The Watertown Charter Review Committee voted strongly, but not unanimously Tuesday night, to keep the current form of government, with a Town Manager, rather than looking to change to one with a mayor. The meeting, held remotely, included more than 130 people at its peak, and the Committee heard from dozens of residents in over close to two hours of public comment. Types of Government
There are three forms of government in Massachusetts, the council with a manager (like Watertown’s current government), mayor with a council, and towns, which have town meetings made up of residents as the legislative branch and the select board (or board of selectmen) as the executive branch. Michael Ward, the committee’s consultant from UMass Boston’s Collins Center, said that Tuesday’s meeting focused on the manager and mayor forms.
That decision was made, Ward said, “Because there has been no mention of towns by this committee, and in the history of the city form in 200 years of the Commonwealth, no city chosen to return to town form of government.” Ward compared manager and mayor forms. With a manager, the council is elected and is the legislative body and is responsible for creating ordinances (like local laws) and passing the budget.