LETTER: Candidate Kicks off Campaign for Council President

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Clyde Younger

Clyde Younger for City Council President and School Committee Member

I am excited to announce that I am running for City Council and School Committee Member. I am starting my campaign by reaching out to you my friends, neighbors and the community asking for your help.

In 1973 Friends Suggested I Run on the Theme “He Listens”

In 2023 “I Can Still Do It”

I am honored to have been elected to serve this Community as a Town Meeting Member, School Committee Member, Elected Charter Commissioner and Town Council President and School Committee Member.

I relocated to Watertown after CDC transferred me to assist in managing Boston’s Tuberculosis Program.

Over the years I have witnessed the rich values of the Community; its commitment to service and dedication to ensuring that the needs of neighbors are addressed and met.

In the 4-square mile City, a/k/a Town, it was easy townwide to know your Neighbors. My professional work experience encompassed both the public and private sectors

I spent 25 years working for the Centers for Disease Control, USPHS. My assignments were at the federal, state and local levels.

In the Boston and Denver Regional Offices, I administered Disease Control Grant Programs for the six New England states and the six Rocky Mountain states.

Upon retirement, I became a Franchisee of Burger King and owner of several restaurants.

Currently I am the President of two start-up companies.

Elective Offices Served:

School Committee: May, 1974 to December, 1980; Chair, High School Building Committee, 1976; November, 1990 until December, 1993. Chair, Watertown School Committee, January 1, 1993-December 31, 1993.

Town Council President and School Committee Member: November, 1997 to December 31, 2010

In addition to the elected positions in Watertown, I have had the pleasure of being:

Corporator Watertown Savings Bank, Watertown, MA

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, Cambridge, MA

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, 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, Watertown, Ma. Boy Scout Troop 226 1971- December31, 1982

Chairman, Watertown, Ma Cub Pack 226 1969-1971

Board of Directors Watertown Multi-Service Center 1972-1980

Former Member, Watertown Elks Grand Lodge

Former Corporator Boston Biomedical Research Institute (BBRI), Watertown, MA

19 thoughts on “LETTER: Candidate Kicks off Campaign for Council President

  1. Clyde,

    Can you give any statement about what you want to do with your powers of office if elected? This introductory letter doesn’t include any plans for what to do with the office and doesn’t include your position on any issues that may come before either of the boards you are running for.

    • Thank you Mr. Sullivan. Yes, I will outline my position regarding my position on matters of the City. I will directly send you what I wil cover on Monday. From my vantage point there are several policies I would do differently. That is not to say Watertown is doing everything wrong. I believe Watertown is a wonderful community. I simply say that we must establish or go a different direction or path on several areas that will be an overall improvement. Otherwise, there is no reason for me to seek office again.

      • Clyde Younger
        for
        City Council President and School Committee Member

