As a member of the City's bargaining team, then water czar Michael Sligar is said by those close to have been an ardent foe of the current Fire Department and sees the need to bust up the cabal. He had just come off the stormy firing of a high ranking Water Department staffer in a fight where he earned the allegiance of the CM.
His job now is said to be to work with Fire Chief Dale Herman, but it is clear the Third Floor feels the Chief has been thought an impediment to reorganizing the FD. The stated goal is to make the Chief accountable for implementing the parameters approved by Council, and that includes the demotion of eight captains.
This is all brinksmanship.
Some Council candidates from last time are already talking a redux, including ,we hear, Capt Todd Demar, who was the straw that stirred the drink in last year's municipal races. Look for Cliff Olney and Henry Ryan Wilkenson to vie again, this time for seats held by Mr. Jennings and Councilwoman Teresa Macaluso.
Today on the HOTLINE there was discussion of the current Fire situation, mostly critical....However, when you cut through it all, it's about unraveling minimum manning so the City can do what Oswego did in a bid to control long term expenses.
Mr. Sligar's hire is part of that strategy and brinksmanship. Meanwhile, City taxpayers, most of whom make far less than all the aforementioned, just keep chugging along.
Meanwhile, two members are privately advocating their own changes at City Hall, including perhaps to the very structure of governance. Fights over the FD, the pool and the proposed rental inspection law suggest choppy seas ahead for City leaders.
Sligar Hired To Help Sort Out Watertown Fire Department Staffing | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News