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City Council’s skewed residential priorities


I am writing to comment on City Council’s new mandate to not allow roommates in residential A housing. As a young 20-something, I am livid. This law to me is a clear attack on me as a person. As someone who will be a college graduate, I am $25,000-plus in college debt that I did to better myself. If I wanted to live independently, I’d have to get a roommate, no way around it considering how there are very few full-time jobs (with benefits) in town. I could get a job in any part-time area either as a cashier or as a waitress. But that doesn’t pay the bills often unless you are working a 70-plus hour work week.

With this in mind, what is my incentive to stay in Watertown? If City Council has even allowed this to come to pass with only 80 signatures. I mean, come on, 80 signatures versus 30,000 plus residents? Really? This tells me that I’m no longer welcome in the town I was born and raised in. If the times aren’t changing here, then I can find another place where they are. I’m sure that hundreds of other people my age feel the same. So I hope the economy can keep its head up when fewer people buy houses or move to the city. I’m sure City Council feels like it can, considering how this was even allowed to be spoken on.

Also, Thompson Boulevard is a relatively rich area. I sense some class divide going on here. I wonder if the 80 people who signed this ever struggled to make ends meet in their lives? It’s very sad how because one woman feels the need to get upset about unmarried people living together that I no longer feel like my hometown accepts me, the honor student about to get my bachelor’s degree at an accredited New York State University, works two part-time jobs, is a part of two honor societies, volunteers often and has no arrest record. And somehow the fact that I need a roommate to make ends meet is more important than my contribution to the community.

Am I not a good member of society because I cannot find a good full-time job in this town? Are Deborah Cavallario’s neighbors bad people because they need to live together? Are they disruptive? Are they rude or break the law? Then I would suggest to anyone with neighbors like that to call the police for a noise complaint. I guarantee you that calling for a noise complaint will do the job.

Marissa J.G. Richardson


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