Thursday, August 18, 2016

WDT: Mayor Calls Western Boulvard a "Home Run", But Throws Shade on Pool

    Mayor Joe Butler can rightfully crow about the city this year successfully lobbying for full state and federal funding of a now $5M connector road through Stateway Plaza.  The state will handle acquisiton of land, something city hall had been unable to do. Promises of more retail development have spurred the Western Boulevard project which has been hampered by costs the city itself was reluctant to incur.
      The Mayor personally lobbied  officials in Albany as part of the process.
       Mayor Butler is also reportedly trying to put the brakes on a large spending binge a majority of Council wants to move ahead with.....Hizzoner wants to slow down on the Thompson Park Pool lawmakers want to build.   This is a tough one as staff and the Mayor can rope a dope the pool in hopes Council loses interest, but the fact is the four Council members are strongly out front wanting it. 
        My guess is they will lose interest as the realization of cost seeps in and the fact no angel is going to fly in and pay for it. It will take time, but the old pool will be decommissioned at some point.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

How can the mayor slow the pool project if the rest of the council wants it? All council has to do is give the order and directives. Or are you saying the mayor can secretly direct the manager and staff to drag their feet and they will follow his directive?

Jeff Graham said...

There's nothing secret about it and the staff opposes the expenditure, so any Council directive will have to be firm and by resolution. Just saying how the real world works.

Anonymous said...


Nice to see this project moving forward. Just a year ago this was considered a dead project. I am just left to wonder what would have become of this project if it were not introduced as a campaign issue during last years council race? Now we find out that 100% of the cost is being covered? Why was this funding not pursued previously by the former council and Mayor? Just asking.

Anonymous said...

8:14, Graham was probably too busy getting things done like hiring the new city manager to replace the perfectly good one Butler fired. And corhistarting the smooth transition for that change. Single-handedly focusing politicians from across the north country, to solve the Mercy building crises, which ended in a $70 million investment in the city. And rebuilding large projects like the Arena, Factory Street, State Street, Public Square, coffeen Street, the Woolworth building...etc.

Don't' forget that this project primarily benefits one person, that person being the developer who donated to Butler's campaign. And then after a short period, Butler returned the donation. But he never stopped putting this favor on the top of his to-do list. If only he put as much effort into getting Factory street project done, or helping the North Side keep their historic improvement league. Or if he had put an ounce of effort into saving that historic building that they had demolished on West Main.

There still isn't a shortcut road to get out of the JAIL parking lot and go to the city, where the cops are needed. But the cops don't donate to Butler's campaign, so we will not see that project put on the list anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

The good news on the big savings from the State for the Western Boulevard project is that this should provide an extra opportunity to reallocate some funds saved to the Thompson Park Pool. Councilman Walczyk is the right: Thompson Park is a premier park, and it should have a pool. Our Thompson Park is a landmark park; very few cities have anything like this treasurer of ours; it is the "gem" of Watertown designed by a nationally famed land architect. Let's make Thompson Park shine with a new pool and a modern bathhouse! Let's keep and enhance what we have, not tear down or demolish. The majority of citizens want the new pool and the Council is overwhelming supporting it. While Mayor Butler is a "naysayer" about supporting the pool, he wants to spend more money on pole lights on one street. Why? It's more important to have a pool for our families than it is to have pole lights or rental registration. Let's get behind Thompson Park Pool and make it happen.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't, it Demar who got this revived in last years council race? Now poolless Joe wants to take all the credit.

Anonymous said...

10:04 Don't know where or when you did your survey but I seriously doubt that the majority of the citizens want this pool. We have 2 functional pools that's enough.

Anonymous said...

4:33, You would sound like less of a douche if you offered your own survey to back up your opinion that the majority of citizens do not want a third pool or a pool in the Park.

10:04, Since the majority of city residents don't pay taxes or pay for their own cell phones or pay for their own food or housing or healthcare...yours is a very safe bet that the majority would love to have a third pool in the Park....that guys like me have to pay for.

Anonymous said...

Butler is quite a number negotiator.. How can you believe him.. Justin the engineer said it saves the city $300,000 and in the same article Butler says this move and the works of council saved taxpayers $5million. Thats quite a difference. Maybe thats why the budget is hard for him and the rest to understand. Watch your money people.. take it elsewhere and then wonder what he says.....if it can be believed or strayed to his favor.

Anonymous said...

Well !! where was the save the pool group when the city filled in the historic wadding pool that should have been repaired and protected for historic reasons . So from this point on you might as well finish filling in the other half and finish the kill. If we could not afford to repair the wadding pool then we sure as hell can't afford to repair the main pool now . Times are changing whether we like it or not, we no longer need or can afford a 3 million dollar pool when we have the one at the fairgrounds.