Town Councilor Announces He Will be Stepping Down, Moving Out of Watertown

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Councilor At-Large Michael Dattoli and his family.

Councilor At-Large Michael Dattoli and his family.

Recently re-elected Town Councilor Michael Dattoli announced Tuesday night that he will be stepping down because he and his family will be moving out of Watertown.

Dattoli, a Councilor-At-Large, will be resigning effective April 30, 2018. He won reelection last November.

“This a surprise to many of you, but my wife Megan and I and my family – after very careful consideration – have a very exciting opportunity,” Dattoli said during he meeting. “The timing is very unexpected but for personal reasons, and there are many of them – and they are difficult, we are relocating out of Watertown.”

In an email Wednesday, Dattoli said that he and his family will be moving to Winchester to a house next to his wife’s sister. Being able to have his son and daughter to have cousins living next door was a big factor, as was the good real estate market in Watertown, Dattoli said.

“(Megan and I) both grew up in Belmont and have made Watertown our home since 2001, so it feels like a big step, however it also feels right,” Dattoli said.

With an opening on the board for someone in the first 12 months of his or her term the Town Charter calls for holding a special election to fill the spot, said Town Clerk John Flynn, but the Council also has the option of appointing someone to fill out the remainder of the term. In order to appoint a replacement, six of the Councilors would have to vote to use that option.

The special election cannot be held earlier than 64 days after the date of the resignation, Flynn said, who added that as of Wednesday morning he has not yet received an official letter of resignation from Dattoli. If he resigns at the end of April the earliest a special election could occur would be the first week of July.

The next regular Town election is not until 2019, and the next state election will be the State Primary in September. Flynn said he believes the Town Council would need to get a Home Rule Charter approved by the State Legislature to put a local office on the state ballot.

Flynn estimated cost of a special election would be between $12,000 and $15,000.

15 thoughts on “Town Councilor Announces He Will be Stepping Down, Moving Out of Watertown

  1. Runs for reelection and less than 4 months after winning decides to move from the town. And the fine citizens of Watertown get stuck holding a $12,000 bill. Thanks Mike.

    • Fred. your comments always tear somebody down and never offer anything constructive. I guess you are perfect.

  2. “Fred”, are you the same that made these comments last year in response to another elected official stepping down?

    “The time to leave Watertown is now. With few exceptions, property is selling at above the asking price. And let’s not delude ourselves, Watertown is hardly special, only convenient.” – Fred, May 2017

    I’m eager to see your name on the ballet during the September primary (when Watertown will most likely hold an election for this vacant seat). You have to put your real name on it though, which I’m hoping isn’t a barrier for you. See you soon!

  3. While I can appreciate Mr Dattoli had to make a difficult decision to resign from office, and to relocate, I would appreciate it more if his resignation was effective immediately. I would prefer not to have him vote on issues that will affect the residents of this town long after he is gone. Mike, please reconsider and make it immediate.

  4. There is likely to be very low turnout at a special election with one item on the ballot that is held in July because of people’s vacations. If we are going to go through the effort and expense of holding a special election, it would be more fair to both the town and the voters if Mr Dattoli resigned sooner so we could hold the special election during June.

  5. My opinion is that Mike was one of the best we’ve seen when he did the things he does. I was fortunate enough to meet Michael at an autograph signing back in the Spring of 2014, right after he was elected and he was kind and generous to me, my elderly mother and my son. Best of luck when you move to wherever it is you are going. Please keep us in your heart and mind.

  6. When I had a problem and reached out to the town council Mike was the first to respond and the only one who personally looked into the matter for me. Best of luck to you, Mike, and your family and thank you for your service to the town.

  7. This is very disappointing but totally understandable. Life happens and opportunities come/go. I will miss Mike’s ability to listen to all sides of an issue before making any decisions. The TC will miss having another perspective on the council which is unfortunate. Good luck Mike in your new endeavors.

  8. Sending warmest best wishes to Mike and his family.
    Mike -Thank you most especially for your vote NO -against the zoning in east watertown .

    This zoning gave the developers a gift to turn our small 4 square mile community into a major highway – taking away forever the quality of life in our neighborhoods with buildings towering over their homes.
    Mike I know your disappointment – you walked in my shoes.
    I was the only Councillor in 2007 who voted no to zoning on Pleasant st and abutting streets- the vote banned- yes prohibited the building of single family homes 2-3 and 4 family homes or any conversion of – and to ALLOW 5 story .
    I remember what I said after the 8-1 vote :”Watertown will be the only community anywhere to ban Middle class people”. Sadly today we have accomplished that throughout watertown !

    So I thank you Mike for being independent and caring about the quality of life of our people and trying to preserve the character of our neighborhoods . And you were the new kid on the block – growing up in Belmont.
    It’s not always popular to do the right thing.

    I’m wishing you all good luck with your family and all your future endeavors
    Thank you for your independence and caring service .

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