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City of Watertown appoints deputy comptroller

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The city of Watertown has filled its long-vacant deputy comptroller position.

The City Council on Monday unanimously appointed Christine A. Audette to the job. She has served as accounting supervisor in the comptroller’s office since 2003. In the new position, she will be paid an annual salary of $61,271.

Comptroller James E. Mills said Ms. Audette has been filling the responsibilities and role of deputy comptroller, so it just made sense to promote her.

“She does a remarkable job and is an asset to the city,” said Mr. Mills, who recently approached the council with the idea for the appointment.

The position had been vacant since Bonnie L. Robbe retired in 2002. The City Council also agreed to abolish the accounting supervisor position, so the appointment does not increase the staff.

“She’s been doing the job of the number two person,” Mr. Mills said.

Ms. Audette will fill in for Mr. Mills when he is absent. Her duties also include supervising staff, developing year-end reports, preparing journal entries, processing related payroll and coordinating projects with auditors.

In 2011, she was instrumental in straightening out the financial mess of the Parks and Recreation Department after council members learned its staff failed to collect tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills from its users.

Mr. Mills also announced Monday that residents now may go online to pay their property taxes and other bills.

The city now offers online echeck, credit card (Visa, MasterCard and Discover) and debit card payments for city and Jefferson County tax bills, delinquent school tax bills and water/sewer, trash tote and sewer permit bills.

A convenience fee will be charged for the service. It will be 2.85 percent plus 28 cents per transaction for credit or debit card payments, or a flat $2.50 per transaction for echecks.

In conjunction with the city’s information technology department, the comptroller’s office has worked on the project for the last several months.

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