LETTER: Council to Consider Allowing Short Term Rentals, Resident Opposes Them

For three + years residents have been attending City Council meetings and calling City Councilors to address concerns about allowing short-term rentals (STRs) in our city. STRs are rental periods of 31 days or less in various types of properties. We are grateful that the topic is coming up on the agenda finally, but could the timing be any worse? With the Watertown Square Charrette meetings occurring this next week, the Council meeting is now on Monday, November 27, when typically Council meetings are held on Tuesdays. How many people are going to pay attention to the day change, especially right after a long holiday weekend?

LETTER: Watertown Affordable Housing an Inside Story, Part Three

Has Watertown already fully or partially complied with the MBTA Law? How can I get involved in making Watertown Square a more attractive and vibrant city center? Watertown has been a leader, along with Boston, Cambridge and Everett in permitting more than half the multifamily housing units in the Greater Boston area, according to “Greater Boston Housing Report Card”…The Boston Foundation. Watertown is cited in a 2019 Boston Globe article entitled “NIMBY? Not These Cities and Towns.” As a matter of fact, Watertown may have already complied with its housing zoning mandate for the MBTA Law, because, in reality, that is the point of the MBTA Law … to zone for more housing.

LETTER: Housing Need + Empty Storefronts = Opportunity

To the editor of Watertown News. There is clearly a profound shortage of affordable housing nationwide and here in Watertown. At the same time there is a huge number of empty storefronts everywhere. What is being done to convert at least al portion of those vacant commercial properties into residences? It seems an obvious solution — most storefronts are in areas served by mass transit so would suit individuals or families who can’t afford or don’t want cars.

LETTER: Watertown Affordable Housing an Inside Story, Part Two

By Linda ScottWatertown Resident

Is There Any Other Way? – What other Strategies can we use to add to Watertown’s housing stock? People, there just has to be a better way or a combination of better ways for us to provide affordable housing and grow our community. Here are just four possible approaches:

1) One way that we could add significantly to affordable housing units in Watertown would be by banning STR’s (short term rentals … AirB&B’s) in Watertown. There are hundreds of them in Watertown.

LETTER: Candidate’s Post-Election Message to Voters

David Stokes

Voters of Watertown,

You have spoken, and the results are in! I offer a hearty thanks to each of you who cast a ballot in this election. And many more profound thanks to all the candidates across the ballot, both successful and unsuccessful candidates alike – I know that the run for elected office is trying and can be tumultuous. Although I was unsuccessful in my run for re-election, I am confident that the collective wisdom of the democratic process has provided a robust School Committee going forward. I am grateful for the opportunity that you provided me 4 years ago to serve on the School Committee as your elected representative.

LETTER: Watertown Parent Endorses 2 School Committee Candidates

I am excited and proud to vote for Rachel Kay and Jennifer Nicholson in next Tuesday’s election for the Watertown School Committee. I encourage other Watertown voters to do the same. Over the past two years, I have worked closely with Jen and Rachel on initiatives to improve outcomes for all Watertown students. In our work together on the Watertown SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council), I found both Rachel and Jen to be thoughtful, committed, mission-centered, hard workers. Their work on the Watertown SEPAC Officer Board added tremendous value to the SEPAC and to the Watertown School District.

LETTER: Parents Endorse A Duo for School Committee

Dear Neighbors,

Watertown is fortunate to have 5 excellent candidates running for 3 spots on the School Committee. If high quality people like these were competing as candidates for spots in every local, state, and national election, it would be so great! But, a choice will be made and in our opinion Kendra Foley and Rachel Kay are the best picks of this strong field of candidates, with both bringing unique and valuable skill-sets to the group work of the School Committee. Kendra is a consummate professional who grew up in Watertown, has been on the committee for 8 years (2 as chair), and worked at a high level in both state government and the private sector. Rachel is an educational data expert who chose to put down roots in Watertown, works for MIT, and has a record of both tireless advocacy for all students and bringing more voices to the table when important educational decisions are being made.

LETTER: Candidate Reflects on 2023 Campaign

When I decided to run for School Committee, I had no idea how transformative an experience it would be. Over the past several years, I have immersed myself in Watertown formally and informally, watching scores of meetings, attending countless events, and knocking on over 1000 doors. This has been so educational for me. I am amazed by the people of this four square mile community. It is tremendously gratifying that so many have supported my candidacy.