        Position on Issues
        DEVELOPMENT AND BIO LABS
        Watertown, as we know, has Schools, Services and Location that makes it a very attractive City to live in; however, it is equally attractive to Developers. So much so that large development is enveloping the entire community.
        Watertown is a wonderful community. Can we make smarter decision about future growth in the City, the infrastructure needed to support existing and future growth and our schools?
        I am definitely opposed to the unfettered development. First, we need a zoning review of the entire city to eliminate these large developers from doing their projects since so many are loosely zoned giving them so many rights.
        Over Development and the plethora of Life Science (Bio Labs) represent a major challenge for the Community. I support the Council voting a Stay (Moratorium) on all Developments conducted until a Comprehensive City–Wide Rezoning Study is conducted, completed and acted upon.
        Apparently, there is not an accurate count of existing Labs in the City and their Bio Levels.
        My position is that an Inventory of the number and Bio Level Research Conducted and Wholesale and Retail Merchants of Bio Materials must be done immediately.
        I am opposed to any further licensing of Bio Labs a/k/a Life Sciences in Watertown. We must also ensure that we have the infrastructure to meet existing risks including a Fire Hazmat Truck.
        MBTA MASS TRANSIT LAW
        The City is currently in compliance with the MBTA Law regarding Multi Family Housing within a half mile from Public Transit despite told otherwise. There is no need to allow a four story building in the Square to meet the MBTA Guidelines when The Gables complex, the former Prioli estate, is less than a half mile from the Transportation Hub in the Square.
        Communities have dubbed the MBTA Legislation “Capacity Zoning”.
        Gables property serves well for this requirement and can be zoned Capacity. There is nothing in the guidelines that precludes the Zoning of existing multi-family housing as Capacity.
        Using the old Prioli property , the City will be in compliance and not lose any grant funds from the State. It is also important to note that the Route 70 Bus is steps away for transit to the square and onto Cambridge and Boston. Assuredly, no other zoned district has this luxury.
        The property is less than a half mile from the Mass Transportation Hub, if that is what the Square is considered. Watertown’s Motto is the “Walkable City”. It is a pleasant walk to the Square in the Spring, Summer and Autumn.
        As mentioned, Rte. 70 bus is steps away during inclimate weather.
        The Council and the Manager is prepared to enter into negotiations with the MBTA regarding the MBTA Barn area (as it is called) for housing.
        The negotiations for the City should be for development of open space to complement the Delta. Perhaps Watertown can have a Central Park in the area overlooking the Charles.
        We must insist that the Manager, Council and Planning bring various options for the community to consider. It is especially important since decisions of this nature impacts the level of density and the overall quality of life in Watertown.
        We cannot continue to be inconsistent with our planning. On one hand we tout the achievement of the City in two Green Schools and offset it by large developments one after another.
        If we were to go along with zoning the MBTA Barn area “Capacity”, where do we think it would end. The legislation regarding the Pleasant St. Corridor for the corner of Bridge and Pleasant St. morphed to Rosedale Rd. I will not support Capacity in the Square.
        The zone of Capacity for the Gables area will be specifically detailed to eliminate any overreach.
        My understanding and I will support the Manager identifying in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 budget the specific programs being supported by new growth monies.

        COUNCIL
        Meetings, encourage fellow colleagues on the Council to vote in new rules governing Public Forum and other matters.

        Public Forum – The recommendation is to allow greater transparency by increasing the time allowed from two minutes to up to five (if needed to clarify a matter). If a (voter/resident ) has entered their name and address, a letter will be sent within seven business days acknowledging receipt of their concerns and the final disposition whether the matter is remains under consideration or being laid on the table for consideration at the next meeting.

        Petitions – Add a rule that any Petition that will come before the Council for Consideration, a Councilor shall not sign such Petition.
        City Attorney- Noting the current City Attorney’s services are limited to the City Manager and Council, I see a need for a Part time Public City Attorney whose duties will be dedicated solely to the interests of residents, reviewing documents to form, appeal methods and various options available under Mass General Laws and the City of Watertown. I realize this is an added position and cost but necessary.
        SCHOOLS
        The City Budget for 2024, I question why the Administrative Budget increase in cost exceeds the allowed School Committee Budget.
        The City is to be commended for its commitment to providing the schools with new building infrastructure without an override.
        Our next task it to address the soft needs of the schools.
        Ginny Rogers of WOKQ published an article dated August 11, 2023 citing a new study from 27/7 Wall Street ranking identified only one (1) High School in New England placed in the top 50 nation-wide. The High School was Lexington High. The research indicated the highest and most valuable public education to students were in California, Texas and Illinois school districts and then other Midwest and Southern Schools.

        The top schools had larger budgets to provide more opportunities for students in their region. Lexington had a graduation rate of 99% and a student to teacher rate of 13 to 1. 45% of the students were enrolled in AP courses.

        The Council should assist the Watertown Schools break this Top 50 nation-wide Barrier. Both demographically and economically the community has changed; thus, it is a goal to meet.

        For further Info or Reach Candidate

        clyde3721@comcast.com

        • Thanks for your response, Clyde. Where did you hear that the City doesn’t know where all the biolabs are?

          Also, with regards to the MBTA Law, from what I understand about the law the State wants units in addition to the ones already existing, and the City will have to zone the areas with the apartments with the new zoning for the law to be met.

          • Charlie, I will have to admit I Googled the number of labs here and the number was not known.

