See Precinct Results for 2021 Town Council, School Committee, Library Trustees Races and the Charter Questions

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Town of Watertown

A map of Watertown’s Districts: Peach is A, Red is B, Lime Green is C, Green is D.

The results of the Watertown Election are in, and the winners have been announced, but if the election had followed certain precincts the results would have looked different.

The Town Clerk’s office released the precinct-by-precinct counts from the Nov. 2, 2021, election. The turnout was bigger than recent Town Elections, with 24 percent of the 25,693 registered Watertown voters casting ballots, according to the Town Clerk’s office. In 2019, the turnout was 17.24 percent.

The town had contested races for all but two seats up in the election. The uncontested candidates were Town Council President Mark Sideris and District C Councilor Vincent Piccirilli.

There were also two ballot questions regarding changes to the Town Charter.

At Large Councilors

The Councilor At-Large race featured seven people running for four seats on the Council. Tony Palomba got the most votes, followed by John Airasian, Caroline Bays and John Gannon. Daniel D’Amico was fifth place, followed by Megan O’Halloran and Jimmy Mello.

See the precinct votes below with the winners in bold.

AT LARGE123456789101112TOTALPlace
Airasian21422825729822315631928816246630626031772
Bays20730340840328418930730918823815918131763
Palomba19829840940630318930433219526017318432511
D’Amico13519631132123314925930116428217114026625
Mello93888512399811781959127519715716627
O’Halloran13916115717715511623624312637125021823496
Gannon17023230335528117028730418230415217629164
Source: Watertown Town Clerk

Palomba won six precincts: 3, 4, 5, 6 (tie), 8, and 9. Airasian had strong showings in Precincts 1, 7, 10, 11 and 12, where he took the top spot. Bays took the most votes in 2, and tied for first in 6.

While Gannon took the fourth seat on the Council, D’Amico (who finished fifth) had more votes in Precincts 3 and 11.

O’Halloran had her best showing in Precincts 10, 11, and 12, where she got the second most votes. Mello’s best precincts were 10 and 11. He placed third in 11, fourth in 10.

Mark Sideris got 4,516 votes for Council President. There were 143 write in votes.

District Councilors

Three of Watertown’s four districts had contested races in 2021. In District A, the East End, Nicole Gardner won over Michael Hanlon for the seat that has been held by Angeline Kounelis. In District B, incumbent Lisa Feltner won another term over challenger Tiffany York. In D, where Ken Woodland stepped down earlier this year to take a job with the State, Emily Izzo won the seat over Connie Henry.

Each district is made up of three precincts. The winners are shown in bold.

DIST A123TOTALPlace
Gardner24236949811091
Hanlon1411061263732
DIST B456
Feltner4253051949241
York1491581324392
DIST D101112
Henry1981271294542
Izzo51530927110951
Source: Town Clerk

Gardner won all three precincts in District A, but Hanlon had his closes showing in Precinct 1.

In District B, Feltner took all three precincts, but York was within 62 votes in Precinct 6.

In District C Vincent Piccirilli, running unopposed, got 1,091 votes, and there were 56 write ins.

Izzo swept the three precincts in District D, and Henry had her best showing in Precinct 12.

School Committee

At least one new face was guaranteed on the School Committee with John Portz’s decision not to run for another term. The two incumbents won re-election to the School Committee, with Amy Donohue getting the most votes, followed by Lily Rayman-Read. Jessica Middlebrook won her first term on the School Committee.

In fourth place was Jennifer Nicholson, followed by Rachel Kay and Colleen Mahoney Faherty.

The winners are shown in bold.

SCHOOL COM123456789101112TOTALPlace
Rayman-Read17223832733727317427829415823515718228252
Kay13922131125317612217618915616711010721275
Mahoney Faherty1001139811998881781938527018018317056
Nicholson1081341191771561052382349437524619721834
Donohue18319924829620017631529515637725422529241
Middlebrook13720329132822913924528114726615515125723
Source: Town Clerk

The top two candidates split the precincts. Donohue had the most votes in seven precincts (1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12), and Rayman-Read won five precincts (2, 3, 4, 5, and 9).

Nicholson had her best finishes in Precincts 10, 11, and 12, where she got the second highest tally.

Kay finished second in Precinct 2, 3, and 9 (tie), and third in Precinct 1. Mahoney Faherty finished third in Precincts 10, 11 and 12.

Library Trustees

In 2021, the Library Trustees had a contested race, with four people running for three spots on the board. Incumbent Leanne Hammonds got the most votes, and she will be joined by Sara Keary and Rose Mary Su. Maja Young took fourth place.

