Candidate Questionnaire: Cecilia Lenk

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District B Town Councilor Cecilia Lenk

District B Town Councilor Cecilia Lenk

Cecilia Lenk is running for reelection in the race for District B Town Councilor. The Preliminary Election is on Thursday, Sept. 17. 

Why did you decide to run for District B Town Councilor, is there an issue that drew you in?

I first decided to run for Town Councilor, because I thought that I could bring my work and life experience to give back to the community that my family and I love so much. Since first being elected to the Town Council, I’m proud of the work that I’ve done on a host of issues that matter deeply to me – increasing the budget for the Watertown public schools, making our community greener and more sustainable, and making government more efficient, effective, and transparent through the better use of technology and data.

What is an issue or initiative you think is important to specifically to District B?

Development is an issue that is of the utmost importance to many residents of District B. I am proud to have led the fight to increase community input in major development projects. During my tenure in office, I have called for additional mandated community meetings around specific developments so that neighbors can have their voices heard. I have worked with my colleagues on the Council to develop a Comprehensive Plan for Watertown’s business districts and establish Design Guidelines to protect the fabric of our community. I have been a strong voice for the community and held developers accountable in negotiating the best possible deal for the residents of Watertown. Finally, I initiated Council discussions to develop Residential Design Guidelines and other measures that will help preserve our neighborhoods.

What is your profession or main focus?

I am Creative Strategist at FableVision Studios located in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston. FableVision develops games, apps, websites, animations, interactive museum kiosks, and other digital media for learners – kids, teens, adults, and families. As Creative Strategist I help create the vision and ideas for our clients, which include major educational publishers, children’s television and media groups, corporations, government, and non-profits organizations. I am very privileged to have an exceptional professional career. I have been an entrepreneur running small businesses, as well as been part of managing global firms. In all my work, the best part is always collaborating with people and figuring out how to use technology creativity to solve a problem and help people learn.

Do you have a family? If so tell us about them.

I have a terrific, and growing, family. We have lived in Watertown for over 25 years and will soon have 3 generations living in Watertown! My husband is a paleontologist and does research around the world. I try to join him every year or so on one of his trips. We have 2 daughters who attended Watertown Public Schools and graduated from Watertown High. Our older daughter graduated from Tulane University and is an accountant at a non-profit senior services agency. She and her husband recently bought a house in Watertown. I am so proud they chose to live in Watertown over anywhere else in the country. Our younger daughter is going into her senior year at UMass Amherst with a double major in microbiology and history. She is also an EMT. Dogs are very much a part of our lives; currently the family has 3 dogs.

What townwide issue do you feel is the most important?

The townwide issue that I’m most proud to have worked on and that I think continues to be most important to our community is the performance of our public schools. My husband and I are the proud parents of two graduates of the Watertown Public Schools. On the Council, I have been a tireless advocate to ensure that we are providing the highest quality of education that we can. That’s why I am proud to have fought (and succeeded) in securing more funding for our schools. A close second issue for me would be continuing to sustain a fiscally responsible local government that addresses the needs of all residents. Although there is more to be done, I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish by using technology to provide the highest quality town services and save taxpayers money.

What experience do you have that would be useful as a Town Councilor?

The most beneficial experience that I bring to the Town Council is my experience with budgeting and finances. As someone who has run multiple companies, I bring a unique management background and approach to municipal government. And, having worked on 6 municipal budgets in Watertown, I have a deep understanding of how we can balance our community’s needs in a fiscally responsible manner. Finally, I also bring a wealth of experience to the table as Chair of the Public Works Committee, Vice Chair of the Personnel Committee and Secretary of the Budget and Fiscal Oversight Committee, where I am deeply involved in finding solutions for many of the critical issues facing Watertown.

What is something that people may not know about you?

I am a huge sports fan. I follow the Patriots and Red Sox faithfully, and am up on most things Celtics and Bruins. I care about the drafts, the free agents, who’s pitching tonight, and are the corners good enough? Sports is a very long-standing love — I grew up watching and going to games regularly.

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