Decision on zoning board reappointment postponed to June 26

by susan on June 5, 2012

The Board of Selectmen last week deliberated for nearly an hour on whether to reappoint Zoning Board of Appeals member Regina McAuliffe to another 5-year term. The board ultimately decided to defer its decision until other candidates for the position could be interviewed.

Selectmen originally planned to continue the discussion on the zoning board appointment at tonight’s meeting, but the agenda item was postponed until June 26. A vote on other appointments, including those to the Green Technology and Recycling Committee, Youth Commission, and Constable, is still expected to take place tonight.

At last week’s meeting, Selectman Bill Boland said he would not support McAuliffe for another term on the ZBA for reasons he declined to discuss in person. Chairman John Rooney and Selectman Dan Kolenda said they wanted to evaluate other candidates before making a decision.

Current ZBA alternate member David Eagle has expressed interested in a permanent seat on the board. Selectmen said anyone else who is interested in the position is welcome to apply by emailing a resume and volunteer application to selectmen@southboroughma.com.

You can see the full agenda for tonight’s Board of Selectmen meeting here.

{ 9 comments }

1 Just Curious June 5, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Let me start by saying that I do not know Regina McAuliffe and I know nothing about her performance on the ZBA.

I am troubled when I read in Susan’s post “Selectman Bill Boland said he would not support McAuliffe for another term on the ZBA for reasons he declined to discuss in person. (emphasis added)

The BOS are supposed to conduct the public’s business in public. Period.

If Mr. Bolland or the other selectemen cannot or will not publicly explain their position on this vote or any other vote, then they should abstain on that vote.

2 John Boiardi June 6, 2012 at 8:52 AM

I don’t understand the difference.

Supporters of McAuliff have made up their minds to support a vote for her on the ZBA.

Borland has made up his mind not to support a vote for her.

Tell me what the difference is.

Others on the BOS have had issues with the ZBA.
O
Whatever his reasons are,personal or public, Boland (assumed to be supported by the people who re elected him to represent them) has the right to vote for whoever he feels is the right person for the board.

It could be he is protecting McAuliff’s privacy.

3 Just Curious June 6, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Mr. Boiardi,

There is no difference between someone will vote to support or oppose Mrs. McAuliffe and will not state their reasons for the decisions.

If someone has a complaint about Mrs. McAuliffe’s performance, they should state so publicly.

Again, I have never met her and have never had any dealings with the ZBA. It just bothers me that an elected official will make a decision and not give the reasons behind that decision. Nobody wins when government has unnecessary secrecy.

4 John Boiardi June 7, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Just curious

Maybe the reason will come out when they actually take a vote. John Rooney expressed he had concerns. I think that there has been some concerns about the decisions of the ZBA. Maybe the feeling of the BOS is to replace the whole board.
I have confidence in Bill Boland’s decisions otherwise I would not have voted for him.
I’m glad you agree that there is no difference between those that are for and those that are against the re-appointment.

5 Resident June 7, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Mr. Boiardi, there is a very big difference. “Supporters” of Ms. McAuliffe are not town officials, are not in a position to vote on the issue and do not have any obligation to remain personally objective. Members of the BOS are supposed to keep personal feelings out of the hearing room or do you believe that it is fine for public officials to appoint only their friends to town committees?

He is not protecting Ms. McAuliffe’s privacy, as she clearly stated that she has no problem with Mr. Boland discussing his reasons in a public meeting. He is protecting is himself and how weak the “issue” to which he is referring actually is.

I happen to know a bit about the issue to which he is referring and it amounts to nothing more than hearsay from a few town employees. It is important to note that she has served for seven years and has not had a single complaint filed against her for her demeanor as a member of the ZBA. She also had a sign for Mr. Boland’s opponent in her front yard prior to the recent election.

It is a good thing that we have Mr. Rooney and Mr. Kolenda on the BOS since they seem to strive to remain objective, hear deliberations from each other and participants at meetings, and not to form personal opinions based on their alliances with town employees or other personal reasons.

6 John Boiardi June 8, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Perhaps you are right.
I do not see any difference in standards for supporters or public officials whether it is hearsay or personally objective. In my opinion one persons objectivity maybe not be cast in stone from another persons perspective. Ditto for hearsay except in a court of law. You have information regarding reasons for appointing or not, I don’t. All I know is I voted for Boland, I’ ve worked with him on Advisory and I feel he weighs his decisions carefully. If he doesn’t choose to reappoint anyone to a board I accept his decision.

7 Resident June 8, 2012 at 2:50 PM

I appreciate your perspective, however, once we elect someone to office, that does not mean that they can serve without scrutiny from the public that elected them. Election to office does not give an individual carte blanche to do whatever they please without answering to the taxpayers. Mr. Boland’s actions and failure to offer adequate justification for those actions are maligning a hardworking resident. I do not feel that this behavior is appropriate for a public official.

8 John Boiardi June 9, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Resident

I agree with you regarding scrutiny of public officials.
I still say wait until the BOS votes. Hear why they voted a particular way if they choose to disclose why. What would you say if the other two members voted for McCuliffe without expressing why they voted for her? Scrutiny works both ways.

9 Al Hamilton June 9, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Resident:

“Election to office does not give an individual carte blanche to do whatever they please without answering to the taxpayers.”

Actually, it does. The office carries great responsibilities and great authority. Once elected the office holder has very broad discretion about the basis for making his or her choices be they noble or petty. Mr. Boland won the election fair and square. As long as he stays within the lines of legality, and I doubt he would do otherwise, he is free to base his vote on the color of an applicants shoes if he wishes.

I do not think we have a recall procedure in place in the Town of Southborough so the next time we get to review his performance is in 3 years if he chooses to stand for reelection.

The fact that an applicant supported his or her opponent in a recent election is a basis for objection that is exercised by almost every politician in the world. “To the victor go the spoils”

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