Friday, August 19, 2005

Watertown District B Profile - A Change in Tone?

The Watertown Tab today has a profile of the District B race. Since Councelor Gus Bailey has declined to run for reelection, that race will be between two newcomers, Jonathan Hecht, the chairman of the Watertown Community Foundation, and Susan Sidiropoulous, the former owner of Lily's Bakery which burnt down in the Galen Street fire in February. The interesting thing about this race is that both candidates mention the tone of the council as a reason for running.

Sidiropoulous said she is concerned about the council atmosphere and the lack of respect between some members.

"One of the biggest things that bothers me is I feel like they're fighting all the time," she said. "It's OK to disagree, sometimes it's good to disagree. But on the other hand, you have to respect opinions."

Hecht also said the animosity between councilors and other town officials prompted him to run. "It harms the image of the town, distracts from the business of the council and discourages people from getting involved with public affairs," he said.
If that is going to be a theme in the town elections this year, it might be bad news for Councilor Marilyn Devaney and Council President Pam Piantedosi who have been engaged in a very public feud of late. Piantedosi will be facing a rematch with Clyde Younger who she defeated in 2003 and while Devaney was the top vote-getter that year, voters may hold her partly accountable for the council's tone.