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Fri., Oct. 9
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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So who is Sharon A. Addison?


Sharon A. Addison is not just a techie who’s managed computer operations for the federal organization in charge of out-of-country eavesdropping.

Ms. Addison, 49, who was named the new city manager on Saturday, said she leads an active life as a mother of three and has been involved in her community in Severn, Md., a town of about 44,000 people nestled between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

For the past 27 years, she has worked for the National Security Agency at Fort George G. Meade, Md., first as a technician/analyst and the last 15 years as a division chief responsible for overseeing programs in intelligence, she said during Saturday’s news conference in City Hall.

But she has been kept busy by her daughters — 8-year-old Kiera and 11-year-old Mckayla Weber — while getting involved in their activities and at their school, she said.

“As a single mother of two young daughters and a young adult son, and as a professional senior-level manager, I must carefully balance work, mothering and service priorities and responsibilities,” she said in an e-mail.

In Maryland, she has served as a member of her church community’s pastoral council, serving breakfast for the homeless at its shelter. Ms. Addison also has assisted with running soccer clinics for the local athletic association and coaching in the development of basketball and lacrosse skills for her daughters’ teams.

At their school, she frequently volunteered for field trips and assisted with a technology club.

“I spend my free time, what little I have of it, with friends and family,” she said, adding that she enjoys cooking, kayaking, skiing, gardening, boating, swimming, cycling and “most anything that involves participating in physical activities with my daughters.”

Ms. Addison will retire from the NSA on July 13 and start the $120,000-a-year position as the city manager three days later.

She said she intends to buy a house in Watertown and live there with her daughters. Her son, Brennan T. Furrow, 22, will remain in Maryland, where he works and attends college.

At Saturday’s news conference, Ms. Addison said it was her “significant other,” Orlin “Skip” Rohde III, who told her about the opening for city manager, and she quickly applied for the position. Mr. Rohde resides in Collins Landing and works at Watertown Correctional Facility.

Two weeks ago, City Clerk Ann M. Saunders got to spend some time with Ms. Addison while she was here for her job interview. Mrs. Saunders gave Ms. Addison and the three other job finalists a tour of the city on the day they were interviewed by City Council.

During her hourlong visit with Ms. Addison, Mrs. Saunders showed her Thompson Park, Public Square and some neighborhoods. For much of the time, they talked about the community, Mrs. Saunders said.

“She was very professional, but very nice,” she said.

A 1985 graduate of SUNY Potsdam, Ms. Addison has owned property along the St. Lawrence River on Reed’s Point Road, Fishers Landing, for about 10 years. Her sister, Laura L. Lamon, teaches at Guardino Elementary School in Clayton.

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