Find Out Which Candidate Won the Watertown Dems Presidential Straw Poll

The following information announcement was provided by the Watertown Town Democratic Committee:

 Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was the choice of Faire-goers for the Democratic nomination for President in the Watertown Democratic Town Committee’s annual straw poll at Saturday’s Faire on the Square.  The home-state senator won 49 percent of the nearly 150 votes cast, while former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden came in a distant second with 19 percent. The poll was held at the Democratic Town Committee’s table at Watertown’s annual Faire on the Square, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. Participants were asked to choose between the declared candidates in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary. Coming in third place with 9 percent of the vote was South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, followed closely by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders with 8 percent.

Two Opportunities to Meet with State Rep. Hecht in October

State Rep. Jonathan Hecht

The following announcement was provided by State Rep. Jonathan Hecht’s office:

Representative Jonathan Hecht will hold office hours twice in Watertown in October. Constituents are invited to meet with Representative Hecht at the following time and location:

Tuesday, October 155:00-6:00 p.m.Watertown Free Public Library123 Main St, Lucia Mastrangelo Meeting Room

Tuesday, October 228:30-9:30 a.m.Watertown Town Hall149 Main St, 3rd Floor hallway

Anyone unable to attend these office hours can call Representative Hecht at 617-722-2140 to schedule an appointment at another time.

See Which Issues Concerned People Most in the 2019 Watertown News Poll

Traffic and transportation is the biggest concern, according to the unscientific Watertown News poll given at the 2019 Faire on the Square. Traffic and transportation are the biggest concern, according to a poll of attendees of the 2019 Watertown Faire on the Square, followed closely by development. At the 20th Faire on the Square, 25 people took the Watertown News Poll asking people about “what concerns you most in Watertown today?” People could check as many of the five categories as they wish, and could write in their own issue. The categories were: Schools, Development, Traffic/Transportation, Heroin/Opioids and Property Taxes.

Oakley Country Club Taking Town to Court Over ZBA’s Ruling on Wall

Oakley Country Club is appealing the Zoning Board’s decision that ruled that the wall that went up near Oakley and Arden roads was built without proper permitting from the Town. The case was filed in the State Land Court. The case of the wall built by Oakley Country Club on the edge of their property will continue, after the club filed an appeal in state Land Court to try to overturn the Zoning Board of Appeals ruling that the wall was built without getting proper permits from the Town. The appeal was filed in Land Court on Sept. 25, and notice was sent to the Watertown Town Clerk’s office on Sept.

Watertown Property Values Reassessed by Board of Assessors, Will Result in Changes in Tax Bills

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Board of Assessors. Changes to tax rates will be shown on the third quarter tax bill, which comes out at the end of 2019:

PUBLIC NOTICETOWN OF WATERTOWNBOARD OF ASSESSORS

The Board of Assessors is required by Massachusetts General Law to reassess all properties and have those values certified by the Department of Revenue every five years. The Board of Assessors’ staff and Patriot Properties recently completed a town-wide reassessment and have submitted new property values for preliminary certification. New assessments must reflect “Full and Fair Cash Value” based on property sales in calendar year 2018. The valuation date for Fiscal Year 2020 is January 1, 2019.

Watertown Looking into Creating Rental Assistance Program

Watertown Town Hall

Watertown officials will be exploring how the Town may create a rental assistance fund to help people who need help with security deposits in order to afford an apartment or other rental housing. The proposal came from the the Council’s Human Services subcommittee, which met more than a dozen times over the past year to look for ways to increase the amount of affordable housing in Watertown. The Council approved the recommendation to ask the Planning Department to draft a proposal for tenant-based rental assistance program, or programs, including how it could be appropriately funded and staffed. Councilor Tony Palomba, who chaired the Human Services Committee, said that Waltham has a rental assistance program. “The program is very successful in Waltham, and I am sure it will be successful in Watertown.”

Town to Pay Property Taxes of Parents of Those who Died Serving in the Military

The Town of Watertown will pay the property taxes for parents or guardians of servicemen and women who died serving in the military, and also increased the amount of property taxes veterans can work off through a Town program. Tuesday night, the Town Council unanimously approved the two programs, which are part of the BRAVE Act which are optional for cities and towns to adopt. The act aims at improving services to veterans and was passed by the State Legislature and signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2018. Town Councilor Ken Woodland said the passage of the provisions was another example of how Watertown supports veterans. “I am very proud of this Council and this community,” Woodland said.

LETTER: Boylston Properties Responds to End of Agreement with Town Over Arsenal Park

A view of the planned renovation of Arsenal Park. The following letter is in response to the Sept. 11, 2019 story “Partnership Between Town, Arsenal Yards to Renovate Town Park Over Before it Began”

Editor,

I want to clear up the facts of the state of our partnership with the Town on the Arsenal Park renovation, and to also put into context the recent exchange between the Town and Boylston Properties that you detailed in your piece. Mark Reich has been a great contributor to our early progress in this hoped for partnership, but his letter to the Town was a one-sided summary of that process. As you know, we firmly believe that Arsenal Yards will be of great benefit to Watertown.