Arguably the biggest race in Utica's elections, the comptroller race is also one of the most interesting. Both candidates are technically from the same party and have a lot of the same ideas. YNN's Andrew Sorensen breaks down the candidates and tells us where the differences lie.
UTICA, N.Y.-- It's been a very different sort of race for Utica's comptroller position. Democratic Common Council President Bill Morehouse and Common Councilman Jim Zecca faced off early in a primary.
"My opponent did a very good job in the primary to get his voters out from West Utica, first and second ward, and he won the primary," Morehouse said.
Now Bill Morehouse has bounced back, this time on the Independence line.
"People asked me to stay in the race, you know, 'Bill give 100 percent' and I did," he said.
Morehouse said he already had a few priorities laid out. He wants to hire a deputy comptroller and get the office more plugged into the internet.
"This would alleviate all those phone calls to the comptroller's office, people saying what do I owe and they can pay online," Morehouse said.
Zecca said he would do the same, plus a few other things.
"Cash flow has been a huge problem for the city. We've been short term borrowing money for managing our day to day operation," he said.
To fix that, Zecca said he'll change the city's budget year to align with incoming state and federal aid. He has some experience at all this as director of solid waste in Madison County.
"I've managed and administered 25 years of budgets," Zecca said.
Zecca is at a disadvantage in backing. Morehouse has endorsements from the mayor and several unions, including police and firefighters.
Morehouse says his business background is his edge, but Zecca says he's not worried.
"It's no different than any election. It's a competition and may the best man or woman win," he said.
Whoever does win has a big job to handle, with a now chronically low fund balance to build back up and a few years of cuts and austerity to battle back from.
The city took several months to unroll their own new website. It's unclear how easily the tax bill payment could be brought online.
But both candidates stress it could be crucial to streamlining the comptroller's office.