WATERTOWN — New Town Manager Mark Raimo has a vision for the future of Watertown, and he shared that vision with members of the Watertown Oakville Chamber of Commerce during a virtual “meet and greet” on Wednesday, December 9.
Mr. Raimo began by quoting the town’s new mission statement, adopted by the Town Council just two days before: “In Watertown, we strive to be Litchfield County’s most citizen/employee centric town. We seek to be a town where citizens, businesses and employees are valued; where all can count on efficient services, fiscal responsibility, engaging schools and a safe community.”
Mr. Raimo outlined a few of the initiatives he hopes to implement within the first few months of his administration, including an update to the town’s website and the creation of a new Facebook page to better inform residents and business owners of some of the wonderful things happening in town.
He said he is looking forward to focusing on “Merchant Mondays” and “Throwback Thursdays” to spotlight businesses and to give an historical perspective to social media visitors.
In addition, residents will be able to receive early warnings and detailed information about roadblocks and emergencies, as well current updates on Covid-19 by subscribing to the town’s social media, he said.
Another focus of the social media effort might be a “meet the staff” feature, where visitors can learn more about individual staff members, especially those who have just been hired, he said. For example, the town currently has a new building inspector and a new assessor.
As part of this effort, he hopes to find a way to “brand” the town and to market it as a desirable place to live and work. In conjunction with this, he is working with boards and department heads to try and create a better flow for the process of obtaining permits, for example. The town is trying to identify any duplicate processes with an eye to eliminating what it can.
Mr. Raimo noted that the town recently received funding for a Main Street roadway safety project for new sidewalks and pedestrian safety lights. He said he understands that traffic and pedestrian safety are of particular concern to those who have businesses on that stretch.
Further focusing on his audience, Mr. Raimo said he would also like to work with the Police Department to offer some training to businesses in town so that business owners might better understand any laws that apply to them.
Mr. Raimo said he is looking forward to working together with local businesses and he invited those listening in to feel free to contact him for any assistance he can provide. He also said he is trying to drop in on local business owners and meet them in person to hear their perspective on challenges or opportunities facing the town.
As part of the meeting, those listening in had an opportunity to introduce themselves and ask questions or make comments on issues that concerned them. All expressed their desire to work more closely with the town and congratulated Mr. Raimo on his new position.
State Sen. Eric Berthel, R-32, who was in attendance on the call, said he was really excited to hear about the town venturing into social media. “I’m really excited about what you talked about,” he said. “You have some great ideas in getting Watertown up to speed.”
In closing, Lynn Ward, president and CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber, thanked Mr. Raimo for his thoughts on the future of Watertown and said the chamber looks forward to helping him achieve his goals.