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.