To the Editor:
It’s time for Watertown to recognize that we need to do more to create affordable housing, educate our kids for the present and future, maintain and improve our public parks and other recreational spaces, and preserve the heritage of old Watertown that’s getting destroyed.
The pressures on us from commercial development and economic forces much bigger than our town or state make it necessary for us all to pitch in to keep Watertown an attractive place for young and old, families and individuals. The Town administration has done an exceptional job at keeping our tax rate well below the state average, but that discipline has come at a major cost.
As a community we haven’t had the wherewithal to deal with the changes washing over us. We can’t afford to dream about how cities and towns ought to be funded while ignoring the realities of how the system now works and how to make the most of it. We can’t pretend we can stand still while the ground shifts under our feet. It’s for that reason that I’m voting yes on Question 5 and supporting community preservation.
It’s a smart way to concretely deal with many of the challenges we face, harness more of the wealth being created by this wave of development, and also get our share of money we are now paying to subsidize other cities and towns. It’s not a question of choosing among education, housing, parks and heritage – we have to face up to the pressing need to address all these area. If we don’t do it now, we’ll only be less and less equipped to face the future.