A part of “the incredible team” who helped bring Mayor David’s dream of a Town Square to life at the Bentzin Family Town Square.
“John loves Watertown. The people in this community, I know he cares about them and we care for him and his family,” said Nate Salas, Watertown Redevelopment (RDA) chair. On Tuesday, February 21, former Mayor John David was recognized for his selfless contributions to making the Bentzin Family Town Square a reality.
Echoing Salas’ remarks, Mayor Emily McFarland added, “This Square has been a decade plus in the making. Before it was a public project in 2014, it was a vision of Mayor David’s and now it is just one component of his legacy of service, of giving more than you take, and of sacrificing for the greater good.”
McFarland remembers being on the City Council when Mayor David introduced the plan. “Instantly, I was in favor of it, but knew we had a long, long road to get there.”
Despite many obstacles, seeking consensus from not just the council, but the community; the purchasing of buildings and their demolition; the effort to secure funding; the setbacks, the wins, and everything in between, Mayor David never outwardly wavered.
“So few people in this community know the weight of carrying a fight that long,” McFarland continued. Motioning to the crowd, she said, “And we fought with an incredible team – that’s what all of you have been and are.”
“But the confidence it takes to dream it, the courage it takes to implement it, and the mental toughness it takes to weather the storm, those experiences, those battles, they stay with you. And for people like Mayor David, they inspire you,” McFarland added.
McFarland had the privilege to work alongside Mayor David for the last ten and one half years. She noted, “While he may have left office in 2019, his work never stopped…you can see him at the election poll or at a restaurant having lunch with me, being my sounding board as I attempted to finish what he started.”
On May 20, 2023, the Bentzin Family Town Square will officially be opened. “It is because of Mayor John David’s leadership, his vision, and his commitment to the power of one man’s dreams,” McFarland concluded.
“It has been an honor of a lifetime to follow in your footsteps; to be a small part of crossing the finish line of your dreams in our community,” McFarland continued. “We hope that [what you did to create this Town Square] inspires the next generation of dreamers, and reminds all of us who walked this path with you, what is possible.”
In closing, former Mayor David thanked all who came to the recognition saying, “This summer there will be people all over this Square. …I appreciate [all] who have done such a tremendous job to make this a reality, thank you.”