Watertown Council & Mayoral Hopefuls Make Their CasesPosted: Updated:
Dozens of Watertown residents gathered at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church Saturday with questions for five of the eight candidates running for city council.
One of the questions was about plans the candidates have for downtown Watertown.
“I think that our city should work to strengthen the connection we have with the Small Business Development Center at JCC to just to let entrepreneurs know there is available space downtown,” candidate Sarah Compo said.
“To possibly encourage more business to come in and go through the evening, encourage the businesses that are there to maybe open and stay open longer,” candidate Robert Schorr said.
Another resident asked about the candidates’ thoughts on the long-running battle between the city and its fire department over a new contract.
“I think they deserve a contact but I also understand that we can’t give them all the money they need,” Frank Roberts said, “but I sure would like to help them.”
“We got to get the fire department back to the table — what does it take — the captains were reinstated, I think that was a nice olive branch,” Jesse Roshia said. “I would like to see the fire department come back to the table, but obviously finances are a concern.”
Current council member Lisa Ruggiero asked about the state’s mandate to build a second city court room.
Candidates seemed to still have questions about why Watertown received a second judge in the first place.
Candidates were also asked what their highest priority is. Most said it was being responsible with taxpayer money, but Patrick Hickey said the focus needs to be replacing the city's expiring hydropower contract.”
“In order to continue more revenues — solar, wind, whatever power sources we can get — it’s free power, it’s free money,” he said.
After the city council forum there was a forum for mayoral candidates.
Three of the four candidates were there. Among the topics discussed was the city's expenses.
“The city absolutely needs to prioritize, is cutting costs and increasing revenue,” mayor hopeful Allison Crossman said.”
Candidates have just over two months to get their names out there.
Primary elections on June 25 will cut the field in half for both mayor and city council.