Mayoral candidate Jim Watson says if he's elected he plans to freeze salaries and chop the mayor's office budget in order to get spending at Ottawa City Hall under control.

Watson outlined his fiscal platform Tuesday, saying if he becomes mayor, he'd freeze his own salary and cut his office budget by 10 per cent.

"Leadership starts at the top and these measures demonstrate to residents that I'm not only serious about better management of your tax dollars, I'm willing to take the first step," he said.

Watson also pledged to freeze city council wages for four years, as well as senior manager salaries for two years.

The current salary for the mayor sits at $168,000, while the salaries for city councillors sit at $92,000.

Watson says he'd also slash the city's convention and travel budget by 20 per cent.

"Some people might say that's nickel and dimes. I say its hundreds of thousands of dollars and upwards of millions of dollars and we have to start somewhere."

Watson noted spending cuts are necessary in order to keep property tax increases at 2.5 per cent or less each year, adding it's simply not reasonable to suggest a zero per cent property tax hike.

The former MPP also reiterated his pledge to cut the size of city council and bring in a borough system that would reduce the number of councillors from 23 members to between 14 and 17.

Fellow mayoral candidate Clive Doucet also made a big campaign announcement Tuesday, saying he would scrap the city's current light rail plan and implement a new one that could be built in four years.

Incumbent Larry O'Brien will kick off his campaign Wednesday night.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Norman Fetterley