This Week: ZBA Hears Main Street Project, Budget Hearings, Library Director Search

A view of the project proposed for 104-126 Main St. viewed from Main Street. (Illustration by Icon Architecture)

The six-story retail and commercial project on Main Street will be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals, the City Council will hold two budget hearings, and the Library Board of Trustees will continue discussing the process for hiring a new Library Director. The Zoning Board of Appeals will hear the mixed use project at 104-126 Main St. that was discussed by the Planning Board in April and May.

Watertown Superintendent Given Raise, Makes Salary Close to Average for Comparable Districts

Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston. Watertown Superintendent of Schools Dede Galdston received a 3 percent raise from the School Committee, which will put her around average for comparable school districts. The raise makes her salary $193,636.91 for Fiscal Year 2023, which runs through the end of June. The Superintendent deserves the raise, said City Council President Mark Sideris, who works with her on three boards. “I believe that that is a very reasonable request and I believe that from where I sit in positions on the School Building and School committees and the City Council, we have a superintendent who goes above and beyond constantly,” Sideris said.

This Week: Main St. Project at Planning Board, School Budget & Council Considers Linkage Fees

Charlie BreitroseWatertown’s City Hall. There are some big meetings this week, including the first time a City board will consider the major mixed-use project on Main Street. The School Budget will be presented by the Superintendent which currently faces a deficit of nearly $1.4 million. And, the City Council will discuss the proposed linkage fees on developments to create affordable housing. Superintendent Dede Galdston will present her recommended FY24 School Budget to the School Committee on Monday, April 10.

Meetings to Check Out: Voc Ed Report, Discussion of Neighbor Notifications of Projects

The School Committee will hear the report on Career and Vocations Education Monday, a Council Committee will discuss notification of proposed projects, and the implementation of the City’s Climate and Energy Plan will be discussed. Also the Council will vote on the replacement of the Filippello Park spray pad. Upcoming meetings:

The Council’s Committee on Climate and Energy will discuss implementation of the City’s Climate & Energy Plan on Monday, March 27 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall and remote. See more info here. The School Committee will get the final report from the Career, Vocational Technical Eduction Committee and will hear about the State’s Comprehensive Audit. Monday, March 27 at 7 p.m. at Cunniff Elementary School, 246 Warren St. See more here. The Council’s Committee on Economic Development and Planning will discuss enhanced public notification of to neighbors about projects.

Watertown Teachers Contact Approved by School Committee

Following lengthy negotiations, teachers in the Watertown Public Schools have a new contract after the School Committee approved the deal on Monday night. The deal includes increases in each of the three years of the deal, plus bumps in the first and third years. Another addition is increased parental leave, said School Committee member Lindsay Mosca, who was on the district’s negotiating team. Jessica Middlebrook also represented the School Committee on the negotiating team. “I think that the Watertown Public Schools have a lot to be proud of in the contract,” Mosca said.

Watertown Teachers Union Addresses Salaries, Parental Leave and Other Issues in Contract Negotiations

Watertown teachers rallied in Watertown Square calling for settling their contract. Photo courtesy of Watertown Cable News / Maya Shwayder. Watertown’s teachers spoke out about their desire for a “fair contract” during Monday’s School Committee, and responded to the statement from the School Committee about the negotiations made during the previous meeting. The teachers contract has expired, and the teachers union — the Watertown Educators Association — has met more than a dozen times to discuss the contract with representatives from the Watertown Public Schools. Last week, to demonstrate their frustration with the negotiations teachers went to “work to rule,” where they only work contracted hours and duties, and would not do any volunteer work.

Watertown Teachers Working to Rule, Calling for Settling Contract

Watertown teachers rallied in Watertown Square on Jan. 25 calling for settling their contract. Photo courtesy of Watertown Cable News / Maya Shwayder. Watertown teachers and Watertown School officials have been in negotiations for a new contract, but have not yet settled. In a step to express their displeasure with the process, teachers have started “working to rule” this week.

School Committee Update: MCAS Results, Policy Changes & More

The School Committee has met three times in the last 1.5 months. Below are some updates. 

The Watertown High School field hockey team won the State Championship with a 2-0 win over Sandwich. The team played with poise, intensity and impressive technical ability en route to an undefeated season, their second-straight state title, and the 20th state championship for head coach Eileen Donahue. Congratulations on an incredible season! 

Watertown had other athletic successes this fall: girls soccer had a fantastic season, qualifying for the state tournament and winning two exciting matches; boys soccer and football both made the state tournament; the cross country team had two runners advance to All-States; cheerleading advanced to States; lots of fun (and a great 21-7 win) was had at the 100th Annual Thanksgiving Football Game at Fenway Park. 

The WHS put on a fabulous production of Clue in November. And, the spring musical, Anastasia begins rehearsal this week.