When it comes to running for one of the two seats up for election on the Watertown City Council, one candidate has a real advantage.

Sarah V. Compo was appointed to fill the vacancy on the council in January. She wisely chose to seek election this year for a full term, and we enthusiastically endorse her candidacy.

She is serving out the remainder of former Councilman Mark C. Walczyk’s term. He left after being elected last year to the state Assembly.

Since she started on the council, Ms. Compo has distinguished herself as a prudent member with a good approach to important city issues. She came into this position with a wealth of experience in public affairs, so she has a clear understanding how legislative bodies get work done.

Ms. Compo has served on the staff of state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, for the past seven years. She now serves as Mrs. Ritchie’s chief of staff.

In addition to her government experience, Ms. Compo understands the needs of small-business owners. She runs Soireenny, a special events planning company.

Ms. Compo said that “[h]er position within state government also helped with her work on city issues ... She’s [talked] to other municipalities and to people across the area about issues and brings back those ideas to her colleagues on council,” according to a story published June 17 by the Watertown Daily Times. “Just days away from the primary, Ms. Compo expressed her concerns about how much residents pay in property taxes and with city finances. The city needs to be careful about long-term debt after Moody’s credit rating warned the city about the growing amount in borrowed bonds it has.”

Ms. Compo has a firm understanding of the challenges facing the city and has proposed sensible solutions. She is an obvious choice for keeping one of the two seats on the council up for election this year.

Candidate Jesse C.P. Roshia is the other good choice for the Watertown City Council. He has experience working with government policymakers as well as nonprofit organizations.

Mr. Roshia previously was the director of resident services and later director of human resources at the Children’s Home of Jefferson County. He also served as president of the Juvenile Detention Association of New York State.

Through this position, he helped draft the Raise the Age legislation. This pertains to the state’s juvenile justice system, revising how 16- and 17-year-olds are housed while incarcerated.

Mr. Roshia now works at Samaritan Medical Center. He said that serving in the hospital’s human resources department has given him experience in negotiating labor contracts and handling difficult staffing issues.

Both Ms. Compo and Mr. Roshia have a definite edge over the other City Council candidates, Patrick J. Hickey and Robert T. Schorr. We appreciate their enthusiasm for improving city conditions. But Ms. Compo and Mr. Roshia have a better understanding of the nuances inherent in the problems facing the city and expressed reasonable proposals to addressing them effectively.

This race is crucial for Watertown’s future. Electing Ms. Compo and Mr. Roshia would bring fresh perspectives onto the City Council combined with extensive experience in government operations. We urge voters to support both of these candidates in the general election Nov. 5.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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