To the Editor:
I applaud Rich Avoletta’s letter to the editor in your May 7th edition. He makes a great point in regard to the election of our Town Council. That system is broken and needs fixing.
Mr. Avoletta notes in that letter that we now pick our Town Council in staggered four year terms. He compares this to the U.S. Senate wherein only 1/3 of the Senate faces the voters every two years.
Watertown used to elect all nine council members every two years. That is far more democratic. It leads to better ability to identify candidates and either support the direction of the town every two years or try a new slate. We need to be more like the House of Representatives.
Just before the pandemic closings in March, I met with Mayor Chatfield of Prospect. I am a registered Democrat and he is a Republican. I served with him on the Council of Governments in the early 1980s when I was vice chairman of the Watertown Town Council.
He is a hero of mine. He gives his all for his hometown as its elected mayor.
In that meeting, Mayor Chatfield gave me a Prospect charter. It confirms that he and all the Town Council candidates face the voters every two years in the Prospect local election. That is small town Democracy in action. That is the system needed in Watertown-Oakville.
Our mayoral supporters submitted 173 names and addresses as residents that would like to see the Mayor vs Manager issue addressed on the November 3rd Presidential ballot in an advisory referendum.
We stopped seeking signatures once virus safety measures were in place. After the November 3rd referendum the Charter Revision Commission and Town Council will know the true pulse of the people.
We hope to hear from our Watertown Town Council soon as to whether they honor that request.
We need to hear the people speak with their ballots.
Sean C. Butterly