A loss for the city

Jesse C.P. Roshia announced Monday that he will resign as a member of the Watertown City Council effective Jan. 31. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

The novel coronavirus has forced Jesse C.P. Roshia to abruptly end his tenure on the Watertown City Council.

Along with Sarah V. Compo, Mr. Roshia was elected to the council Nov. 5, 2019. He previously served as director of resident services and later director of human resources at the Children’s Home of Jefferson County. His most recent position was in the human resources department at Samaritan Medical Center.

But as a result of the health care crisis, Mr. Roshia was furloughed from his job at Samaritan and had to accept another one in Syracuse. The hourlong drive between the two communities compelled him to sell his home in Watertown and move with his family to the Syracuse area.

Mr. Roshia announced his decision publicly during the council’s regular meeting Monday evening. His resignation from the council is effective Jan. 31.

“Like so many families across the United States, my family’s day-to-day life has been significantly altered by the [coronavirus] pandemic,” he said during the meeting, according to a story published Monday by the Watertown Daily Times. “For us, this impact has been an unexpected change in my primary employer, selling our family home and a future change in our primary residence.”

It’s unfortunate that Mr. Roshia lost his position at Samaritan and had to move out of the city. He brought a fresh perspective to the City Council and showed a lot of potential as an effective community leader.

While we’re sorry to see him leave Watertown, we’re pleased that he secured another job. Many people have not been so fortunate during this health care crisis. This reflects well on Mr. Roshia’s work experience and capabilities.

City officials need to focus on recruiting qualified candidates to submit their credentials to fill the vacancy. As was done when Mark C. Walczyk left his position on the City Council in 2019 to be sworn in as a member of the state Assembly, the process for naming a new member must be an open one.

Those on the council will select whomever they believe will be the best fit.

But we all deserve to know who’s applying for the position and how they fare under questioning.

This will give us a good idea of what we can expect moving forward.

Correction: While Mr. Roshia has accepted employment in Syracuse, he and his family will continue to reside in the Watertown area.

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