Candidates in the Watertown Town Election will be appearing at an election forum co-hosted by Watertown News and Watertown Cable Access Television. The Candidate Forum will be held on Thursday, Oct. 24 from 6:30-9 p.m. It will be held in the Lecture Hall at Watertown High School, 50 Columbia St. This year’s Watertown voters will vote for Town Council President, Town Councilors At-Large, District Councilors, School Committee and Board of Library Trustees. The evening begins with statements from un-opposed candidates at 6:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., the seven candidates for Town Councilor At-Large will be answering questions.
Watertown voters will have one big race to follow in this fall’s Town Election, Meanwhile, the other elected posts have uncontested races, but there will be some new faces. Seven candidates are running for the four Councilor at-large seats on the Town Council. There will not be need for a preliminary election in September. Three incumbents will be running in the Councilor at-large race: Tony Palomba, Caroline Bays and Anthony Donato. The fourth seat was vacated by Michael Dattoli when he moved out of town, and his term was filled by former-Councilor Susan Falkoff.
Friday marks the start of the election season in Watertown as candidates can take out papers to run for Town office. Town Clerk John Flynn said some papers have already been pulled by potential candidates. The papers, with signatures, must be turned into the Town Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 29, 2019. Elected offices in Watertown include Town Council, School Committee and Library Board of Trustees. The Town’s Preliminary Election, if needed, would be held Tuesday, September 17, 2019. Watertown’s General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
Watertown News and Watertown Cable Access will host a pair of candidate forums featuring the people running for Town Councilor At-Large and School Committee in the Town Election. The forums will be held in the Watertown Savings Bank Room at the Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m., and will also be broadcast live on Watertown Cable. The forums will be rebroadcast on later dates. The first forum will be on Thursday, Oct. 12, and it will include the six candidates for the four-year School Committee seats.
The latest list of people who have pulled papers to run for office in the 2017 Watertown Town Election includes many possible candidates for Town Councilor at Large and School Committee.
If everyone who has pulled papers gets enough signatures to be on the ballot, all the open seats will have at least one person running for them, but two have attracted more interest than the rest. There will be an uncontested seat in the Councilor-At-Large race, with Susan Falkoff announcing she will not seek reelection. Six people have pulled papers, including the three remaining incumbents: Aaron Dushku, Michael Dattoli and Tony Palmoba. There are also three challengers, all of whom are running for Town Council for the first time: David Stokes, Caroline Bays and Michelle Cokonougher. For the other Council seats, so far, the only ones to pull papers are the incumbents: Town Council President Mark Sideris, District A Councilor Angeline Kounelis, District B Councilor Lisa Feltner, District C Councilor Vincent Piccirilli and District D Councilor Ken Woodland.
The list of potential candidates for Watertown Town Council, School Committee and even Library Board of Trustees is growing, but only a handful have officially made the ballot as of Friday morning. The Library Board of Trustees could have three more candidates, which would set up a contested race with a potential of five people – so far – running for three seats. Sheppard Ferguson, Penelope Peoples and Karen Roubicek have all taken out papers. The only candidate to get enough signatures and have them certified by the Town Clerk’s office is incumbent Michael Hanlon. District A Councilor Angeline Kounelis could have an opponent for the first time in several years after former Veterans Agent Bob Erickson took out papers to run. Kounelis is the only candidate in that race who has been certified.
The Town Council’s decision to reject the fire union’s contract may be felt come November’s Town Election. The vote on Dec. 9 rejected the arbitration award decided by a neutral panel. It also raised the ire of many in the Fire Department along with friends, family and others who thought that the Watertown Firefighters deserved a new contract and after 5 1/2 years. Tuesday’s meeting again drew scores of firefighters and other unions, who rallied before the meeting asking the Town Council to reconsider its vote.