Ex-Mayors Offer Insights Into Watertown Charter Changes

Ex-Mayors Offer Insights Into Watertown Charter Changes

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When you're looking at possibly changing the city of Watertown's government, who better to ask than the people who have led the city before?

Watertown's charter commission has been studying a potential switch to what's called a strong mayor form of government. 

That would eliminate the city manager position and elevate the mayor to a full-time administrator.

Former mayors Tom Walker and Jeff Graham spoke with commission members when they met Wednesday.

While they didn't advocate for or against a strong mayor government, they did share their thoughts and experiences.

"Things happen -- when someone misbehaves or something goes wrong in the city, you want to be able to go to your mayor and have them be actually able to do something and speak on behalf of the city," Graham said, "and also, elections cause people to be more accountable."

"I had a fellow call me and say 'mayor, you're now mayor of the city and you can change the charter,'" Walker said, "and I said I really don't want to change the charter, I want to make it work."

The commission will meet again on September 26. It will eventually present its findings to city council members. 

If changes to the charter are proposed, there will have to be a public vote.

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