Town Election: Shea and Debonet keep their seats; Devine, Primack, and Regan elected (Updated)

by beth on May 9, 2018

Post image for Town Election: Shea and Debonet keep their seats; Devine, Primack, and Regan elected (Updated)

Above: Last night, these candidates successfully lobbied for votes outside of the Town polling station. (photos by Beth Melo – with apologies to Kim Regan for not quite getting her full face!)

The results came in last night for the Southborough Town election. Third time wasn’t the charm for Board of Selectmen candidate Sam Stivers. Selectmen Brian Shea was re-elected with 53% of the votes.

Stivers asked me to share the following statement:

I congratulate Brian Shea on his re-election. I thank the voters who supported me. I’m particularly grateful for the efforts of the group of volunteers who worked so hard as part of my campaign. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to deliver the outcome that we all wanted. I continue to care deeply about the future of Southborough, and I will continue to contribute as I can to the Town government process.

Library Trustee Nicole Debonet also kept her job. Filling three empty seats – Kimberly Regan will join the Library Board of Trustees and Jessica Devine and Jennifer Primack are our new School Committee members.

Southborough Wicked Local reported the numbers from the Town’s unofficial results. The numbers were low overall with only 16.7% of voters weighing in:

Board of Selectmen – vote for one – 3 year term

  • Brian E. Shea (incumbent) – 631 votes
  • Sam R. Stivers – 549 votes

School Committee – vote for two – 3 year term

  • Jessica A. Devine – 850 votes
  • John W. Gobron, Jr. – 512 votes
  • Jennifer M. Primack – 651 votes

Board of Trustees Southborough Library – vote for two – 3 year term

  • Nicole Casey DeBonet (incumbent) – 612 votes
  • Kimberly L. Regan – 720 votes
  • Mary L. Walter – 407 votes

The biggest winner of the night was new School Committee member Jessica Devine. As part of her campaign, the writer pledged to use her social media savvy to improve public communication. She was off to a good start last night as the first candidate to publicly share her victory.*

*(Prior to that, a tweet went out congratulating Brian Shea, but it was from the official Town account, not Shea himself.)

Updated (5/9/18 1:44 pm): I added Sam Stivers’ statement.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Publius May 9, 2018 at 11:17 AM

Congratulations to the victors. Sam has shown he has strong support in Town. Persistence often pays off.

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2 southsider May 9, 2018 at 12:23 PM

Congrats to all the winners and losers.
Thanks for being concerned with how our beautiful town runs.
Sam, please don’t get discouraged… your insights and contributions are noted by many. Keep up the good work.
John and Mary … better luck next time. Please stay involved.

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3 Concerned Voter May 9, 2018 at 3:26 PM

The town is fortunate to have good candidates. Congratulations to both Mr. Shea and Mr. Stivers — both share pretty much 1/2 support of the voters who participated yesterday. Strong showing and strong support!

Sam, you have certainly done yeoman’s work and are greatly valued for your knowledge, experience, listening skills, considered opinions, and mostly for your kind, welcoming demeanor and receptivity to the public. You put the “public” in the term public service and that is deeply appreciated by all. Thank you!

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4 Kathy Cook May 10, 2018 at 8:57 AM

I agree with all three of the preceding comments. I also congratulate all candidates for engaging in positive campaigns and hope each of those who do not win will try again – especially Mr. Stivers.

I continue to be appalled at those who continue to spread incorrect information about Mr. Stivers due to their personal animus toward him. (And you know who you are.) I know of no other volunteer who spends the time and effort Mr. Stivers does in keeping abreast of issues in the Town and attempts to solve him. He is truly an amazing human being and does not deserve the treatment from a few who make it their mission to elect anyone but Mr. Stivers regardless of their qualifications. They do a great disservice to this Town.

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5 Jessica Devine May 10, 2018 at 12:02 PM

Running for elected office was an amazing (and exhausting) experience! I have been truly touched by the kindness of family and friends who have held signs around town, hosted signs on their lawns, and helped spread the word about my campaign.

So many people — town employees and committee members, community leaders, and more — were so helpful and giving of their time and advice. I knew Southborough was an incredible town, but this campaign really drove that fact home.

