6 thoughts on “OP-ED: Democratic Presidential Candidates — Talk about the Elephant in the Room

  1. “As a City Councilor for the Town of Watertown” you should know that Watertown has Town Councilors, not City Councilors. If we did, we’d have a mayor and probably not have the uncontrolled overdevelopment in town.

    Also, federal money should not be given to states except in actual emergencies. If the military can indeed shrink that budget (I hesitate to trust a Cambridge “Think Tank”….quite the oxymoron), that doesn’t “free up” money to go elsewhere. Thats spending that should be cut.

    • Hi Mike,

      Technically, Councilor Palomba is correct. He is a City Councilor known as a Town Councilor. We are the City known as the Town of Watertown. Personally, I think we should be known as the City of Watertown. We have been a city since 1980. Clarity on this issue, after 40 years, would be a positive for the community.

      Now regarding our form of government. As noted on the town website, Watertown’s Home Rule Charter (The Charter) is our ‘constitution.” The Charter explains the responsibilities of the Town Council, Town Manager, School Committee, Library Trustees and other decision-making bodies. It describes every aspect of governance from Watertown’s form of municipal government, to how elections are run, to how our budget is developed.

      Our Charter is reviewed every ten years by a Charter Review Commission (CRC) and is thus up for review this year, 2020. Mark Sideris, the President of the Town Council and Chair of the CRC, has informed the public of the Charter review, he has invited residents to formally apply to become a member of the CRC, will interview all candidates, and then select six residents who together with the nine members of the Town Council, make up the CRC. The CRC reviews all provisions of the Charter. It holds public meetings and encourages public comment and participation. Depending on what recommendations for changes the CRC makes, the Town Council, residents, and possibly the state legislature will need to approve the changes. Here is a link to the Charter:

      Given that Watertown is starting the charter review process here is an article that discusses the different municipal structures of towns and cities: https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2017/09/19/16ctown-july21.pdf.
      In Watertown’s case we have Town Manager/Town Council form of government. Is it time for a mayor? The residents will need to educate themselves on the issues, raise their concerns, evaluate the information presented, and make their opinions known to those on the CRC.

  2. Great information and thoughtful ideas on how we can better spend the $$ we have to improve our basic transportation needs.
    Imagine a day where we will be able to spend more on diplomacy than we do on weapons.
    Many thanks to Elodia Thomas as well for her valuable information links.

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