See How to Participate in the City Manager Finalist Public Forum

Charlie BreitroseWatertown City Hall

The three finalists for Watertown City Manager will appear at a Community Forum Monday night, and the public will have the chance to ask them questions. The forum will be held in the Council Chamber in Watertown City Hall, 149 Main St., on May 9, 2022 at 6 p.m.

Each of the candidates will be interviewed for an hour. The finalists are: Norman Khumalo (Hopkinton Town Manager), John Curran (Billerica Town Manager), and George Proakis (Executive Director of Somerville’s Office of Strategic Planning & Community Development). Read more about the Finalists here. The meeting will be hybrid so members of the public can attend in-person or join remotely. Those participating by Zoom will be able to hear from the candidates and ask questions.

Zoning Change Allows Businesses to Have Pick-Ups of Items Bought Remotely

The City of Watertown’s Zoning Map. A Zoning change approved by the City Council will allow customers to drive up to local businesses and pick-up items purchased remotely. The amendment to the Watertown Zoning Ordinance allows businesses to allow the transfer of goods purchased remotely, and they will designate parking spots for these transactions. At the April 26 City Council meeting Council President Mark Sideris summarized what would be allowed with the change. “Basically, they order on the phone or computer, they drive up, tell them you are here, and they come out and give it to you,” Sideris said.

Watertown Receives Grant to do Inventory of Trees on Public Land

These trees along the Community Path between Whites Avenue and Waverley Avenue are some that would be counted in the Urban Tree Inventory to be conducted by the City of Watertown. The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:

The City of Watertown was recently awarded a $38,500 grant with a 50/50 match by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grant Program to support the City’s Tree and Potential Planting Location Inventory project. The grant is awarded annually to municipalities and nonprofits looking to improve and protect urban forests in an effort to help communities inventory, plant and maintain public trees. The City of Watertown will be contracting with PlanIT Geo, Inc. to conduct an Urban Tree Inventory. This project will provide a public tree inventory on streets, parks, and public property throughout the City.

City Wants to Hear from Public on Changes to Watertown’s Major Planning Document

The City of Watertown will be updating its Comprehensive Plan. This document guides what the City will look like in future, and covers topics such as economic development, land use, and transportation. The review will be an 18-month process that will be led by the Department of Community Development and Planning and a consultant team from Stantec in partnership with the Planning Advisory Committee. 

The first public meeting will be in the Hosmer School Cafeteria, 1 Concord Road, on Thursday, May 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. It will be held live and on Zoom. “This year, we are updating the city’s comprehensive plan which means that we want your feedback to plan for Watertown’s future,” said the announcement from the City. City officials want to hear from Watertown residents, property owners, business owners, and workers.

Watertown City Manager Finalists to Appear at 2 or More Public Meetings

The three finalists for Watertown City Manager will appear at public meetings at least twice in early May before the City Council makes its final decision. Wednesday evening the names of the three City Manager finalists were announced: George Proakis (Executive Director of Somerville’s Office of Strategic Planning & Community Development), Norman Khumalo (Hopkinton Town Manager), and John Curran (Billerica Town Manager). Read more about the Finalists here. City Council President Mark Sideris said a public forum and public interviews by the Council have been planned. The public forum will be held on May 9 at 6 p.m., and the Council interviews have been scheduled for May 12 at 6 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the Council Chamber in City Hall (149 Main St.), and also will be live on Zoom.

Board of Trustees Appoints New Watertown Library Director

City of WatertownCaitlin Browne was named the Watertown Library Director by the Board of Trustees. Previously she served as the Assistant Director. The Watertown Board of Library Trustees voted to appoint Caitlin Browne the new Director of the Watertown Library. The decision was made Monday night after a 3.5 hour meeting in which the trustees debated between Browne and another finalist, Maria Palacio. The appointment is contingent on successful contract negotiations with the City of Watertown.