LETTER: Group Encourages Older Residents to Participate in Comprehensive Plan Process

Submitted by Bob Shay of Watertown for All Ages

Watertown for All Ages, a grassroots community organization, encourages older adults and their children to make their voices heard in the city’s Comprehensive Planning process that will shape the future of Watertown for years to come. Watertown for All Ages has submitted recommendations for improved programs and services for older residents. To learn more and read the recommendations visit the Watertown for All Ages website (www.watertownforallages.org) or email: info@watertownforallages.org. The City is holding workshops for the public to participate in the Comprehensive Plan process on September 20 and 29. For details: https://engagestantec.mysocialpinpoint.com/watertown-plan/watertown-plan-events/ 

“We hope the ideas we have offered for the Comprehensive Plan will be the basis for a broader community discussion, and we encourage everyone to get involved,” said Bob Shay, President of Watertown for All Ages. Watertown for All Ages’ list of opportunities that the City planners should consider includes suggestions to increase transportation and affordable housing options, identify innovative ways to decrease social isolation, support intergenerational programs, and offer a broader range programs and recreational opportunities that will be of interest to a more diverse population of older residents.

LETTER: Resident Concerned About Loss of Staff From Health Department

(The following was first presented to the City Council during the Public Forum at the July 12, 2022 Council Meeting)

I am speaking to you about my concern over the long-standing problems within our Health Department. My information is from my attendance at Board of Health meetings, a review of minutes of public meetings, and my communications with members of the community and City staff. I read a statement at the January Board of Health meeting detailing my concerns, and what I described has since grown worse. In essence I asked the BOH to look beyond the Department Head reports and examine the reasons so many talented people are leaving our city vulnerable during what was such a critical time. I am appealing to the City Council to exercise their charter-mandated oversight responsibility and hold an Executive Session to address the situation. 

My key concerns within the Health Department are:

• An alarming attrition rate: around 8 employees in the last 3 years.

LETTER: Resident Backs Candidate for Congress With New Approach

Dear Editor,

I’m really tired of outlets not really covering things that effect our community, only events happening in our community.  

My family and business are struggling with the increased rise of inflation, rhetoric, and lack of listening to all constituents. Our leaders talk behind closed doors and it’s citizens are either muted or shut out of the process. As evidenced in many school, council, state, and federal meetings during the pandemic and the aftermath. If you don’t share their point of view, you are locked out. Not all of us have extreme views and sometimes a collaboration of ideas create growth. As in business, communities should experience growth and not the status quo.

LETTER: The Right Place for Solar Panels at Schools

We as a city are moving forward in many ways. However, the use of our land is not one of them. There is a place for everything. But do we put solar panels on the ground using up valuable acreage in our four-square mile city? Apparently, we did so at the new Cunniff School, installing an array adjacent to the parking lot on the north side of the hill. 

Solar panels belong on roof tops and on parking lot canopies; using valuable ground space is not a favorable location.

LETTER: Head of Boys & Girls Club Bids Farewell to Club, Dream Job

Watertown Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Renee Gaudette is leaving the club. Here she is seen receiving the Executive of the Year Award. She was nominated by Chris Chrombie, right, the club’s Project Director. Dear Beloved Community,

I am writing to share that, after nine amazing and rewarding years as Executive Director atWatertown Boys & Girls Club, I’ve decided that the timing is right for me to step back. The Board of Directors of WBGC is working diligently to identify the individual who can bestlead our organization through its next phase of growth and impact.

LETTER: Library Employees Back Interim Director for Top Job

This letter in support of Caitlin Browne as Library Director was written collaboratively and signed by over 30 staff members of the Watertown Free Public Library, across all departments of the library and including all department heads. It was read by library staff members at the Board of Library Trustees meeting on April 19, 2022. To our Board of Library Trustees:

As staff members of the Watertown Free Public Library, we would like to express our thanks for this opportunity to make our voices heard. We understand that the public forum is an avenue for commenting on “library business,” which we feel very much includes this director selection process. We appreciate the work of the screening committee that has narrowed the candidates to the current field.

LETTER: Former Watertown Middle School Teacher Looks to Heal, Rebuild Relationships in Spirit of MLK Jr.

The following letter was written to you, my Watertown community, almost a year ago. It was written upon Watertown News’ request for a statement from me on March 5th, 2021. As an employee of the Watertown Public Schools, I was not permitted to make such a statement at any time over the past year. Having now resigned from WPS, I would love the opportunity to share my thoughts with you and hopefully work towards some healing and rebuilding of the fractured relationships that last year’s incidents engendered. I can’t think of a better time to do this than Martin Luther King Day 2022.