I’m James “Jimmy” Mello, a lifelong resident of Watertown and a candidate for Councilor at Large in the November 2nd election.
The next Town Council will be responsible for selecting a new Town Manager; this will be the single most important decision that the council will make in about thirty years. My dad came to Watertown to work at the Arsenal, and when he got married, he wanted to raise his family here. I grew up in the West End of Watertown, but over the years, I’ve lived in every district, which gives me a unique perspective as a candidate for Councilor at Large.
As a resident, I have experienced issues of concern in those districts, and I can bring that background to the table as a Councilor. As a resident, I’ve been interested in what goes on in this Town for as long as I can remember, and was one of the youngest town meeting members when I was a senior in high school. Growing up in Town, I went through Watertown Public Schools and have actively been participating in various Town meetings ever since. I’ve been actively involved as a member of the Watertown Charter Review Committee as a resident representative, and have attended the School Building Committee meetings since they began. I think Watertown is in a good place at this time, and want to see it continue to be the best it can be for the residents of the Town.
Watertown has been well managed in regards to our budget, town services, and many capital improvements such as maintaining streets and sidewalks, and updating our public buildings with the renovation and expansion of our Department of Public Works , a new Library and Police Station. Soon we will be completing two new Net Zero Energy elementary schools, the Cunniff and Hosmer, which will then be followed by the renovation and expansion of the Lowell School. In a couple of years, a new Watertown High School that will be built without a tax override. We have a fully funded Employee Retirement System and a Triple A Bond Rating that allows the Town to borrow at a lower interest rate, which is an achievement that most cities and towns in the Commonwealth envy.
As one of your Councilors, I will insure that we stay on this path. The future for our community still faces many challenges, such as addressing Climate Change, Affordable Housing and the need to find and purchase more Open Space for the citizens of the Town. Traffic Congestion is a concern and I support expanding the services of the recently introduced shuttle on Pleasant Street. I fully support the implementation of an Affordable Housing Trust in Watertown and will advocate for a strong Community Preference Policy. I want to insure that Watertown is affordable for all its citizens, especially our seniors and residents with limited resources by supporting the introduction of linkage fees for commercial developments in Town.
We must continue our support of Public Safety, our Fire Department and our Police Department. As a Councilor, I will continue to support the Department of Public Works, Town Hall employees, the Library and our Public Schools. These services will allow Watertown to thrive into the future.
While my parents made the choice to live here to raise their family, I’ve actively made the choice to stay here and be involved in my community. I believe in Watertown and want it to succeed in every possible way to be the best community possible.
Please consider me as one of your four votes for Town Councilor at Large on Tuesday November 2nd.
Candidate for Town Councilor At-Large