What are the main components of Watertown’s Charter?

Watertown’s Charter is divided into nine sections, or articles.

Article 1: Defines the type of government and its scope of powers
Article 2: Defines the composition and general powers of the Town Council (Legislature)
Article 3: Defines the role and powers of the Town Manager (Administration)
Article 4: Defines other elected officials besides the Town Council. In Watertown, this is the School Committee and the Library Trustees.
Article 5: Financial Management: Defines how the budget is created and approved.
Article 6: Describes how the administration is organized and rules for reorganization by the Town Manager.
Article 7: Elections: Defines how elections are run, eligibility; also defines citizen’s initiatives
Article 8: General Provisions: Describes charter changes, rules and regs, ordinances, meetings, etc.
 Article 9: Transitional Provisions: Describes transfer of powers if necessary when changes are made to the charter. 


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1. What is the Charter?
2. Where can I find a copy of the Charter?
3. Why is Watertown reviewing its Charter?
4. Why are we reviewing the Charter in 2021?
5. Why is Charter Review important?
6. What can (& can’t) be accomplished through changing the charter?
7. When does the Charter Review Committee meet?
8. How do I keep current with the Charter Review Process?
9. What information can I find on Watertown’s Charter Review website watertown-ma.gov/charter?
10. What is Watertown’s current form of Government?
11. Is Watertown a town or a city & does it matter?
12. Is Watertown going to change its official name from “The City known as the Town of Watertown” to just the City of Watertown?
13. Who decided who is on the Charter Review Committee?
14. How were the resident members of the Charter Review Committee chosen?
15. Who’s on the 2020 Charter Review Committee?
16. How can I contact the Charter Review Committee (CRC)?
17. Who approves changes recommended by the Charter Review Committee?
18. What is the timeline for Charter Review?
19. This sounds complicated; does Watertown have any help sorting this out?
20. Who should participate in Charter Review?
21. Why should I participate in the Charter Review?
22. How can I participate in Charter Review?
23. What are the main components of Watertown’s Charter?