In a staggering bit of editorializing masquerading as news, TV 7 declared Watertown's 15 person minimum staffing requirement "fits right in" with their survey of other upstate cities.
Their own survey shows Auburn at 12 and Elmira at 10. Those differences amount to millions of dollars. Just playing with numbers a 12 person level here would reduce staffing by 12 or an immediate 15% reduction in the tax levy.
Kingston NY (not Ontario) was said to have minimum of 21 which is higher and would result in at least a 30% levy increase here.
Such comparisons don't take into account many factors, not the least of which is the city's contention that manning is a function of management not a CBA.
Further, words matter, and suggesting Watertown as "fitting right in" is a characterization of data designed to support a conclusion.
Watertown will not succeed in it's bid to purge the contract of minimum manning, in part because there own explanations of intent are murky.
There best hope is a lower level providing some cost containment in the years leading up to the end of the hydro agreement, which I mentioned last year as something the city had best come up with a plan for, but that doesn't seem to be happening.
In today's climate resolution of any of this seems far off.
Firefighter Staffing Levels: Looking Beyond Watertown | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News