Watertown Town Council and School Committee Member
11/97-2004 and 1/2007-12/2009
As Watertown Town Council President and School Committee Member I led the Council in approving the additions and renovations of the Watertown Free Public Library. Recognizing the need for improvements in our library system and following deliberations of the Council that they would only approve the renovations if there was an initial infusion of monies from the public I forged a public-private partnership with Watertown Savings Bank. I joined Ms Lucia Mastrangelo in asking Mr. Ronald D. Dean, President and CEO of the Watertown Savings Bank whether they might make a contribution toward the library improvements. Mr. Dean and the Bank’s Trustees granted the monies requested resulting in the final vote of approval by the Council. On the suggestion of a fellow colleague in the Watertown Rotary Club and Town Meeting Member, Mr. Russell Morgan, as Town Council President, I recommended for consideration the establishment of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Subcommittee. The Town Council saw the value of seeing the process of fiscal oversight being more formally established and ratified the subcommittee. The 2000 Watertown Town Charter proved to be instrumental in making a significant change in the annual fiscal deliberations conducted by the Council. Ms Ann Hyland, Esq. the Town Attorney pointed out that MGL allowed the Council to raise the amount allocated to the School Department above the recommendation of the Town Manager as long as an offset is identified and the overall budget does not exceed Proposition 2 ½.
Watertown School Committee
5/1974-12/1980 and 11/1991-12/1993
Watertown School Committee, Chairman, Watertown School Committee, January 1, 1992 to December 31, 1993. I served as the Chairman of the Watertown High School Building Committee in 1976. In 1990 Superintendent Sally Dias appointed me to the Strategic Planning Committee for the Watertown Public School System. An outcome of this process resulted in my being one of the Co-Founders of the Watertown Education Foundation.
Elected Member of Watertown Charter Commission 1980
Elected by popular vote as one of a nine member committee to review provisions of various charters and make recommendation on adoption of a charter to govern the Town of Watertown by the electorate. The recommendations (revisions) made by the committee were approved by the electorate resulted in the enactment of our current governmental system and the elimination of approximately One Hundred Forty-four Town Meeting Members and Three Part-Time Selectmen.
Watertown Town Meeting Member
Other Related Memberships Held
Corporator Watertown Savings Bank; Lifetime Honorary Member International Association of Watertown Firefighters Local 1347; Member, Watertown Rotary Club, President 2006-2007, (Currently, Honorary Member); Social Member Watertown Sons of Italy, Former Member; Secretary and Clerk Massachusetts Easter Seals Board of Directors; Former Corporator Mount Auburn Hospital; Former Member and President, Watertown Kiwanis Club, October, 1991-September, 1993 and October, 1995-September, 1996; President, Browne School PTA, 1971-1973; Trustee, Watertown Council of Parents and teachers 1972 and 1973; Member of Watertown Citizens Ad Hoc Advisory Committee January 24, 1972-December 31, 1982 (Appointment by Selectmen); Vice-President, Watertown West Jr. High PTA 1975; Committee Member, Boy Scout Troop 226 1971- December 31, 1982; Chairman, Cub Pack 226 1969-1971; Board of Directors Watertown Multi-Service Center 1972-1980; Former Member, Watertown Elks Grand Lodge; Former Boston Biomedical Research Institute (BBRI), Watertown.
I am running for Councilor-At-Large at this time because it is my considered opinion that 2020 is a critical period for the City, Known as the Town of Watertown. We will be conducting the decennial review of the Charter and it is suffice to say, I am running for Councilor-At-Large for a variety of reasons. I am very much interested in participating in the 2020 Charter Review. I believe it is time to put forward the issue of electing a mayor rather than a Town Manager to the electorate for their consideration. A case can be made that it should have been placed on the table during past reviews.
A re-examination of the Comprehensive Zoning Codes should be undertaken by the Town Council as duly and directly elected representatives of the community rather than the appointed officials. Perhaps utilizing this approach will provide a greater sensitivity toward preserving neighborhoods and facilitate the enactment of codes that will decrease density and the building of large developments by right. Also, we have seen that there has not been an effective infrastructure plan in place to ensure that we were able to accommodate the new growth. As a strong proponent of public education I wish to participate along with the other Councilors in assisting the School Committee meet identified school building needs and other budgetary requirements.
With respect to affordable housing, we have found that the new development has not led to rent charged enables city employees to afford the rents charged and live in the community they serve I ask voters to examine my experience in serving the community as a Town Meeting Member, School Committee Member and finally as Town Council President and School Committee Member. In each of these positions I have made a considerable contribution in making each work more efficiently and brought results i.e., Watertown Free Public Library, Watertown Education Foundation; forging public-private partnerships. My leadership style is one of collaboration, transparency in all actions and an advocate for citizen participation in Council deliberations. Currently, the Council is extensively using the legislative mode and discussing matters only among themselves more than is necessary.
If elected, I will put forth a motion to change the process so that those in the audience who wish to speak on an agenda item can do so at the time the agenda item is being considered by the Council. I will put forward a proposed change in the Council’s rules so that anyone who speaks at Public Forum receives a notification of the disposition of their concerns. A change in the process governing Public Forum and also the allowance to speak on each agenda item should improve communication with residents. I also will commit to having monthly public meetings with residents at an hour convenient to residents and voters.
I am asking the voters for one of their four votes on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. In addition to concerns regarding open space, schools and affordable housing we must be cognizant of the needs of our public safety departments based on current and development in the planning stages.