Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by beth on February 21, 2018

Post image for Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

The bare trees and brownish grass around town are just too drab to share in pictures. So, I’m cheering myself up by reminding us what the town looked like three years ago this week. I’ll take the sun shining on patchy lawns any day over that!

I hope you’re all taking advantage of the warm weather. Sadly, the cold returns tomorrow – likely with a mix of snow and rain. So, I need to head outside while the warmth lasts.

That means it’s time for another open thread.

What’s on your mind this week, Southborough?

For those of you new to the blog, the open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Ask questions about programs in town or the town itself
  • Post a note about things that you’re selling or giving away, or things that you want
  • Share notices about upcoming events (Southborough or otherwise)
  • Register your thoughts on town issues or news stories
  • Point out interesting or helpful resources

You can add comments to the thread throughout the week. Check back often to see new comments. (If you read the blog via email or RSS, you might want to check the site from time to time for new comments.)

To view past open discussion threads, click here.

(photo by Beth Melo)

1 Jay Mazur February 21, 2018 at 8:25 PM

What ever happened to the downtown makeover? Seems like it got lost in the shuffle.

2 beth February 22, 2018 at 8:08 AM

I got an update from the Economic Development Committee recently. They will have news to share on their efforts soon. It’s not lost in the shuffle – it’s just more of a long term effort.

The EDC doesn’t have an Article for this year’s Town Meeting. But they do plan to make an update during the “presentation” part of Town Meeting.

3 Carl Guyer February 23, 2018 at 9:15 AM

Has anyone noticed the new facade on the “updated” warehouse on Route 9 across from Ted’s Towing. The building is owned by Kens Foods. Before the front of the building became a gray concrete wall it was a brick front facade that was certainly there, but did not jump out out from the surrounding landscape looking like the front of a prison. They even have security lights at night adding to effect. If you would like to join an effort to get Kens Foods to tone down the impact, send me an email message at Thanks

4 Townie February 26, 2018 at 8:18 AM

Way to bully a business that is improving their facilities all while paying more taxes than you. Don’t forget, this was all approved by the town. Also, ever think those security lights are only temporary to protect the equipment on site during construction? How about wait until work is complete before you start judging.

Also to correct you, the grey concerete wall you claim was a brick facade, was anything but that. It was a steel sided building. Click the link below to see for yourself.

Tone it down, Carl.

5 Carl Guyer February 27, 2018 at 8:24 AM

Nice to see you call me out by name, but you remain anomymous ! Who would do such a thing ?

6 Cindy March 9, 2018 at 8:07 AM

Sounds like Townie is an angry person, lighten up, life is not that bad.

7 D. McGee February 26, 2018 at 8:46 AM

Carl, the warehouse is undergoing a major renovation (interior and exterior), which was the subject of numerous ZBA and Planning Board meetings over the past few years. My understanding is that it won’t be completed until early 2019. I believe the facade to which you refer is only temporary during the renovation.

8 Mike Fuce February 24, 2018 at 10:34 AM

Carl, the building looks great— huge improvement over what was there and it’s a commercially zoned property within compliance. certainly you can find better things to do with your time.

9 D. McGee February 26, 2018 at 8:49 AM

MIke, I know it’s not in vogue right now, but it is still beneficial to know what you’re talking about before being so rude to others.

10 Carl Guyer February 27, 2018 at 8:36 AM

Mike, I heard from Ken’s Foods attorney after I contacted them to inquire about their plans.

Here is the response :

“To answer your question, the exterior of the building is not going to remain the way it is now. In fact they are presently working with their architect and internal design/marketing team to finalize the exterior. I’m sure it will be in-keeping with the Southborough/Rte. 9 building exteriors. Ken’s is very particular when it comes to their image.

Thanks for reaching out.”

FYI : It does look like a prison in its present state, and it has been that way for a while.

11 Mark February 25, 2018 at 9:16 PM

Any updates on what is happening at corner of newton and main?

12 Kelly Roney March 5, 2018 at 1:49 AM

I heard a rumor that the gasoline plume underneath it has magically disappeared. Any truth to that rumor?

13 D. McGee February 26, 2018 at 3:21 PM

Once again, being informed before launching a personal tirade is helpful. Ken’s is undergoing a $30+ million renovation to the building. They will be claiming an exemption under which they will pay ZERO incremental taxes to Southborough for the renovation. They bought the building for a song, and had the value increase significantly due the ZBA granting the facility the right to operate 24 hours. They will also be reducing their workforce as a result of the new automated plant (lest anyone claim the renovation will create new jobs). The fact is that Ken’s has a sweetheart deal with this facility, so let’s not pretend this is some windfall for Southborough.

