Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I’m writing this little note just to share my thoughts on the Town Councilor At-Large race in Watertown. As some may know, the candidates have been under some good scrutiny with respect to policy questions in the forums, questionnaires and interviews in our local media and I think we all appreciate that. I also want to say that I appreciate each and every one of the candidates running for office here in town regardless of whether or not I may disagree with some of their priorities. Thank you all for stepping up to do good for our city and for being willing to volunteer your precious time in the most noble endeavor of representing your constituency. That being said, I wanted to briefly share where I stand on the candidates in case anyone is still reading.
Anthony Donato, a native son of our town and childhood friend to many of us may have once been thought to stand alone on those credentials but I think that his work in the last two years leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that he offers so much more than that. He stands in the company of very few councilors in his dedication to researching and listening to differing points of view on the issues that come before the council and I think that speaks volumes. He has expressed his willingness to push on the town-wide shuttle bus system that is a languishing initiative in need of champions and has been an impartial vote on several not-so-sexy but nevertheless important ordinance updates and improvements in his first term.
Tony Palomba, is as compassionate, caring and loving a person as I’ve ever met. He works every day in the support of his community and anyone who reaches out to him gets called back and heard. He believes in the core elements of democracy with every fiber of is being and he shows it in his work for us. For the last two years, he has lead the charge on an important deep dive into the issues surrounding affordable housing in Watertown and in the effort to better communicate the inner workings of our town government to each and every person: ‘Palomba-ism’ at its best. He’s been a regular participant in public transit advocacy group meetings (a shuttle bus supporter from the start) and progressive initiatives towards complete streets and the decarbonization of our community and where he doesn’t have his own expertise in things, he always knows where to look for help.
My last endorsement is for our popular progressive activist Caroline Bays. Caroline has made great strides in her first year and promises to be an impactful leader in this next term. She the only candidate that has expressed her support for a close examination of what consultants and staff are telling us about parking minimums and that is almost enough to win my support on its own. Aside from that, she has shared good ideas for our upcoming charter review, for funding the TMA shuttle, for more affordable housing and she has also shown an interest in looking a little more closely at our sexual harassment policies in the administration which has been an area of some concern for many. She believes in helping the underdogs in the world and I am investing my third At-Large Councilor vote in her for these reasons.
There’s a fourth seat up for grabs. While I’ve been able to narrowed things down a little on this one, its still not a clear-cut choice for me on where to spend this vote. Each candidate has brought some good policy ideas and so I’m thinking now about their abilities to work effectively to implement them and to commit to the hard grind of a busy two-year term. That’s a harder call and is more up to us all as individuals to consider.
I encourage you to weigh the same factors as you make this important choice.
See you on Tuesday!
Former Town Councilor At Large