LIBRARY123456789101112TOTALPlace
Keary16923226826128217423027918630421216727642
Su19122834028022514324826317631918615827573
Hammonds21826635038429320935837519839724723035251
Young16822426731320113422521612623214515524064
Source: Town Clerk

Hammonds won all 12 precincts. Keary received the second most votes in Precincts 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, and 12. Su got second place in Precincts 1, 3, 7, and 10. Young took second place in Precinct 4.

Ballot Questions

Both ballot questions asking voters to approve changes to Watertown’s Town Charter were approved. Question 1 changed the name of Watertown to City of Watertown from City Know as the Town of Watertown (commonly referred to as Town of Watertown). Question 2 included a wide array of changes, including adding a preamble, allowing the Council to hire staff, adding communication requirements, creating a Community Engagement Officer, and adding a Human Rights Commission.

Question 1123456789101112TOTALPlace
Yes22430741636830820229430920832121420833791
No13815819122915212125428211839922119224552
Question 2
Yes25033247045133822532334922736623822137901
No105127124135116952032309034118817019242
Source: Town Clerk

The Yes vote on Question 1 won with 57.9 percent of the vote. Question 2 passed by with a larger percentage of the vote, 66.3 percent.

Yes on Question 1 won in 10 precincts, while No had more votes in Precincts 10 and 11.

Voters backed Yes on Question 2 in all 12 precincts. The closest margins were in Precincts 10 (25 votes), 11 (50 votes), and 12 (51 votes).

19 thoughts on “See Precinct Results for 2021 Town Council, School Committee, Library Trustees Races and the Charter Questions

  1. Hi
    I’m not following your point and would like to understand regarding the election not following certain precincts? Thanks in advance

  2. Congratulations to Councilor Tony Palomba. He is the consummate councilor; a real man of the people. Congratulations to Mr. Airasian, Councilor Bays, Councilor Gannon, Ms. Gardner, Councilor Feltner, Ms. Izzo, Ms. Donahue, Ms. Read, Ms. Middlebrook, Ms. Hammonds, who garnered the most votes of all, Ms. Keary and Ms. Su. To all who ran, the was a very engaging race because of the competitiveness. To the current town council, please appoint Ms. Young to the vacant Library Trustee Committee position. Ms. Young contributed to the very congenial and good natured Library Trustee race along with the other three candidates. It was a very bright spot to see these women run together.

  3. With the election over I am wondering if the candidates that aligned themselves with the “We are Watertown” group are now regretting that choice. That group was promoting 8 candidates and NO votes on both questions. Overall they were not successful with only 4 of those candidates getting in. Some of the candidates they pushed ended up being the lowest vote getters also. Both questions passed too adding to their failed message.

    My advice to people that want to run for office is be careful who you associate with. I believe in this case that anyone associated with the misleading messages, fear mongering and so on actually took a huge risk. For many in town, that platform was a complete turnoff whether it was the angry letters to the editors endorsing them yet insulting others, the misinformation being spread around, and more.

    I know for me, I voted completely opposite of their suggestions. The overall tone of that group was a complete turnoff.

    • We are Watertown was started by a couple of local men who love our town/city. I agree it should have been more focused on the positive of the candidates they chose to endorse. It may or may not have had a negative result. John A, Amy and Emily,sure did well enough!
      I believe the people of Watertown have a mind of their own and would not allow negativity from others, unrelated to the candidates to sway their vote. If they did, shame on them for not taking the time to get to know each individual candidate before voting and allowing a Fb group to make decisions for them.
      Congrats to all the candidates!!

    • I’m confused why the “We are Watertown” group got slandered, by so many progressives especially?? “My advice to people that want to run for office is be careful who you associate with” and “I believe in this case that anyone associated with the misleading messages, fear mongering and so on actually took a huge risk”. The only posts I saw where posts the actual candidates made? That they stood by and ran on. What for example was “Misinforming”? How is quoting a candidate fear mongering? I think calling out a candidate, for going to a constituents house, is fear mongering. Last I looked there where over 6oo members, and it was a whose who of our community? Cops, Fireman, numerous Teachers, small business owners, families here for generations and some who just moved here. Yet, they somehow got branded as angry, right wing-nuts

      • Just the title “We are Watertown” suggests that some folks aren’t Watertown. Please explain. I’ve lived here 13 1/2 years. Am I Watertown?

        Who isn’t Watertown? There seems to be a chauvinist tone to the whole thing. Who’s excluded from “We are Watertown”.

        • Who isn’t Watertown? The people attacking the police, and who jump to the conclusion that since someone got killed halfway across the country that the same thing would happen here, and that Watertown’s finest need to be punished and reined in and pretty much ruled by a bunch of people who think they know better than people trained to do the work. That is who isn’t Watertown.

