Mayor to Seek Sixth Term

By Chris Wangler

August 26, 2022

And it’s pretty much a slam dunk. 

On Friday, longtime Waltham mayor Jeannette McCarthy informed the Waltham Channel’s executive director of her intention to seek re-election in 2023.

No reason was given in her brief letter, but several months ago, the mayor was asked if she would run again during a Waltham Chamber Women in Business event.

“I’m very busy trying to finish what I have in place right now,” she replied. “I’ve got a lot in place.”

Among those projects are the new Waltham High School (set to finish in mid-2024) and multiple recreation projects either in process or under construction (Lowell Field, Leary Field, Jack Koutoujian Playground, Fernald).

Plans for several farms acquired by the city, including the former Waltham Field Station and the former Arrigo Farm at 1 Balm Avenue, have yet to be hammered out.

Another major project, the long-overdue new Waltham police station, is now starting up again.

Meanwhile, a tantalizing question lingers about Moody Street. Given the mayor’s remarkable success closing down part of the street during three consecutive summers, could she make the pedestrian-only zone permanent?

Recent years have seen notable successes, including the renovated Moody Fire Station, outdoor dining on Moody Street, the Phantom Gourmet Food Festival and Waltham earning recognition as one of the top cities in the state to live in. 

Educated as an attorney, Jeannette McCarthy began her mayoral tenure in 2004 after stints as a Waltham city solicitor, school committee member and city councilor at-large.

Throughout her political career, the Waltham native has opposed big development and protected the city’s interests above all else.

Her appeal as a laconic woman of the people belies her reputation as a shrewd negotiator with unrivaled legal and government expertise.

The city council and school committee, which she chairs, defer to the mayor’s authority on virtually every matter. Most votes on her proposals are unanimous.

In recent mayoral races, McCarthy has vanquished challengers in lopsided victories. During the same period, many of her critics have left city government. She has detractors like any elected official, but have they had an impact?

Given her combination of accomplishments and popularity, the mayor will likely stroll to an unprecedented sixth term next year and serve another four years.