Watertown Democrats to Elect Delegates to State Convention

Watertown Democrats are invited to attend a caucus on Saturday, March 9, at 1 p.m. to elect 24 delegates and 5 alternates to the 2024 Massachusetts Democratic Convention. The caucus will be held in the Watertown Savings Bank Room of the Watertown Library, 123 Main St. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m., and participants are encouraged to arrive early. Everyone who arrives by 1:15 p.m. will be admitted. At this year’s state convention, planned for Saturday, June 1 at the DCU Center in Worcester, thousands of Democrats from across the state will come together to cast a vote for their preferred Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate.

In-Person Early Voting in Watertown Starts This Week

Watertown voters can take part in early voting for the 2024 Presidential Primary during six days in late February and early March. Along with candidates for President, voters can vote for the party’s State Committee Man, State Committee Woman, and Town Committee. Polling places for the Presidential Primaries will be open on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The City of Watertown sent out the following information:

In-Person Early Voting for the Presidential Primaries Election will be held at City Hall located at 149 Main Street, Watertown in the Philip Pane Lower Hearing Room on the ground floor on the following dates and hours:

Saturday, February 24, 2024: 9:00am – 1:00pm

Sunday, February 25, 2024: 9:00am – 1:00pm

Monday, February 26, 2024: 8:30am – 5:00pm

Tuesday, February 27, 2024: 8:30am – 7:00pm

Wednesday, February 28, 2024: 8:30am – 5:00pm

Thursday, February 29, 2024: 8:30am – 5:00pm

Friday, March 1, 2024: 8:30am – 5:00pm

If you have any questions concerning the Election or where to go to vote, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 617-715-8686 or visit the Election and Voter Information page. Voters can also cast ballots by mail. The City Clerk’s Office said: “Massachusetts voters now have the option to vote early by mail in all Municipal, State and Federal Elections, with no excuse required.

Watertown City Council Hosting Remote-Only Meeting Tuesday

The City Council will meet Tuesday night in a remote-only session. See more details below. The agenda includes a public hearing and vote on $10.3 million for the Arsenal Park Improvements Phase B project, and the City Council will hear requests for accepting gifts to be used as memorials in the City. The meeting will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. See the entire agenda here.

Watertown’s Building and Inspectional Services Departments Moving Out of City Hall

Another Watertown City department will be moving out of City Hall and into the Parker Annex building. The Health Department and the Information Technology departments have already made the move south of the Charles River. The City of Watertown sent out the following information:

Watertown Building/Inspectional Services is moving on Thursday, February 22, 2024 and Friday February 23, 2024 to the Parker Annex Third floor, room 3D, located at 124 Watertown St., Watertown, MA 02472. They will still have the same phone number of 617-972-6480, the same contact information, and the same webpage. The staff will not be available for in-office face-to-face interactions starting at 11 a.m. on Thursday the 23rd and all-day Friday the 24th.

Watertown Appoints New Director of Health Department

The following announcement came from the City of Watertown:

Congratulations to Abbey Myers, the City of Watertown’s new permanent Director of Public Health, effective, Monday, February 5, 2024. Abbey has been a key member of the Health Department’s staff since she was hired, providing customer service while coordinating many aspects of public health, from updating our COVID policy, to attending emergency management training, building our new rodent policy, establishing better rules for dumpsters, and catching bats (yes . . . bats!). 

She stepped up into the Interim Director role, in August of 2023, where she has served the public well, staffing the Board of Health meetings, managing the Health Department staff, and organizing the Department’s move to the Parker Annex last week.

LETTER: Questions About New Position on Traffic Commission

By Linda ScottWatertown Resident

Democracy?  I know you’re out there somewhere…

This is not a letter that I could even imagine having to write, but here goes. When I looked at Tuesday night’s agenda for the City Council meeting, I noticed an unusual item. Then I started getting phone calls. Other people were curious about this item as well. So I got curious. Why would there be a sudden change to the structure of the Traffic Commission without any visible input from them?

Replacing Watertown Senior Center Included in City’s 5-Year Capital Plan

Courtesy of the City of WatertownThe City’s Capital Improvement Plan includes replacing the Watertown Senior Center. Building a new Senior Center made the list of projects planned to be undertaken by the City of Watertown over the next five years, Watertown City Manager George Proakis at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. Proakis presented the Fiscal Year 2025-29 Capital Improvement Plan, which includes $210 million of projects with $93 million of general obligation bonds to cover part of the cost. Senior Center

The City explored replacing the Senior Center in 2022 as part of a review of the Phillips Building site. That study by Ai3 Architects, done during the planning for the new Watertown High School, looked at tearing down the former Phillips School, but Proakis said that would be too disruptive for the Watertown Public Schools administration, as well as Watertown Cable that now resides in the basement.

Watertown Hires Familiar Face to be New City Clerk

Noelle Gilligan, right, has been named Watertown’s City Clerk. Here she gave the oath to the School Committee members, from left, Rachel Kay, Kendra Foley, and Lisa Capoccia, when Gilligan was the interim clerk. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

The City of Watertown sent out the following announcement:

Congratulations to Noelle Gilligan, who has been appointed and sworn in as Watertown’s new City Clerk, effective today, Monday, January 22, 2024. Noelle has been a key member of the Clerk’s Office staff for five years, providing customer service while coordinating many aspects of licensing and elections, first working with City Clerk, John Flynn, and then with Janet Murphy, who recently left the office. Noelle stepped up into the new Deputy Clerk role, and quickly hit the ground running when it came time to become Acting City Clerk, organizing important documents, and leading an effective city election this past November.