14 Frank Crowell February 27, 2018 at 3:26 PM

There you go again. The glass is half full not half empty. Automation will reduce the overall number of manual laborers, but there will be additions in programmers and field service engineers as well as others. They probably will not work for Ken’s directly. More than likely they will live in the area and work for the vendors providing the automation. These highly paid jobs will allow them to live in SB.

15 D. McGee February 28, 2018 at 8:47 AM

You have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about. All Ken’s programming is internal and already in place (they have similar plants around the country). Ken’s has STATED that the number of employees in SB will be reduced. Facts still matter.

Why do people insist on speaking authoritatively when they don’t have the facts?

16 Frank Crowell March 1, 2018 at 2:13 PM

Get off your high hourse. I have worked with companies who were converting factories to full automation. Field service engieers were hired, programers and program mangers were required. Most of them for the automation providor. These are very good paying jobs and most have to live locally. Amoung the points I was making. I know that more higher paying jobs does not fit the narrative of our past president, but it is a new day……………..long waited for. Embrace it – you’ll be happier person.

17 D. McGee March 5, 2018 at 7:41 AM

And there it is…the whole reason for this post. A chance to crowbar support for Trump. . Whatever.

18 Kelly Roney March 2, 2018 at 12:51 PM

Because the right set of generalities and made-up facts is so comforting to certain people…

19 Sara February 26, 2018 at 4:11 PM

Please keep your cats inside, if possible. And a close eye on small dogs if they are out in a fenced in area. My neighbor witnessed a terrible incident with a hawk recently on the south side.

20 Louise Barron March 2, 2018 at 11:47 AM

Beth Speaking of an ugly building. The former Andrea restaurant is still standing. The various boards should get on this. Hideous, eyesore structure after so many years, and not a word, or any action to address this. Do the boards think that this building is an asset to the town or neighborhood.

21 Southborough Town Clerk March 4, 2018 at 12:09 PM


On March 17, 2018, the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative Conference will be held in Worcester. I attended this training last year and I learned a ton about Planning and ZBA issues and I plan to attend again this year.

This is a terrific learning opportunity for anyone interested in how Planning Boards and ZBAs operate and what state regulations and laws require.

The fee is $75 and you can register online at


James F. Hegarty
Southborough Town Clerk
desk (508) 485-0710 x 3007

Saturday, March 17, 2018

2018 Citizen Planner Training Collaborative Conference

Registration for the CPTC Conference is now open! You can register online in just a couple minutes.

Seventeen Workshops plus continental breakfast, a really good lunch and time to meet planners from around the state.

Don’t delay, register today.

The fee is $75. Register at:

Planning Boards, Boards of Appeals, Municipal Planners, Private Practice Planners, Building Inspectors, Planning Department Staff, and Anyone Interested in Municipal Planning in Massachusetts.

At the Hogan Building, Holy Cross College, 1 College St, Worcester, MA. Easy access via I 290 from the Mass Pike and I 495.

Saturday, March 17, 2018 starting at 8:00 am and wrapping up at 3:15 pm.

Sampling of Workshops
• Crafting a Local Economic Development Strategy
• Municipal Regulation of Adult Use Marijuana
• Planning with Community Support
• Flood Your Community with Funding Solutions, not Stormwater
• PLUS 6 of CPTC’s core workshops for citizen planners.

22 Kelly Roney March 5, 2018 at 1:47 AM

The storm drain at the corner of Main and Newton is backed up, so the DPW has to salt the heck out of that key intersection whenever there’s cold weather. When is it going to be cleared?

23 Southborough Town Clerk March 15, 2018 at 3:26 PM

Regional Open Meeting Law Training – 3/21/18 6 pm

All Southborough residents are invited to attend a free regional training session conducted by the Attorney General’s office on the Open Meeting Law. It will be held on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at 6:00 pm at the Sudbury Town Hall, 322 Concord Road, Sudbury.

All Southborough elected and appointed officials and all Southborough residents are encouraged to attend this training.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by sending an email to : or by calling 617-963-2925, and providing: 1) their first and last names; 2) phone number; 3) email address; 4) town of residence; 5) the public body/organization they represent, if applicable; and 6) that you will be attending the Sudbury training.

I have attended these training sessions before and I have found them to be very informative. I plan to attend this training session.

If you have any questions, feel free to call me.

Jim Hegarty
Southborough Town Clerk
(508) 485-0710 x 3007

24 It's Spring Baby! March 20, 2018 at 8:21 AM

Happy Spring Everyone

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