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WATERTOWN — Political newcomer Lisa L’Huillier Ruggiero believes her business experience as a local real estate agent would help if she is elected to the City Council.
Mrs. Ruggiero, who owns a local real estate firm, contended that she could help solve some of the city’s growing housing problems.
More should be done for homeowners who are behind in their mortgage and facing possible foreclosure, she said.
She believes “short sales,” selling homes for less than what the owners still owe on the mortgage, may be the answer to their problems. They need to be educated about “steps that can be taken,” Mrs. Ruggiero said.
She generally supports a rental registration program that goes into effect on Jan. 1, requiring landlords to provide information about their rental properties. About 6,000 apartments in the city will be affected.
But she questions how landlords will be penalized if they don’t register. She also has a lot of questions of whether the city should pursue an inspection program, saying it’s “governmental intrusion.”
Instead of starting a rental inspection program, she believes the code enforcement office should be more proactive in keeping up with rental properties.
As part of her research, Mrs. Ruggiero has talked to city firefighters about the union’s three-year contract, manpower issues and the growing overtime expenses associated with the department.
Mrs. Ruggiero, a volunteer firefighter, is not sure what can be done to resolve the dispute that revolves around a requirement to have 15 firefighters on duty at all times and the demotion of eight captains.
The city wants to reduce staff through attrition, while the firefighters’ union contends that cutting positions would be unsafe.
“I really don’t know who’s right and I don’t know who’s wrong,” she said.
She’s talked to a lot of residents who want to know why the city did not save the pool in Thompson Park from closing four years ago. They’ve told her that the north side of the city has two pools, but the closing of the 93-year-old Thompson Park pool leaves the south side without one.
“The city owes it to citizens to do something,” she said.
She proposes establishing a 50-cent admission fee or year-around passes to the pool to help offset expenses of replacing the pool. Maybe the city can also provide day packages that would include admission to the pool, the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park and the Watertown Golf Club, she said.
Other profiles in this series:
Article source: Google Short Sales RSS