City Council is saying 'halt' to a proposed restructuring of the water department. The plan would eliminate the department even though the City Charter says there will be such a department and the City Code delineates the existence of a water superintendent.
The plan stems from a budget proposal last spring to replace longtime superintendent Gary Pilon with a renamed position of utilities superintendent who would also ride herd over the sewage and hydroelectric plants.
The rub is this new position would no longer be a department head and would instead report to the city engineer and City Council thinks that's a change requiring Council action. Putting the additional functions under the renamed superintendent seems to make some sense, but the elimination of the Water Department is a bridge too far for lawmakers still frustrated at not completing a restructuring of Parks and Recreation.
That matter is in some respects back to the drawing board as the superintendent position will be readvertised and a second program manager position is waiting for a February civil service exam.
On the matter of the Water Department, Council has set a work session to decide the matter.
Watertown Daily Times Proposed Water Department restructuring upsets Watertown council members