danny Francis
- Patrick Hickey
- Bradford Riendeau                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Kara Smith

Some of the names are familiar to city residents. 

Jennings, for example, was elected to city council in November 2013, unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2015 and sought re-election to council in 2017. He was defeated in the primary, but ran as a write-in candidate, which was unsuccessful.

Jennings says he submitted his name now because he cares about the city and its future.

Cavallario was the force behind a 2013 zoning change which bans unrelated roommates from living together in certain residential areas. The move attracted international attention and event a tweet from game show host Drew Carey.

Olney ran twice for city council, but lost.  He says he wants to highlight ways to increase city income.

"What do we do to pay for the new projects? I think we look for new revenue and we don't go back to the taxpayer," said Olney.

Amanda DeMar, a former deputy city clerk, is the wife of Todd DeMar, the former Watertown firefighter who also ran unsuccessfully for city council.

"I think it's really important for someone to be in there to hit the ground running and who's comfortable with city issues," she said.

Compo is chief of staff for state Senator Patty Ritchie, who also once employed Walczyk. Compo is also a former journalist for 7 News.

"I was born and raised in Watertown and giving back to the local community is something that's really a passion of mine so I thought it would be a good fit for me," said Compo.

Francis has run repeatedly for Congress, but was unsuccessful.

Riendeau is a well-known attorney in Watertown.

The deadline to apply for the seat was Friday.

There will likely be two council work sessions in December.

Council members are expected vote on the candidates during the first meeting in January. Walczyk will leave the seat at the end of December.

Kara Smith's name was learned about after our story aired Friday night. 

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