It's a story happening 50 miles away but with clear relevance to Watertown. The Oswego Common Council voted 7-0 to affirm a budget proposed by the Mayor that cuts 16 firefighter positions.
Oswego was bridging a funding gap caused by the end of a deal to rent a water tunnel. Mayor Billy Barlow called it a tough decision but the new, young mayor proposed what he ultimately wanted to do.
Conflict avoidance and politics go hand in hand, but the new Mayor showed leadership in taking on the issue without fuzzing it up by saying he wouldn't actually lay anyone off.
The actual right sizing agenda here as there was not a debate about overtime, which is part of life and business, but instead is about employing fewer people.
Now there are surely differences between here and there, but the common thread is long term fiscal balance and it should be said here, as Mayor Barlow did, that it's not some mystery plan to realign expenses without cutting positions. It's not just about overtime.
Watertown has a similar fiscal reckoning if not short term but longer terrm in the hydro contract.
Watertown is struggling with it's long overdue contract and has demoted eight captains and is now fighting with its own FD management over staffing protocols.