Town Election: Who’s officially running and Candidate’s Night on May 2nd (Updated)

by beth on March 28, 2019

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Save the date! The annual “Candidates Night” will be held at the Southborough Library on Thursday, May 2nd.

Every year, candidates to contested positions in the Town Election are invited to participate. This year, that is only the Board of Selectmen. Four candidates are running for two seats, with no incumbents in the race. 

The deadline for returning papers passed. It looks like the one potential candidate that might have forced a second race dropped out – leaving only an incumbent running for the Board of Health.

All of the other candidates that I previously listed officially filed to run. (Though, they have until April 11th to change their minds.)

The Library’s annual forum begins at 6:30 pm with a Meet & Greet.

From 6:30 – 9:00 pm, there will be a Q&A with the candidates. Those are:

  • Steven J. David
  • Martin F. Healey
  • Joseph E. Hubley
  • Sam Stivers

This year, there will be a sad change. For years the debate was moderated by John Wilson who passed away earlier this winter. This spring, the event will be moderated by Betsy Rosenbloom (a former Trustee, and long time organizer of the annual forum.)

Updated (4/1/19 9:48 am): I originally posted that Library Director Ryan Donovan would serve as moderator. He was happy to inform me that there had been a change. Betsy Rosenbloom agreed to take on the job this year.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carl Guyer March 31, 2019 at 10:04 AM

Here is a nerdy, wonky, etc, question that I would like to ask the candidates. So, they can consider a response, I am posting it here to give them a chance to consider the detailed nature of the question.

Question

Each year the Southborough Board of Selectmen set the real estate tax rates as required by law. To do this they follow a traditional method that has been used for decades.

For the past two or more years, this traditional approach has set Southborough’s residential real estate tax rate greater than that paid on 80% of the residential property in the State of Massachusetts. This detail is probably not a surprise to most Southborough residents.

At the same time, using the same process, they set Southborough’s commercial and industrial real estate tax rate lower than that paid on 75% of the commercial and industrial property in the state. I think this may be surprise to most Southborough residents and even some of the members of the BOS.

Having a relatively high residential and low commercial tax rates places an addition tax burden on the average Southborough residential property owners to maintain low commercial tax rates. If you compare Southborough to similar communities this burden is between $1,000 to $1,500 annually.

Here is my question, are the current candidates willing to modify the current tax policy to relieve this burden on residential taxpayers?

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2 southsider April 2, 2019 at 8:58 AM

great question!

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3 SB Resident April 2, 2019 at 12:13 PM

I don’t think his question is nerdy or wonky at all. In terms of $’s the majority of the issues that selectmen have control over that affect our taxes are peanuts compared to this.

At $1000 a household * 3000 households, that is $3,000,000 a year. Even a decision like the cost of the public safety complex is half as big as this when its cost is looked at over the 20 years that it is financed.

The question is so not wonky, that any candidate willing to say that they will work “to modify the current tax policy to relieve this burden” will most certainly have my vote. Having the two tax rates in line with each other with respect to the state averages is the only reasonable policy.

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4 Publius April 3, 2019 at 10:22 AM

For those who are proposing a dual rate structure look to the communities that have adopted it and the hundreds of millions of dollars these communities have to dole out to attract businesses. Framingham and Worcester are two. Hundreds of millions doled out in TIFs and other breaks by these two cities to compensate for a ridiculously high commercial rate. Quite frankly single family should be a higher rate since kids in the school are the largest driver of municipal costs.

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5 Carl Guyer April 3, 2019 at 12:18 PM

Please provide detail. It is hard to believe the leaders of Framingham and Worcester would grant hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to some businesses and require others to pay published tax rates.

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6 carl Guyer April 3, 2019 at 12:30 PM

Your comment about single families should pay higher tax rates to educate their children forgets that the commercial and industrial businesses are the consumers of the higher education services provided by local government. Public schools exist to benefit the community by enabling economic growth.

By the way, anonymous posting discredits you authority on any subject.

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