LETTERS: Town Council Candidate Statements and an Endorsement

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Dear District A Voter,

As someone who was born and raised as a third generation resident in Watertown‘s east end, I am extremely proud and honored to run for the office of District A Town Councilor. My experience as a department manager for the Town of Watertown for 15 years gives me a unique perspective in the functioning of town government, having produced yearly budgets and collaborated with all of the departments. As a Boston College Business School graduate and technology professional, I am positioned to address any and all technology concerns both now and the future. My priorities:

  • Development – responsible development, good fit for the neighborhood, support the hiring of a Transportation Management Professional
  • Education – funded properly, increase STEAM and coding classes at earlier levels
  • Senior Citizens – support additional assistance programs to improve quality of life
  • Housing – affordable, available
  • Open Government – responsive to citizen’s concerns, insure that an annual report published every year as required by the Watertown Home Rule Charter (one has not been published for 2014 as of now and perhaps earlier years have also not been published)

As a veteran, I served my country. As the Watertown Veterans’ Service Officer I served my home town.

I now look forward to serving as the Town Councilor for District A.

I am concerned that the former East Branch Library has been deteriorating and unused since 2006.

I ask for your vote, all new and long-time residents of District A. I will always be available to listen to your concerns and will respond promptly. I will always attend any meetings affecting District A residents or businesses and be an advocate for district concerns.

Are you concerned about the former East Branch Library?

Are you concerned with over development in Watertown?

Are you concerned about lack of communication from town government?

I want to bring positive change and a new vitality to the Town Council.

District A residents I would be honored to receive your vote on November 3.

Thank you for your support.

For those who need a ride to the polls on Tuesday, November 3, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., please call me at 617-817-0540 and I or a supporter will be happy to provide a ride.

Bob Erickson
Lloyd Road


A Change is Necessary in the East End

To the Editor:

Watertown currently faces unprecedented challenges in the areas of development, transportation, environmental quality and quality of life. Our community is being reshaped in ways that will persist for decades. Going about our business in the same old ways will not suffice.

Many Watertown residents are deeply concerned for the well being of their town. There has been a groundswell of citizen activism in town affairs. Citizens of many differing backgrounds have demanded a greater voice in shaping the future of their community.

This is a very promising trend. No one understands this community like the folks who walk its streets every day, who run its businesses, who shop its stores, who wait in vain for a bus that will get them to work on time, who sit eternally in its traffic, or who entrust their children to our schools.

The new Council must heed the voices of their constituents and embrace the spirit of citizen involvement in town government. This is a basic component of a vital democracy. Councilors must form an understanding of citizen concerns and take effective action to promote their interests.

There is legitimate question as to whether the incumbent District A Councilor, Angeline Kounelis, can rise to these demands of this new era. Town Councilors must be able work with each other to find innovative solutions to problems that were unheard of even a decade ago.

Furthermore, there is genuine concern that the incumbent has not given equal consideration to the issues raised by those who are new to the town. And it is undeniable that she failed to speak effectively for the majority of her constituents on the single largest development issue facing Coolidge Square—that of the CVS.

Now, for the first time in many years, East Enders have a choice.

Bob Erickson has pledged that he will listen attentively to all who approach him and will work with all parties, including colleagues on the Council, to effectively address the challenges we face. In my conversations with Bob, he has expressed a willingness to judge all ideas on their merits and not dismiss new approaches out of hand. This kind of openness is long overdue. For this reason, I plan to vote for Bob on Tuesday and I urge all my East End neighbors to do the same.

Joseph Levendusky
Templeton Parkway


Councilor At-Large Candidate Shares His Ideas

Dear Editor,

Two years ago, I ran for Town Councilor At-Large to ensure that our community would invest in the needs of children through responsive funding for our education system, include increased community involvement in the zoning and development of our neighborhoods, and rethink the options for Victory Field renovations. While I came up short on votes, the policies and ideas I presented at the time brought significant momentum to the town; as evident from the council’s new priorities shortly after the 2013 election.

The council now requires that developers hold community meetings to solicit feedback, education received a substantial funding increase, artificial turf was removed from the phase II Victory field proposal, and an RFP for cellular antennas at the Department of Public Works never moved forward.

Over the past 2 years, I have remained involved in community issues ranging from the comprehensive plan, opiate education initiatives with the Watertown Youth Coalition, youth programming with the Watertown Community Gardens, and an advocate for our schools.  I look forward to representing you as a Town Councilor At-Large and ask for your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Michael Dattoli
Carroll Street

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