As voters in the Town of Watertown, we have observed and read many articles and endorsements recently in the local newspapers (Patch and Tab). Three recent endorsements by Jon Hecht, John Lawn and John Airaisian have been published and they include strong endorsements for the status quo.
As a group of women who live in Watertown, we would like to offer a different voice and an endorsement for positive change in our town. We are concerned for our most vulnerable citizens, including children and seniors, because some Town Council decisions do not appear to consider the impacts of choices on these groups. We are eager for more open communication and more transparent governing by our Town Council.
We have been involved in raising our children, volunteering in classrooms, serving on the PTO and cheering our children on the sidelines of sporting events. We have attended School Committee meetings, Town Council meetings, recent debates, and we have met with our town leaders and candidates. Due to these experiences, we feel we have an important perspective as advocates for our children and their educational needs.
This Town Council election is extremely important. It marks a turning point in Watertown because it is the first time many of our leaders have been challenged. This is true democracy and a chance for change.
For this election, we are endorsing Tony Palomba, Mike Dattoli and Aaron Dushku for Town Council. All three of these candidates (one incumbent and 2 new candidates) value our schools as a top priority.
We agree and we recognize two problems facing our children in the Watertown schools. The first problem is that the schools are struggling due to overcrowding, disrepair, and a lack of funding to adequately meet the needs of a growing and diverse student population. The second problem we recognize is the culture of animosity that exists in our Town towards our hard-working teachers and school administrators.
Our teachers are our greatest asset in Watertown. If we do not elect leaders who recognize their value and their critical contributions to our children, we do not feel our children can thrive.
Tony Palomba, Mike Dattoli and Aaron Dushku have shown a strong commitment to our children by advocating for our schools. They have demonstrated compassion for our students by showing their concern and awareness of some of the mental health and substance abuse problems that our older students are struggling with. They recognize that students cannot thrive if they are not getting their needs met and they have advocated for services for these students. They recognize that our teachers are overburdened and they have demonstrated a deep commitment to supporting them by reducing class sizes and compensating them fairly. They value our School Superintendent as the leader of our schools and they have shown immense respect for her talent, commitment and skill in running our schools effectively. They also have articulated their strong vision for improvements in the schools that match the goals and aspirations of our school leaders. They value the important role of our School Committee and have shown their interest in working with them and not against them.
In addition to their commitment to children and schools, we believe these candidates are focused on open and transparent governing, economic development, smart planning, creative ideas for revenue, and environmental stewardship. Finally, they value the input, ideas and creative energy of all Watertown residents and they listen carefully to new ideas and solutions.
Please join us in supporting these three Town Council candidates on November 5th because they will transform our town into one that has a strong reputation for a child-focused environment with fantastic schools.
Mary Giordano Brackett
Janice M. Myler
Sarah Turner Ryan
Stephanie VenizelosChantal Zakari