Watertown finds a public works replacement within department

Sep. 26—WATERTOWN — A day after he announced he is resigning, City Manager Kenneth A. Mix found a replacement for his retiring public works superintendent.

Mix has tapped Brian MacCue, the assistant public works superintendent since March, to fill the position. He will be paid a yearly salary of $100,384.

He replaces Director of Public Works Patrick Keenan, who leaves the position after five years and 37 years with the city. His last day is Oct. 28. MacCue takes over the department on the next day.

"He was hired with the thought of him moving up to public works superintendent," Mix said.

MacCue has years of experience working in the private sector in the construction field, with most of that time for paving companies, Mix said.

With more than 20 years of experience, MacCue worked for Con Tech Building Systems in Gouverneur and Barrett Building Materials, Watertown.

Five people applied for the superintendent's position. MacCue and two others were interviewed.

His hiring comes at a time of a series of changes in leadership positions at City Hall.

Mix, city manager for nearly four years, told council members on Monday that he is resigning Dec. 31.

He blamed "infighting and controversies" between council members for his decision.

An ongoing feud between Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith and Councilman Cliff G. Olney III has marred the council for almost two years.

With Mix leaving, he still hasn't found a new city engineer. No one applied for the position and the city is readvertising for the job.

The riff between the two elected officials might be a reason no one was interested in the city engineer position, Mix said two weeks ago.

There's also going to be a major shakeup with the council. Smith is not running for reelection for mayor. First term Councilman Patrick J. Hickey lost a reelection bid in the June primary.

Councilwoman Sarah V. Compo Pierce could potentially be out if she doesn't become mayor.

Councilwoman Lisa A. Ruggiero's seat could change if she defeats Compo Pierce for mayor in November for a four-year term.

Four council candidates are running for four-year terms.

Robert O. Kimball ended up the top vote-getter in June primary. The other three council candidates in the general election are Benjamin P. Shoen, former Councilman Leonard G. Spaziani and Timothy J. Babcock who finished in second, third and fourth place, respectively.