UPDATED: Town Attorney: 2017 Watertown Election Ballot Contained an Error

{This story was updated on Dec. 16, 2017 at 11:49 a.m. to correct the fact that the Library Trustee is a “public office” in the attorney’s opinion.}

The law firm that works with the town on legal issues issued an opinion that one of the candidates in the 2017 Watertown Town Election had a description next to his name that is not allowed under state election laws. 

On the ballot for the 2017 Town Election, Library Trustee candidate Michael Hanlon had the description “Former Chair of Library Trustees” under his name. Hanlon served as a trustee for 12 years and lost his re-election bid in 2015. The 2017 election for Library Trustees was unusual in that it had no incumbents. Leanne Hammonds, however, had sat on the board after being appointed to fill a vacant seat.

LETTER: Candidate for Library Trustee Reflects on the Campaign


My thanks and deep appreciation go out to those many members of the Watertown community who so generously supported my campaign for Library Trustee. Congratulations to newly-elected Trustees Leanne Hammonds and Daniel Pritchard, whose constructive, informative campaigns also underlined the values and strengths of our superb library. I feel certain they will serve all of us well. David R. Breakstone
Pearl Street

Town Council Winners Reflect on the Election, Look Ahead

The dust has settled after the Watertown Town Election, and the Town Council will have two new members, and two returning for another term. The victors reflected on the election and looked forward at their upcoming term. Anthony Donato took the most votes on his first run for Town Council. He fared well across town. “I was fortunate to have a lot of support spread throughout town and for that I am grateful,” Donato said.

See the Library Trustees Precinct by Precinct, and Voter Turnout by Precinct

Leanne Hammonds won the race for Library Trustees by more than 500 votes, and got a lot of help from two precincts. See how each of the four candidates fared in each precinct. With 2,536 votes, Hammonds won all 12 precincts in Watertown and got more than 300 votes in precinct 7 and 8 and won the precincts by 90 and 46 votes respectively. Second place finisher Michael Hanlon narrowly beat Daniel Pritchard, who won the third and final spot. Hanlon did better than Pritchard in eight precincts (1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12) while Pritchard was ahead in four, precincts 3, 4, 5, and 8.

See How the Watertown Candidates Did in Precinct by Precinct Results

Anthony Donato won the race for Watertown Town Councilor At-Large by nearly 400 votes, but he did not win every precinct in Tuesday’s Watertown Town Election. See how the candidates for Council and School Committee fared in the precinct-by-precinct results. In the race for the four Town Councilor At-Large seats, Donato got the most votes in seven of 12 precincts – 1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 – while second place Caroline Bays won three precincts – 2, 4, 9. Third place candidate and incumbent Tony Palomba won Precincts 3 and 5. Donato’s best showings were on the west side of town – precincts 10-12 – where he won each by at least 85 votes, and precinct 10 by 134 votes.

Two New Faces Elected to Watertown Town Council, Lead the Vote Totals

Voters elected two newcomers and two incumbents in the race for Watertown Town Councilor At-Large on Tuesday. 

First-time candidates Anthony Donato and Caroline Bays got the most votes, followed by incumbents Tony Palomba and Michael Dattoli in the six-way race for the four Councilor At-Large spots. Donato received 3,053 votes, or 23.32 percent of the vote. With 2,657 votes (20.30 percent), Bays got the second most votes, just 13 votes ahead of Palomba, who had 2,644 votes (20.20 percent). Dattoli received 2,337 and finished fourth. He got 17.85 percent of the vote.

Watertown Voters Elect 2 New School Committee, See Who Won the Library Trustee Race

Only one incumbent will return to the Watertown School Committee, as two newcomers won seats on the board in Tuesday’s election. First time candidate Amy Donohue took the most votes, with 2,549, which was 24.20 percent of the ballots. Incumbent John Portz took second with 2,101 votes (19.94 percent). In a narrow race for the third and final seat on the School Committee, newcomer Lily Rayman-Read received 1,691 votes (16.05 percent), just 26 more than incumbent Liz Yusem’s 1,665 (15.81 percent). Incumbent Guido Guidotti got 1,532 votes, or 14.54 percent, followed by Michael Shepard, who was on the School Committee for four years, but lost his re-election bid two years ago.

Watertown Town Election: Whose Running, Where Do You Vote and More

Watertown’s Town Election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7 and voters will be able to cast their ballots for Town Council, School Committee and Board of Library Trustees. 

The 2017 election features numerous contested races, while other candidates have no opposition. Follow Watertown News on Election Night for the results. Town Council
The big race for Town Council is for Councilor At-Large. There are four seats being contested this year but only two incumbents seek re-election after Susan Falkoff and Aaron Dushku announced they would not run this year.