UPDATED: See Who Won the Council President and School Committee Races

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Charlie Breitrose

Watertown voters re-elected two incumbents in contested races on Tuesday, but there will be two new faces in elected positions.

In the race for City Council President, incumbent Mark Sideris defeated challenger and former Council President Clyde Younger. The tally, according to precinct results obtained by Watertown Cable Access Television, was 2,602 for Sideris and 871 for Younger. Sideris will be serving his eighth two-year term.

Five people were running for three, four-year School Committee seats. Incumbent and current chair Kendra Foley received the most votes, with 2,135. Two newcomers will join the School Committee in January: Lisa Capoccia and Rachel Kay. Capoccia received a total of 2,011 votes and Kay got 1,964. In fourth place was incumbent David Stokes, who was seeking a second term. He received 1,446 votes. Challenger Jen Nicholson received 1,319.

Other candidates on the ballot were either unopposed, or there were the same number of candidates as positions up for election:

City Councilor At-Large: Anthony Palomba 2,475, John Airasian 2,696, John Gannon 2,254, and Caroline Bays 2,351

District A City Councilor: Nicole Gardner 706

District B City Councilor: Lisa Feltner 716

District C Councilor: Vincent Piccirilli 726

District D Councilor: Emily Izzo 759

Board of Library Trustees: Maja Young 2,599, Theodore Kokoros 2,450, and Sarah Murphy-Holroyd 2,300

The voter turnout was 14.5 percent of the 25,295 registered voters.

The results are unofficial, and must be confirmed by the City Clerk’s office before becoming official.

8 thoughts on “UPDATED: See Who Won the Council President and School Committee Races

  1. Thanks to all who ran for office, all who worked for their campaigns, and all who worked the election machinery. You are democracy!

      • Still, this is a sad turnout, but not unexpected when 8 of 9 Councillors are running unopposed.

        This failure to provide the voters with choices and robust political dialogue must be addressed.

        The first place to look is the compensation of Councillors. I believe that many talented individuals chose not to run because they cannot justify the time and effort for the pay.

        It is not an unwillingness to serve, but rather that they have families to provide for and to consider.

        This isn’t a small town anymore. City Council is a job.

        • There were a good number that left sections blank(not voted) which is also not a good indication. Well, it takes a good amount of effort to run and then do a good job afterwards. Good luck to those who won and thanks to those who ran too.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree that compensation is key to attracting talent to the council, I (& others) fought for it during Charter Review & we were able to open the door but after voters accepted the Charter changes & gave the council the power to radically change their compensation they balked with a paltry raise that did nothing to attract competition for their seats. It is beyond frustrating but the fight must go on, Watertown deserves to be well represented by full-time elected officials who can actively manage & guide the city through the many challenges we continue to face.
    For example, despite council assurances that insurance would pay Chief Lawn’s sexual harassment lawsuit damages, $2.5 million ended up coming out of OUR TAX DOLLARS this summer (insurance ALSO paid her $1M+ in damages – Watertown’s first female detective was awarded over $4M in damages for discrimination by Watertown PD) which begs the question, if we had a full-time council, would enough of the council have stepped up after Howie Carr’s Boston Herald article (if not sooner from internal reports & the investigation) & said, the town manager isn’t sufficiently dealing with this & tell him that given the extent & specificity of allegations in the Complaint against him, Chief Lawn shouldn’t be allowed to continue in his role as POLICE CHIEF or be allowed to retire with a full pension because he’s a liability who broke all kinds of rules & harassed one of Watertown’s few female police officers.
    Now that the lawsuit is over & the council can talk about what happened, I would love to know what was done to address the issues inside Watertown PD that the lawsuit outcome clearly identified as existing from the top down. This was extremely embarrassing for Watertown but it was also wrong & needs to be prevented from anything like that happening again.
    Many great things came out of the Charter changes & Watertown has moved forward but there is still much to be done & changing City Council to full-time positions could help achieve that (I didn’t even mention development that everyone is feeling squeeze the city, resources & increase traffic which councilors could work to manage better).
    I love Watertown & believe it is a fantastic place but we can do better & it is our responsibility to keep trying.

  3. The turnout was again very low. It is sad that people don’t take the time to follow these elections and show up to vote. Even if there are no opponents, you could at least vote to show support for the people who are currently representing you if you you agree with them.

    I hope the people who didn’t take advantage of this tremendous right that we have to vote don’t complain about what’s happening in the city and schools going forward. More opportunities are offered to vote than ever before and people don’t avail themselves of these. It takes a lot of time and money to offer all the alternative voting times and that doesn’t seem to encourage the disinterested to turn out. If you don’t want your voice to be heard at the voting booth, then maybe you should remain silent with any complaints about what is decided by these winning candidates for the next few years. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The future depends on what you do today.”

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