          There are those who give no credit to the work these people do, want to kick them out of the schools when it has been demonstrated that they are a trusted resource and remake the town so that it serves their own agenda.

          They are the people who want a Human Rights Commission when there has never been one event that has happened in this town to warrant having one. They want the town council to speak out about national issues that have not one thing to do with running the town, fixing the roads or keeping people safe. If they want national issues, they can run for national office, not the towns and try and turn it into something more than what it is.

          Most people in this town are concerned with the state of the roads, that there are small businesses being encouraged here over the box stores, that people robbing their parents and grandparents through schemes, and protecting their children and making Watertown a nice place to live. Not bring the world’s agendas into our front yards. And I think some of those people just had enough.

          • So people who want a Human Rights Commission aren’t Watertown? That speaks volumes.

            Remember that just because something bad hasn’t happened to you doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened to someone else.

            It is perfectly consistent with American democracy to question authority, and that includes the police. Where authority cannot be questioned, authoritarianism will prevail.

            I wonder why the writer above didn’t sign her full name to this hateful, mean spirited screed?

          • I am Watertown, and it has nothing to do with my attitude toward the police, where I grew up, if I care more about the streets or the schools or anything else. I live here, so I am Watertown. And I am very proud to say so. I love living here.

            Congratulations to all the candidates who won, and thanks to all who put in the time and effort to run a campaign to serve our community. It is not a small thing to take on a campaign. We who simply vote for our preferred candidates appreciate your hard work and service to us all very much.

      • Echo Joe Levendusky below here. A good number of the members did not live in Watertown. Last time I checked, Watertown had not annexed Waltham. Plus there were a handful of fake accounts. Lastly, some individuals on the page followed people around virtually and in person like some Eastern European government in the 1990s. Some photos of people holding signs for other candidates were posted on one of the sister FB pages of which there are two. If you don’t like a candidate, the candidate’s positions or that candidate’s supporters, then fine, but you don’t get to malign those people and follow them around without some pushback.

        Ironically some of the individuals on the slate were very nice, friendly and warm in person as were their families and partners. They should have touted those positive traits of their candidates. One even worked on the charter, and in my opinion did some great work there. They should have really touted that. Instead we know nothing about those individuals other than there were born in Watertown, and I am a born and bred WatRat, which in my opinion should have been our mascot – Marauders v WatRats! We needed a lot more info about their candidates. We do know that candidate X said this or candidate Y belongs to this FB group or that supporter of candidate X attends many zoom calls. None of this provided any context and all it did was make people run screaming away from the page. Fortunately, no one who was looking for a fight took this page’s information and physically harmed someone. For that I am very thankful.

        • This “townie v. newcomer” battle isn’t new or unique to Watertown. It’s a sad way to define candidates and officials. Luckily, it didn’t really work. I think Watertown has a nice mix of individuals and experiences on the incoming Council. Very happy that the “slate” approach didn’t work!

          • Yes and I look forward to working with everyone on the Town Council. I think we got some smart people who can work together and discuss the issues like affordable housing, growing pains from development, digitizing public records, shifting the residential tax burden, brining in more destination-type businesses, exterminating the rats (I really hate certain rodentia!) and integrating everyone in this community. Creed, gender, orientation, color or disability should never disqualify someone from being treated fairly and with dignity. Being dismissed sucks for every human being.

  4. I have trouble understanding the need for a Human Rights Commission in Watertown. We have very many laws in place that protect the rights of people in this country. The US Federal Government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have such commissions in place. If there is such wide spread human rights violations occurring in town, where can I find these cases to read up on? If things are that bad here, maybe Watertown isn’t such a nice place to live after all. Or maybe we need one because Cambridge has one and we need to keep up. We missed this chance to properly change Watertown to a real new name. West Cambridge would have been a perfect fit. The lawyers will love this new commission for sure.

    • Hi Dean,
      You’ve expressed some feelings that I have as well. If anyone’s human rights are being violated in any way in Watertown then that should be confronted vigorously with state and federal resources as appropriate and needed. Baring that, do we really need to allocate resources to something that seems redundant to other functions of government? If our school curriculum needs updating let’s leave that to the school committee and ed department. If our policing needs different training, focus or resources then we can explore that, too, within the current framework of our government. What’s the compelling need for this new committee?

      I’m not sure that this issue was adequately explored and debated. It was a shame that this issue wasn’t separated out from the rest of the charter for consideration like the name change was. The council should understand that there may not be a mandate for this committee in the same was that there was for supporting the charter changes in general. Hopefully not too much time, attention and resources will be devoted to it at the expense of the many other challenges our community faces right now.

      Please comment, all! I could be wrong and possibly could be convinced otherwise but right now feel that this committee hasn’t been given adequate discussion and will only serve as a distraction and waste of our limited resources.

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