            As to the the MBTA a WANT is different than SHALL. Excuse the all caps. It is for your readers because other communities are using the optipons available and within the Law it allows existing Multi-Family Units to be counted. I just want the administration to let us know if this is not the fact or they are simply finding an excuse to a Developer to build in the Square. Notice, the comment overlooking the Charles.

            What is more important lining the Pocket of a Developer or a Park to complement what we have in the Delta? As Ross Perot would say – That Is The Operative Question?

          • I can give you an example Charlie of one of the “retail merchants of bio materials” that the town did not know about: the company on Templeton Parkway whose ad on breeding, selling and shipping genetically modified/diseased-model hamsters for medical research, is in a residential neighborhood in Watertown that seems to be doing business without a permit. (residents of Watertown can google map this to see the ad for the company.)

  2. Thank you for the question. I plan to give a series of articles addressing each City Department. I will be providing my thoughts/position on issues beginning Monday regarding the Council President and Planning.
    Clyde Younger

  3. Most of the “accomplishments” listed here date back to the 20th century. And what’s listed are really titles, not accomplishments. As professional folks know, titles alone give very little information about what you actually did or didn’t do in those jobs. Also, in offering yourself for public office, I’d expect to see an explanation of what you stand for and what you want to do differently than the incumbent…. here and now, not dangled as a promise for later.

  4. I so want to vote for you Mr. Younger. On your LinkedIn bio you list Younger Contruction, which is not listed here in this letter of intro. Are you in favor of larger and more accelerated developments in our little Watertown? As a longtime employee of the CDC, are you in favor of more biolabs in Watertown, and are you in favor of building level 3 biolabs here, and what would you do about the risks if you did? As a top CDC employee in charge of preventative health funding, would you have mandated vaccines and/or pushed healthy diet (thinking of your BK franchises here) during the coronavirus scare? And do you see any (other) conflicts of interest in taking this position as President of our City Council that we should be aware of? Asking for a bunch of friends 🙂 And good luck, sir.

  5. Dear Ms Breen, I was going to provide my list of accomplishments on Monday. I had listed a lengthy resume in order for the new people in town to simply to get to know me and my background and capabilities. Especially in terms of I am not a novice to elected positions in town. Even so, I know there are many things in the city that has changed since I left office. Inasmuch as I have been out of an office for a considerable time, I tried to present what I would want to know about a candidate before I voted for them regardless of their promises. once elected. At least I would want to know who is this person?

    It interesting, you mention that I listed 20th century accomplishments. I have always considered myself a 19th century person with one important exception as a Afro-American. I look upon the 19th century as one not needing a paper contract. A handshake and your word was bonded you in any transaction.

    Not to be overly modest, I have attempted to serve Watertown without any fanfare leaving it better than I found it before. I find it easy to screw up things. Yes, I have led committees in the 20th century; however, the committee’s votes have had a profound and lasting effect and betterment of the community.

    As you know, there are tangible and intangibles as we go through life. It also applies to the works of committees. I have always strove to place community interests ahead of my personal interests. In addition, even though one may lead a matter, I am and was cognizant of the fact that you do not accomplish anything alone.

    Your fellow committee members must also see the importance of a matter. I conducted myself and went by the premise this is “what we have done”.

    I have been quiet about my many accomplishments in town. I listed the School Committee when I was first elected in 1974. A few noteable examples are as follows:

    In my first term on the School Committee we sought monies from Town Meeting to fund a new High School. The Committee was not able to convince Town Meeting to build a new high; however, we did receive approval to renovate the existing high school. I was voted, by my fellow collegues in my first term on the School Committee to be the chair of the High School Building Committee. After gaining initial funding, the teachers recognized new curriculum and programs they wished to implement.

    Approving the necessary change order, I along with the Clerk of the Works had to go to Town Meeting and convince the body to approve additional funds. In those days Town Meeting was especially frugal. I not only had to do this once but had to go three times for funds and each time the monies were approved. The renovation of the school has had minor changes over the years; however, it has been serviceable until it closed in June, 2023.

    Later on while Chair of the School Committee a request came forth requesting that the School Committee divest part of the Phillip’s School ground for building the Senior Center. I was informed by some in the community that the divestiture never would have happened if someone else had been chair. I do not know if this was correct but the committee went with my recommendation and support.