I also want to say thanks to the other two candidates for School Committee. Jen Primack and I spent a lot of time together during the campaigning season, and I’m happy to call her both a fellow committee member and a new friend. She’s super dedicated and motivated, and is going to do a great job! I also got to know John Gobron, and I have a feeling we’ll be working together in the future. He’s smart, kind, and has a lot to offer. I’m so glad this campaign was friendly, and that had everything to do with Jen and John being the great people they are.

Thanks to Beth, too, for covering all our town events on this blog. You spend a ton of time on MySouthborough and we all appreciate it.

I’m excited to be on the School Committee and look forward to serving the town over the next three years!

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6 Frank Crowell May 10, 2018 at 3:22 PM

Ms Devine – congratulations on your win. I hope in the next three years you are as communicative on this blog as you are now.

Watch out for free lunches from the superintendent. Remember, there are “no free lunches.”

The quickest way to find more money for the programs you support would be to find the cost per student difference between Hopkinton and SB. It’s a lot of money.

I wish you the best of luck.

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7 my town sb southborough May 10, 2018 at 4:43 PM

I agree with Ms. Cook’s comments above. I also am appalled and disgusted by the tactic and lies. Those who are doing this (and as Ms. Cook says, you know who you are) do not belong in or near public office or game playing with elections. You are dishonest, deceptive, and playing upon the naivete of the voting public. You are too stupid to be ashamed. You make me sick.

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8 Resident May 11, 2018 at 9:09 AM

Thank you to all willing to volunteer their time for our benefit and congratulations to those who won. I want to echo what a few people said about Mr. Stivers. I am not involved in town government in any formal way but I have seen him speak multiple times and have noted his work, contributions and the measured, professional way in which he conducts himself. I am mystified every time he does not win an election. I was not aware of efforts to disparage him and am very sorry to hear that they may exist. Mr. Stivers, please don’t give up. You would be an excellent selectman.

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9 Jessica Devine May 11, 2018 at 2:21 PM

Hi Mr. Crowell — I will have my own blog that details what I’m doing on the School Committee. I plan to launch it at the end of the summer. I hope you’ll check it out! That’s where I’ll be communicating with the public the most.

As for the cost per student difference, I don’t know the reasons behind it — but I’m curious and will look into it

Thanks for your comment!

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10 Louise Barron May 11, 2018 at 5:09 PM

Sam has support all right. He is by far, the most honest, I say honest, candidate we have. Until you realize that there is a deception in this town, with the multiple secret closed executive sessions, which are kept under wraps, the many agendas that serve only those on boards, the cronyism, and sheer lack of respect for, and concern for the needs of the resident taxpayers, and what is best for the town, you may finally go to your window, and as loud as you can scream, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”.

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11 djd66 May 13, 2018 at 7:24 PM

Louise –

I would love to see you back up the Tilaterial Commission conspiracy theory with some facts. How are the other selectman dishonest?

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12 Louise Barron May 14, 2018 at 2:53 PM

Djd66: Where have you been? Are you a BOS person yourself (or attorney), trying to figure out the answer to your OWN question? If not, do you go to meetings? You might start by (running spell check, “Tilateral” Commission) and pulling your head out of the hole it apparently has been in for an indeterminate period.

You may answer your own questions by starting to come to meetings, starting with tonight (Planning Board), tomorrow night (BOS), and Wednesday night (ZBA). If you do not go to the meetings, you need to participate.

Start by attending the above meetings. Djd66: Get up to the podium and ask:

1) “Who of you knew that the portion of the TOWN CODE containing the publicly published quorum requirement changed a few weeks back?” Go down the line and get their answers. Which members knew? If not, specifically how did they learn of the change? Who specifically called them or alerted them of the change? Specifically, when did they know?

2) Who does TOWN COUNSEL REPORT TO?

3) Did Town Counsel alert any BOS member that the CODE was being changed a few weeks back? Was Town Counsel AUTHORIZED by any person in town government to go ahead and make the change?

4) For Tuesday (BOS) and Wednesday night (ZBA) meetings, same question. Go down the line. Ask each BOS member the exact same questions above.

5) Ask the BOS, the specific question:
When they learned of the former ZBA Chairperson’s conflicting “Conflict of Interest” forms, what did they personally do about it? See the actual form itself and compare it with the taped statement via the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1gqEO0g6ss

See highlights especially at: 2.11 Minute Mark — the form itself
and compare that to the 2.22 Minute Mark — statement

What was their reaction learning this information? What did they do?

6) Ask the BOS on Wednesday night: how many times did you meet in “EXECUTIVE SESSION” during 2017? And where are the MINUTES?

7) At the last BOS meeting, why did the Chairperson call for the EXECUTIVE SESSION minutes to be “APPROVED” but not “RELEASED?”

8) Why weren’t the EXECUTIVE SESSION minutes released BEFORE last week’s Board of Selectman seat race on May 8th?

9) See the following links and related comments – and go ask the BOS about their shrugging of the shoulders and faulty memories – when in fact, it is self-evident that they were exploring and ENDORSING the concepts presented:

http://www.mysouthborough.com/2018/02/14/resident-raises-concerns-about-closed-door-meetings-on-a-new-park-central-project/

http://www.mysouthborough.com/2018/02/15/town-admin-responds-to-proof-that-potential-road-through-labri-has-been-going-on-long/

So many memories, so little time. Djd66 – go answer YOUR OWN questions by starting to ask them of the people who should be answering them: THE BOS.

Now, for a little redundant humor: GO to your window, stick your head out and scream, “I am mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. . .” –the movie “Network” :)

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13 djd66 May 15, 2018 at 7:36 PM

Louise –

My head is not in a hole, but thanks for pointing out my spelling error. Perhaps you should consider calming down a bit. You are getting all worked up over small town politics – stress is not good for your health. I am not on the BOS. I do personally know most of the BOS and they are not dishonest. Quite honestly – I commend anyone that is willing to do this job unpaid. I don’t agree with everything that they have voted for, however I think it is wrong to call them dishonest.Your comments on this board have been over the top. I’m sure you will disagree,… but you really should dial it down a bit.

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14 Louise Barron May 16, 2018 at 12:56 PM

Dial it down a bit? I am just getting started! And you should as well, i.e. be concerned and stop giving a hall pass to those (not all) who are less than transparent and forthright in town business. Come on, how many Executive Sessions can one board have (and not release the minutes?). They are duty bound to release those minutes to the public. And it should have been done before the election.

The people do not have a voice and town boards and town counsel do not represent the people. There is too much bias and too many conflicts of interest.

That aside, those who benefited in this recent election from the various questionable behaviors of others should be outright ashamed of themselves and resign. Those individuals have forever lost my respect, vote, and support.

I for one, did not appreciate the calculated move to do a ground breaking and press release on the new public safety building right before the election. As far as I am concerned, that backfired. Look who is sticking a shovel in the ground right before the election – using town business for their political end to win an election. It may be done, but it should not have been done. Calculated and distasteful. Someone actually sat down and thought this “strategy” up for the optics and to put themselves ahead of other candidates.

While the taxpayer is voicing concerns about the cost and increase in taxes, they are being slandered as “anti-police” and anti-progress, nonsense spouted by small minded politicos who belong nowhere near public office and have trouble with balancing the budget. The many projects now in process expose the taxpayers to overages and deficits.

Small town politics? With a $58m budget? Nothing small about that. Head not in a hole? Please, where is it then? A sand trap? Elsewhere? We are talking about the future of this town. Nothing petty or small about that either. Per your suggestion, I am now going to meditate in my yoga pose and wish you Namaste. See you at the podium Djd66 – start participating and asking questions!

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15 J. David May 16, 2018 at 5:30 PM

WOW, so many conspiracy theories!

Perhaps YOU should run for office and straighten out what you perceive to be a mess of a town Louise!

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16 cindy May 17, 2018 at 1:33 PM

I don’t know either of you, but at least Louise puts her name on the posts the the other dj….why are you not public? just a thought

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17 Lucy May 22, 2018 at 9:46 AM

Djd and David-the issue stems from people that “know” the Selectmen and make the mistake of thinking because they are good people that they do the right thing. Unfortunately that is not true. There is a lot of pressure from outside sources for the Selectmen to get things done. Look at the slit tax. Kolenda will never support it because of Dipietri, look at edc who is essentially marketing Dipietri property at the cost of taxpayers. Look at Dipietri counsel representing the zba in court against citizens. Look at empty use variances that are later worded in closed sessions and claimed to be agreements with neighbors. If you knew the facts you wouldn’t take their word on being good guys. This applies to majority not all and includes Purple and the worst one who needs to go town counsel.

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