Watertown was incorporated in 1780. It is approximately 29.8 square miles in size with an estimated population of 21,661 according to the 2000 census. The Town is a quasi-rural and suburban community.Watertown is served by both the Watertown and Oakville Post Offices, as Oakville is part of the Town of Watertown.
State and federal roads connect Watertown to surrounding towns and more distant areas of the State. US Route 6 crosses through the center of Watertown. Route 262 connects to Route 8 which is a multi-lane north-south highway. Route 6 intersects with Route 63, which intersects with Interstate 84. The connections link Watertown with Danbury, Hartford and areas along the Massachusetts Turnpike.
In 1961 the Council-Manager form of government replaced the Town Meeting-Selectman form of government. The Council-Manager form of government rests the legislative power exclusively in the Town Council. The Town Council has the power to make, alter or repeal ordinances; regulate the internal operation of boards, commissions and offices which it fills by appointment and fix the compensation of officers and employees. The Town Manager is appointed by the Town Council and serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Administrator of the Town. Administration and supervision of all departments, agencies and offices is the responsibility of the Town Manager and the Town Council deals with the administrative service solely through the Town Manager. The Town Manager is also responsible for seeing to it that all laws and ordinances governing the Town are faithfully executed and must prepare and submit an annual budget to the Town Council. The Town Manager shall appoint and may remove all department heads, officials and employees provided for by the Town Charter. All collective bargaining for the Town is conducted by the Town Manager.