9 thoughts on “Lt. Governor Signs Agreement Which Will Help Watertown Build ‘Complete Streets’

  1. Thanks Mark Sideris – great that you wrapped this up since mentioning it in 2016.
    In 2014, you also mentioned Victory Field Phase II would move forward with the creation of an “ad hoc committee” OVER TWO YEARS AGO. A committee that has yet to meet. Charlie B, can you find out why Mark Sideris has been unable to get out of his own way to form a committee in a reasonable amount of time that meets the needs and desires of his constituency? It’s unacceptable that development Mr Sideris has let development balloon our population to the point of not providing adequate resources to our taxpayers and student athletes. Charlie B, is there a plan from Mark Sideris to put everything back on the table into the discussion since we now have so many more users than in the past (and it’s only growing) along with pushing back school start times? Is there a plan to hold a town wide, open to public meeting where residents can reengage and get answers as to why the Town Council refuses to repair and renovate Phase II (The track alone was due to be replaced in 2006)! Let’s find out why, and do it in a public way that benefits the majority of the residents who would like to see this facility renovated.

  2. Isn’t this a little late? The Town Council & Manager have allowed development to explode in Watertown with adequately considering the impact on the city’s infrastructure: roads and schools. Now, after permitting unfettered growth, we’re going to to think about building better streets?
    I have a suggestion: let’s address the disaster known as Watertown Square, finally build a rotary at Common & Orchard & while we’re at it, synch the traffic lights so traffic can flow smartly according to the congestion. Just a thought while where thinking about things

  3. Charlie, I read that in the paper too. The question was, when, if ever, will this committee meet? And why did it take over two years to form? Maybe Elodia Thomas can chase an answer for you once – instead of the other way around. I believe she is very very close with Mark Sideris (you’ve seen them sitting together whispering, giggling and laughing during those school building meetings). She’s on the ad hoc committee and has a direct line to Mark Sideris. Perhaps she can tell us when these meetings will start. I’m sure she’ll want to revisit this process in town wide meetings since the economic and demographics of Watertown have so drastically shifted so much in last 2 to 3 years. Thanks!

  4. Concerned Parent,
    Half of the $3 million Victory Field Phase I budget was supposed to be raised via naming rights, sponsorship & donations but only $300k was raised so the rest had to be paid for by the town with bonds – Phase II was budgeted for over $1 million – It seems reasonable & fiscally responsible for the town to hold off on further renovations because we’ll be paying back that extra $1.2 million for the next 30 years & there was massive outcry from residents when Phase II was proposed.

    I would think that the condition of our school buildings, classrooms, & lack of technology would be of greater concern than spending $1 million resurfacing the track or another $1 million on a second turf field (which may cause cancer).

    If not, I would think that priorities would be sidewalks, curbs & safe roads so Watertown’s students can get to school would be the priority. It’s not like we don’t have sports fields; yes they could be better but how about safe buildings, roads & sidewalks, then quality education, then higher quality sports fields for our student athletes?*

    To your other points:
    Being a Town Councilor in Watertown requires an enormous time commitment (for very little pay), being President requires even more time. Mark Sideris isn’t perfect but my experience is that he will speak with any resident that takes the time to show up at a meeting or email him questions or concerns; actually I think that the whole council is good about that (again for very little pay).

    Elodia has made caring about Watertown her second job. I have tremendous respect for the time & effort that she puts forth. I don’t always agree with her but I appreciate that she is informed & shares her information with the whole Watertown community & encourages everyone to get involved. She pushes for transparency that we all benefit from & I we are better off for it. In no way do I think that she & Mark are plotting anything other than how to best solve Watertown’s challenges.

    Charlie didn’t read in the paper that the Victory Field committee had been named, he wrote it. He works hard to keep Watertown informed via this website & I appreciate all of his hard work & dedication which is absolutely going under appreciated & under paid. I don’t pay to read this website, do you? Who pays Charlie to keep us updated? Has he ever asked you for money? He’s never asked me. At a time when the media is being vilified across the country I appreciate that he cares enough to keep writing this news site. Thanks Charlie

    *I wonder how this argument would go if a parent was fighting for a performance space or music studio for WPS.

  5. To add some information to issues/questions posed:
    – Victory Field Phase II is presently budgeted @ $3 million in the Capital Improvements Plan;
    – Victory Field Phase III, the Field House area, is presently budgeted @ $3 million in the Capital Improvements Plan.
    – Here is a list of who is on the Victory Field Ad Hoc Committee:
    . Vice President of the Town Council & District C Town Councilor Vinnie Piccirilli, chair 0f the Victory Field Committee
    . Councilor At-Large Tony Palomba, vice chair of the committee
    . Director of Recreation Peter Centola
    . Watertown High School Athletic Director Mike Lahiff
    . Community Development & Planning Director Steve Magoon
    . Watertown Youth Soccer President Mark Leonard
    . Resident and abutter Elodia Thomas
    . Resident Elliot Friedman
    . Resident Ann Marie Korte
    Many residents, including me, have been asking “When will the committee convene?” The answer I have received is “soon.” I suggest you reach out to VP Piccirilli and/or Counselor Palomba to express your concerns and ask for more detailed information.

    For the record, what I have listed here is public information. The link to the Capital Improvements Plan is on the main page of town website. The Victory Field Ad-Hoc Committee was announced at a town meeting and was also published in Watertown News.

    As noted by another responder, Charlie Breitrose does an outstanding job in getting the word out about what’s going on in Watertown. You might think about making a yearly donation to his efforts; consider it support for your local on-line newspaper subscription.

    Hope this information is helpful.

  6. Anne,
    It shocking and disturbing to me that you think it’s “reasonable and fiscally responsible” to postpone the Phase II renovation when the surfaces were deemed unsafe and dangerous by users and coaches way back in 2014. It’s troubling to think kids have and can still get injured because you think we need to save a few $$. I guess you think it’s also “fiscally responsible” to let fire trucks fall into disrepair? Should we buy the police department used body armor? It would give us more money for the schools.
    Anne, you’re probably not aware that the tot surface was deemed so dangerous and hazardous to users that it had to be replaced last year – prior to ad hoc committee meeting and discussing it. It sounds like you would’ve prefer kids continue to get injured on that surface.
    Regarding Councilor Sideris, he and the TC could have voted on Phase II in 2014. It was HIS idea to form the “ad hoc committee”. It’s wrong for you to criticize a taxpayer for holding an elected official accountable for doing what he said he was going to do in a timely manner. It shouldn’t take 2.5 years to do an hour of work! Also, strange the TC couldn’t find $15k last year for temporary lights, but the did manage find $800k in free cash to buy a house to tear down so we wouldn’t have to sacrifice parking spaces for a walking path.. This is not ok.

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