Town Council Candidate Q&A: Anthony Donato


Anthony Donato is running for Town Councilor At-Large.

Anthony Donato is running for Town Councilor At-Large.

Watertown News reached out to candidates running for Councilor At-Large in the Watertown Election on Nov. 7, 2017 and asked them the same six questions. Here are the responses for Anthony Donato:

1) Tell us about yourself, and why you are running for Councilor At-Large.

I am running for Councilor-at- Large because I love Watertown. I am a lifelong resident of Watertown. My father’s family, the Donatos, moved to Riverside Street in 1950 and my mother’s family, the Sullivans, moved to Upland Road in 1950, so my Watertown roots are deep. I want to give back to the hometown that has given me so much.

I view serving on Town Council as a natural extension of my volunteer work over the past decade with the Rotary Club, the Boys and Girls Club, St. Luke Parish and the Lt. Paul J. Sullivan Scholarship.

2) A common thing to hear around Watertown is that it is getting more expensive, and more difficult for people who already live here to stay in town. What would you do to try to help people remain in Watertown?

Affordable housing in Watertown is something I care deeply about as many of our residents have been forced to leave town due to rising housing costs. Additionally, my wife has worked on affordable housing issues in the City of Somerville for over a decade.

I support the acceptance of all deductions and exemptions to the maximum amount allowable under state law to benefit our elderly, our veterans and those residents who are struggling financially.

I support the shift of the tax burden from residential to commercial, industrial and personal property classes and an increase in the homeowner’s residential exemption to help offset real estate tax increases.

With the passage of the CPA, I believe we should dedicate a significant portion of those funds to increase our affordable housing stock whenever possible.

3) Development has been a big issue the past few years. How would you like to see the Town handle new proposals for major building projects?

I do not believe that Watertown can be completely pro-development, but I also believe we cannot put an end to all development either. Every development needs to be considered in light of the Watertown Comprehensive Plan and based on its own merits, with public input and with an emphasis on smart, controlled growth that complements and does not overburden surrounding neighborhoods.

With that being said, I think it makes sense to slow down with respect to large scale developments until we have had the opportunity to examine the full impact of all the development on Arsenal Street.

4) As a Councilor, how would you communicate with residents to find out their needs and concerns?

I believe Town Councilors need to be responsive and accountable to residents.

I feel strongly that Town Councilors should meet people where they are, whether that is at home, at work, at community meetings and events or through service providers.

I plan to be active on email and social media to ensure that our residents are up to date on what is happening in Town and I support efforts to make the Town’s website more user friendly and to ensure information is readily accessible.

5) Do you support making changes to the Town Home Rule Charter that spells out how Watertown’s government operates? If so what changes would you make?

I believe that the Town’s Home Rule Charter has served our community well for almost 40 years and has helped us become one of the most fiscally sound communities in Massachusetts.

The Charter is scheduled for review in a few years and I would be open to input from those who believe that changes to the Charter are needed.

6) What will be the next big issue in Watertown that is not yet on the front burner?

In keeping with the previous question, I believe potential changes to the Charter will be one of the next big issues we face as a Town.

Leave a Reply

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