MWDN round-up: Gulbankians, zoning update, and school safety strategy

by beth on August 28, 2013

The Metrowest Daily News reported on Gulbankians heading back to court (sure to trigger some comments), a change in position for the Southborough Planning Board (for short term – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em), and improved school safety strategies (empowering staff and students).

Active shooter training on agenda for some schools – from MWDN:
With the first new school year since the Newtown, Conn., tragedy upon many towns this week, several communities are instituting bold changes to traditional lockdown procedures.

“Some people actually see ‘shelter in place’ as ‘comply and die,’” said Northborough Police Chief Mark Leahy. “We know statistically for many active shooters that the whole thing is going to be over either before (police) arrive or as we arrive.”

With that in mind, Northborough, Southborough, Holliston, Sudbury and Lincoln will this fall implement new lockdown procedures designed to train students and teachers to better evade – and, if necessary, physically overpower – a school shooter. (read more)

Southborough board supports measure to fix zoning – from MWDN:
The Planning Board Monday voted to support a citizens petition for Special Town Meeting designed to fix legal problems in the town’s zoning bylaws without tackling a planned major overhaul. (read more)

Gulbankians fire back at Southborough – from MWDN:
A $126,600 town zoning fine levied against J&M machine shop earlier this month ignores history and the law, the Gulbankian family argues in new court filings.

The family has in the past day filed an appeal to the fine in Westborough District Court as well as litigation in land court. In each case, it argues that town officials have repeatedly failed to acknowledge that its shop was properly permitted back in 1986. (read more)

1 Frank Crowell August 28, 2013 at 11:17 AM

If the Gulbankian’s case is won in court, what repercussions should there be for the Town of Southborough?

2 JO August 28, 2013 at 11:51 AM

It should start with Cipriano losing his job

3 John Stone August 30, 2013 at 6:24 PM

“It should start with Cipriano losing his job”
That should have already happened.

4 John Butler August 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM

I am pleased that the Planning Board voted to support the citizen’s zoning bylaw petition that Sam Stivers, Frederica Gillespie and I put together. It’s purpose is to bring the Town’s code into compliance with the law. This has merit on its own, of course, but also we didn’t want voters to feel coerced, by legal problems in the current law, into supporting a set of much larger changes in the Zoning Rewrite that may, someyear, be presented by the Planning Board to the voters. I also note that Kathy Bartolini frankly said, reportedly, that the loss of this coercive effect is exactly why she didn’t want to support the petition. Even though I can’t see why anyone should presume to bundle changes in such a way that for voters to get those they legally must accept they must also accept other changes they may not want, I am pleased with the candor of her reported argument. In the end, the Planning Board took the right course, so thanks to them.

5 Concerned Resident August 29, 2013 at 10:47 AM

The residents of this town owe a HUGE Thank You to you, Sam Stivers and Freddie Gillespie! Sadly, 95% of them have no idea.

6 John Butler August 29, 2013 at 12:20 PM

That’s very kind of you to say so. What the Town needs now is for voters to show up at Town Meeting and enact this change. Nothing is completed yet.

(Lastly, so that none of those hypothesized 95% are confused, this task has been undertaken by the three of us as citizens and not as members of our respective membership in Town committees.)

7 Alan August 28, 2013 at 10:46 PM

It the Gulbankian’s win, can’t they file a lawsuit seeking all legal fees and expenses they have incurred thru the whole process to be reimbursed? Oh boy. What has the town been calling the help they have been getting, “legal counsel”?

8 John Stone August 30, 2013 at 6:27 PM

When the Gulbankians win in court they should be able to sue for malicious harassment as well as their legal costs.

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