    Appointed by Superintendent Sally Dias to the Strategic Planning Committee, I saw that Brookine had an Education Foundation to support their schools. I thought a program of this nature coud focus on the anxillary needs of students and teachers in Watertown. School Committee Member John Madden and I were co-founders. Ronald Dean, President of Watertown Savings Bank and several other local businessmen joined us in starting the Foundation. Ron Dean even provided the Bank’s Trustee’s Room for our initial meetings.

    Serving as President of the Council, the late Russ Morgan reminded me that Town Meeting had a Finance Committee. He did not understand why the Council did not also have one. I intoduced a Budget and Fiscal Subcommittee to the Council and it was approved. To this day it has been an effective sub-committee increasing the Council’s role and participation in the budgetary cycle of the community.

    A midterm vacancy occurred on the Library Trustees. A provision of the charter entrusts upon the Council President a role in a replacement recommendation and vote. I recommended the late Lucia Mastrangelo whom I previously found to be a very hard worker. The Trustees went with along with my suggestion. Later I heard from members of the Trustees that she was one of the best Trustees ever.

    After a period, a request came in from the Trustees to renovate the main library. The Council voted to approve the renovation if and it was a big “IF” the community would get behind the project by providing the initial funding. Town Manager, Michael Driscoll supported renovating the Main Library and asked if I could take Ms Mastrangelo to meet Ronald Dean in order to ask for an initial contribution.

    I had previously been introduced by John Airasion to Ronald Dean. Lucia and I thought Ronald Dean and the Trustees of the bank would perhaps donate at least $10,000.oo. Instead he and the Trustees gave a $100,000.00 to kick off our fundraising effort. After the Commitee vote to approve the project it appeared everyone in the community came forth helping in various amounts.

    The renovations of the Main Library was not without a great deal of consternation and discussion because the Director recommended closing the East and North Libraries. Considerable discussion also centered on preserving the historic portion of the building. The Watertown Library turned out to be the destination point for all of the surrounding communities due to the vast offerings.

    Mr. Michael Hanlon, during one our meetings, presented a proposal to start a fair . There was some hesitation by the Committee since it was an unknown entity. We ended up voting in the affirmative and now we have the “Faire in the Square” each Fall.

    The Community and its members, mostly deceased taught me many life lessons in public service to the community. I see no other Town/City would have provided me the opportunity to serve alongside such dedicated and love for their Town.

    My love for this city is greater than Denver, Colorado where I grew up. Of course I have lived mucho more time in Watertown than Denver.

    As you can glean from my comments, Watertown is a wonderful community. Can we make smarter decisions about the future growth of the city, the infrastructure needed to support the existing and future growth and our schools? You bet we can. Watertown has not ever set still in meeting is challenges. Clyde Younger

  6. Ms Farrell,
    Thank you for your letter. 1. Younger Brothers Construction is a misnomer. I do not have any laborers or do construction work. In 2011 a friend contacted me regarding a need for a minority firm in order for him to qualify for work at Logan International Airport. Minorities and Women can apply to the State for Disadvantaged Business and upon Minority Business Status. Certain Contractors working on Public Projects are often required to include a minority in their response to and gain certain Public Contracts.

    My Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) allows me to procure construction materials and supplies for a contractor working on a public project. Currently, I am awaiting a contract to procure materials for a contractor who will be working on a project with Massachusetts General Hospital. The job has been pending before the Covid Pandemic. My understanding that the firm’s engineers should complete their work in October. I have priced several electronic materials for them. The company is BCM Controls and won the contract over Cannistraro whose office used to be here in Watertown.
    2. I am definitely opposed to the unfettered development. First, we need a zoning review of the entire city to eliminate these large developers from doing their projects since is zoned to give them so many rights. I have been away and was not able to attend the State of the City. I notice in reading, the Manager and the Council is going to negotiate with the MBTA regarding the MBTA Barn (as it is called) area for housing.

