LETTER: Town Should Not Double Book Important Meetings

Print More

The Town of Watertown scheduled two important public meetings to conflict with each other this Wednesday eve, May 31: the first Victory Field Phase 2 Committee meeting, and the Arsenal Yards Phase II community meeting.

This double-booking should set off alarm bells for every voting citizen and taxpayer. It robs us and our elected representatives of the opportunity to be present for two meetings of keen public interest. Proposals discussed at these meetings will have long term consequences for many if not most citizens.

Watertownians, please add your voice, by letter, phone call or email, to tell your Councilors and city government that Watertown public meetings on topics of wide public interest must never be scheduled to conflict.

In response to citizen concern, Councilor Piccirilli has arranged for Watertown Cable Access to videorecord Wednesday’s Victory Field committee meeting and post it on the WCA-TV website. He will also publish a report on the Victory Field meeting in accordance with the Open Meeting Law, which will include all materials presented at the meeting.

Thank you to Councilor Piccirilli and WCA-TV for taking these steps to help remedy a bad situation. The fundamental problem still remains, however. Public meetings on topics of wide public concern should not be scheduled in a way which denies citizens and their elected representatives the opportunity to be present.

Libby Shaw
Templeton Parkway

2 thoughts on “LETTER: Town Should Not Double Book Important Meetings

  1. Well said, Libby. There’s another issue here: mandated “community” meetings for developments being built in Watertown are for the community’s benefit, but designed and dates plus location chosen by the developer and not the town. This has led to difficulties in timeliness as well as conflicts with other events. These community/developer meetings give the community its first understanding of a project and are supposed to give the community time to digest and discuss the project and then return to discussion with the developer before a plan is finalized. These meetings are supposed to give the developer the wisdom of the community as well as specify further planning that might include the suggestions and answer questions raised. The Department of Community Development and Planning seems to take second place to the developer in managing these important discussions. Perhaps if the DCDP were to organize the meetings the interests of Watertown would come first. Planning is key to so much going on in town. Consideration of other major events would be more likely to occur. Our citizens and Councilors would not be forced to choose which meeting to attend on the future of Watertown when both are crucial.

  2. I hope people second your statement Libby as well as Barbara’s comment and pass it on to their contact lists and FB. Too many important town issues seem to be falling between the cracks. Why are residents contnually forced to demand transparent “community process”? It’s not rocket science to schedule and post supporting documents for Town meetings. Why was the Athena I-Cubed draft May 2017 document not posted before the meeting? I thought the Town Council had passed a rule to ensure this would happen for all community meetings. People are very frustrated, tempers are flaring, negativity sets in, and communication breaks down again and again. Is this what we want for our Town? People are asking “Who is in charge?” A damn good question that deserves an answer given the repetition of what many consider dysfunctional default behavior. Who from the Town will answer? Who will step up?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *