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Olney officially announces mayoral run

Updated: Mar 20, 2019

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“People are mad,” he said. “They’re fed up for not being listened to, especially on the north side.”

WATERTOWN — Former City Council candidate Cliff G. Olney III made it official on Tuesday and formally announced he was running for mayor.

He’s been talking about entering the race for weeks and had made his interests known months ago.

Mr. Olney, 63, owner of AmeriCoups direct mail business, will be joining three other announced mayoral candidates. They are Councilman Cody J. Horbacz, former Councilman Jeffrey M. Smith and newcomer Allison Crossman.

Mr. Olney has collected about 100 signatures for election petitions, needing about 80 more when they are due from April 1 to April 4.

“People are mad,” he said. “They’re fed up for not being listened to, especially on the north side.”

Voters are talking about wanting to see the city work more on streets, fixing potholes and improving the city’s water quality, he said. They also support replacing the Thompson Park pool, he added.

“They’re talking about the same issues, the same things,” he said.

If elected, Olney would like to create a single city department that would handle planning and economic development, as well as tackling abandoned homes and other housing issues.

He believes that the city takes too long solving problems, like so-called “zombie properties.” He was glad to hear that the city is finally getting around for the zombie homes task force to meet. He’s a member of the task force.

Mayor Joseph M. Butler announced in February he would not seek a second four-year term.

The four candidates will compete during a June 25 primary.

Mr. Olney ran two unsuccessful bids for City Council, in 2015 and 2017.

Mr. Olney has been a strong supporter of the city’s fire department and was critical for the city’s handling of a proposal to sell its share of the Watertown Golf Club. The adverse publicity stopped the deal.

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