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Sun., Aug. 30
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Mayoral candidates weigh in on city manager


This is pure blog fodder, because I didn't get very good answers to this question: "What do you think of the job City Manager Mary Corriveau has done?"
I posed it to Councilman Jeff Smith and his Nov. 8 opponent, Mayor Jeff Graham.
First, a bit of background. The mayor of Watertown isn't a Bloomberg, isn't a Miner. The mayor of Watertown is one vote on City Council (plus "the gavel," plus the imprimatur that comes with the title). The council sets policy for the city manager to carry out and also hires the city manager (and clerk).
Mrs. Corriveau has taken heat of late for this and this, for example.
Her contract is up for renewal in April of next year.
"At this point, I haven’t gone through and reviewed or discussed it," Mr. Smith told me. "I couldn’t say one way or the other."
I asked what he felt about her job performance in general — City Council reviews her performance every year, but the last time we saw a thorough debriefing was before the Godsmack/Parks and Rec blips.
"Off the cuff, you can point out negatives and positives," he said. "You have to make sure that whenever you’re looking to renew someone’s contract, the positives outweigh the negatives ...I think that she’s done good things, and there’s things that need improvement. I would look back at my evaluations in the past, and the council's evaluations. In terms of one person right now, we’re six months out. I don’t think that would be fair. At least my campaign is not about that."
Mr. Graham, too, shied away from taking a firm stand because he wants to make sure the council-manager relationship remains copacetic.
"Look 60 miles to the north," Mr. Graham said, referring to the The Rent Is Too Damn Low-gate in Ogdensburg (which, if you're a regular reader, you know all about). "Once things disintegrate, it’s pretty scary."
"As far as doing a sort of off the cuff job appraisal days before an election, I can’t help you with that," Mr. Graham told me. "That’s a deliberate process that the council participates in. ... You don’t make it work by running your mouth in an intemperate manner. If I’m more circumspect on some things, it’s for a reason."
Bah humbug.

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