LETTER: Watertown Can Benefit from CPA, Like Its Neighbors Have


To the Editor:

I hope Watertown voters will vote yes on Question Five to join the 161 other Massachusetts Communities, including our abutting neighbors in Waltham, Belmont, Newton and Cambridge, that have adopted the CPA.

Watertown residents have contributed over $2 million to this fund for more than the past 12 years and have helped lots of other communities. While I like these other towns and cities, and in fact I represented all or part of every one of the above listed communities in the legislature, I would like to see Watertown benefit like other communities have! In fact, the CPA has been so successful that NOT ONE community out of 161 has ever repealed it.

There is a cost of approximately ten dollars per month for the average homeowner, with exemptions for low and moderate income folks, but the state provides matching fund of varying percentages thereby making it a good deal for communities.

As a Swampscott Selectman, our Republican Governor Charlie Baker voted to put the Community Preservation Act on the ballot. And at a CPA anniversary event, he said, “It’s obviously been a major success.”

The bottom line is that I want to see our contributions help Watertown fields, playgrounds, historical sites and community housing.

Those who say that this is “not the time” are speculating about what is right today based on what may or may not come up down the road. I am convinced that Watertown voters are smart enough to make informed decisions on the merits as questions arise. Indeed, I think that is the only way to vote in a democracy. Thank you!


Warren Tolman
Stoneleigh Circle

(Editor’s Note: the last letters about the Nov. 8 election will be run on Sunday Nov. 6, and must be submitted by Saturday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m.)

11 thoughts on “LETTER: Watertown Can Benefit from CPA, Like Its Neighbors Have

  1. Warren, why do you tell them about the $2.4 million boondoggle in Northborough.
    Last April they bought a property called White Cliff, that had not real historical value. Now the town needs to pay to keep the property running, maintain it, make improvements and on top of that they lost big chunk of money in taxes generated by the property.

    Watertown doesn’t need a slush fund in that hands of special interests.

  2. Do not be fooled by articles that are not quite truthful. Watertown residents have not put $2 milion dollars into this fund (unless you are one of the residents who have sold a home in the last 10 years or so) and I do not believe that many of us have. And you have saved a ton of money by rejecting this CPA TAX on a TAX the last time this scam was put on our ballot. It is hard enough for many folks to live in this town given the cost of housing/rents, taxes, water, sewerage, health insurance, and all of the other bills you may have. They say they want more affordable housing and I must ask if you make it harder to live here financially how the heck are you solving the affordability problem? Simple locis says that you are not solving the problem but making it worse.
    Then ask yourself who is funding this initiative? They have already sent 3 color flyers to my home over the past few weeks and these were not delivered but sent via US mail. Where does this money come from? Is it just local folks like you or I who live in Watertown? Or are outside interests involved? I asked this question yesterday but have not yet received an answer.
    Please use common sense and VOTE NO ON QUESTION 5.

  3. Great. Calling Warren Tolman a liar. What a couple of no class commenters. He’s got more integrity in his pinky that both you guys together and makes alot of sense about the CPA.

    • Right on Gary! There has been a lot of unscrupulous mud throwing in this campaign, much of it directed at generally well respected individuals.

    • Warren stated that Watertown residents paid 2 million dollars into this CPA fund. Was not that a stretch of the truth? If you have any knowledge of how that fund is built you know that I am telling the truth. If you do not have the knowledge then you do not know what you are saying!
      Also, Not telling the truth also applies when a person does not tell the whole story, Did Warren know that there were outside of Watertown organizations (Metro West CD who is a developer of affordable housing) and (The Trust For Public Land a lobbyist and developer) working to get the CPA passed in Watertown? If he did I do not think he ever mentioned it.] and that is not being very transparent. I knew Warren many years ago and I do not have anything personally against him. He can support whatever cause he wants to but I have the right and obligation to call him out when an article he writes seems to be misleading.

  4. Facts are facts, even if inconvenient. And yes Warren Tolman lied to Watertown Voters in 2005, during his debate with me. He told people Renters would not be affected by the tax increase. He’s a lawyer and should know better. As a lawyer in this state, he automatically qualifies for a Real Estate License, without passing the exam. He knows darn well that the first clause in Lease is the Tax Escalator Clause. In fact at time he he was also a landlord (may still be), so he’s very familiar with a lease. So yes he lied and as officer of the court, he ought he’s sworn to uphold the truth. He ought to be ashamed.

    • John, I was not there for the event you mention with Warren Tolman, but I can say that I have observed you playing fast and free with the truth. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  5. I thank you, Warren, for your on target words of support for CPA. I hope people will take your words to heart. It is clear you care about our town, and feel we deserve a piece of the pie we already pay into; The only way to get our share is to vote yes on Question 5. There is abundant evidence that CPA has been very good for the 161 towns who enacted it, and it will be good for Watertown, too. Yes on question 5 will boost the town’s budget so we can get things done that need to be done.

    • @R. Baskin – I agree with you that the CPA will boost the Town Budget by RAISING TAXES 2%. in fact, that is actually the most truthful statement I have heard from a CPA Supporter.
      However, when you mention the 161 towns have passed the CPA TAX let’s not forget that there are 191 CITIES AND TOWNS THAT HAVE NOT ENACTED THE CPA in Massachusetts.

      • I have not heard any of the CPA supporters state that 191 cities did not enact the CPA. But why tell the whole truth when half of it meets your needs. (marketing 101)

      • And what kind of towns HAVE NOT ENACTED THE CPA??I wouldn’t want to live in 75% of the 191 towns that haven’t passed the CPA (hello Western Mass). However, I would want to live in 80% of the towns that have. I guess my question is why would people want to keep making Watertown a place people wouldn’t want to live in? Here’s map.http://www.communitypreservation.org/content/map

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