    Unfortunately, we have not been advised that Watertown is already in compliance with the MBTA Legislation. Communities have dubbed it Capacity Zoning. The experience we have had with the Pleasant Street Corridor, where it has morphed from our vote of the corner of Bridge and Pleasant St. to Rosedale Rd. I can see a runaway zone. Legislation does not preclude existing multi-families from being used. A requirement is it should be less than a half mile away from transportation. The Gables or whatever it is called on Irving St. clearly meets the criteria. It is less than a half mile from the Transportation if that is what it is deemed. Watertown’s Motto is the “Walkable City”. It is a pleasant walk to the Square and Rte. 70 bus is steps away.

    3. I am opposed to any further licensing of Bio-Labs or a/k/a Life Sciences. I don’t think we have a handle on the number in the community, nor their level. I support an inventory of the number of labs and our infrastructure needs including a Fire Hazmat Truck.

    4. Immunization was a program I administered. I do not consider the Moderna and Pfizer shots a vaccine. I look upon it similar to a pill that helps you control your hypertension. A vaccine prevents disease, i.e. Small Pox, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and Polio. I know the Covid was mandated for certain populations to mitigate spread. However, my wife and I did not get more than the first two shots that we voluntarily took. I have found there are underreported adverse reactions.

    5. I thought Burger King had lesser problems of obesity if taken in moderation; thus, I felt comfortable in being a BK Franchisee.

    6. I do not foresee anytime I would be in conflict of interest and if so would recuse myself, not participate in any vote and leave the chamber until the discussion and vote was over. This is what we were advised to do when I served on the Council in order to eleminate any perception of conflict real or imagined.

    I hope I have addressed most of your questions. If not you can email me at clyde3721@comcast.net or call me either on my landline 617-923-0592 or for a prompt response my cell at 617-512-9477.

    • Thank you for your comprehensive reply. Greatly appreciated and pleasantly surprised at your transparency. Good luck.

  7. I’ve heard no good reason to limit the number of biotech buildings in Watertown, or stop new ones, although Mr. Younger and others have said that’s what they want. Can someone please offer a LOGICAL rationale why we should limit new biotech buildings? Please do so without using the word “big” because there’s nothing wrong with big buildings, particularly in commercial- or industrial-zoned areas.

    New drugs are discovered and developed in these buildings, and those new drugs may change your life or that of someone you love. Note that the same kind of work is done in biotech buildings in Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lexington, Woburn, Worcester and many other cities in Massachusetts without incidents impacting residents.

  8. Also – to correct a biological error in Mr. Younger’s comment above – the messenger RNA (mRNA) Covid vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are, in fact, vaccines and they work in a similar fashion to other vaccines: they introduce an “antigen” (in this case, instructions to create part of the virus) into the body, thus stimulating the immune system to create new immune cells primed to recognize the antigen upon next encountering it. Same as any other vaccine, but different way of introducing the “antigen.”

    It seems to me that no one can be considered “educated” in the 21st century if they have no understanding of life sciences and biology… similar to the 20th century, when an educated person was expected to know something about computers.

    • Thank you Ms Breen. I am fully aware that an antigen is introduced. I am not neglecting the usefullness mRNA nor downplaying the important of the research surrounding this and other diseases. CDC and NIH supports of what I was a member of PHS which both of these Departments fall under. I also saw that we ceased funding the specific research the lab closed. It is precisely what happed to the Boston Biological Research Instutite who had a Research Lab in Watertown. I was a Corporator on their Board. So I am not against Research Labs.

      I have a tendency to look at Land Area when I attempt to make decisions re. Labs. The four Communities you cite are not four square mile Cities. The State puts a limit on the number of liquor licenses based on population. Persuading me is land area.

      We know that mRNA is a novel approach to have the body recognize the antigen as a foreign entity. In the past vaccines usually had an inactivated or small dose, so to speak, to induce protection. I referred to Imunity.

      I see no problem in the city putting in place additional safeguards and preventive measures beyond what is required by each lab according to the level approved. I wonder why I pay insurance to protect my house when nothing happens.

      I hope you do not see this as arguing with you. I see it as debating this important issue in the City as well as establishling an appropriate level of density.

      However, I must say I would not make a judgement about whether one can consider themselves educated since pharmacology is only one part of an education.

  9. I have read enough above to continue to support Mr. Sideris, who has been doing his job very well throughout his tenure. If it ain’t broken (you know the rest).

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