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Mayor: New city manager brings ‘range’ of management skills

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The new city manager will bring 27 years experience in federal government with the National Security Agency when she starts her job in July.

The Watertown City Council is expected to appoint Sharon Addison, currently of Severn, Md., as the new city manager. She will earn an annual salary of $120,000. Council members will meet at 9 a.m. to hire her as the new city manager.

On Friday, Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham confirmed the worst kept secret in City Hall: she works for the NSA. He would not divulge what she does with the agency, saying he wants her to tell her story on Saturday when she will be introduced at City Hall.

A part of the Department of Defense, the NSA collects and analyzes intelligence and foreign communications, and then disseminates the information to high-level government leaders, the military, governmental agencies and select allies. Employing America’s code makers and code breakers, the NSA relies on the highest levels of confidentiality.

Mr. Graham said that council members were impressed with her credentials and background.

“She has an excellent range of management experience,” he said. “And she really wants to be here. That was the big attraction for council.”

Besides her management skills, Councilman Jeffrey M. Smith said the new city manager has a background in computers and finance, noting her departmental budgets far exceed the city’s spending measures.

“Her management ability is just outstanding,” he said.

Mr. Smith said she works with the upper brass of the military, and is positive that her reports have been seen by the “high, high ups” in the Obama Administration.

With that background, Ms. Addison will be a good fit for Fort Drum, City Hall and the entire community, Mr. Smith said.

She was going to be in the area for the holiday weekend, so he thought it was a good time to make the announcement and present her to the community, Mr. Graham said.

Ms. Addison was partly attracted to the north country because she has a sibling living in the area, owns waterfront property and attended a Northern New York college, Mr. Smith said.

She will replace Mary Corriveau, whose contract was not renewed this year.

The two-year contract begins July 16. According to her contract, she will receive 20 days of vacation time in her first year as city manager and 25 days in the second year. The city will pay $7,500 in moving expenses and $1,400 to store her household goods for six months.

After one year, council members will evaluate her job performance and consider a pay raise. She will pay 25 percent of her health benefits and will have the same coverage as other city management employees.

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