Candidate’s Letter: Sam Stivers for Board of Selectman (Updated)

by beth on May 9, 2019

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[Ed note: On Tuesday, May 14th, residents will vote to appoint two candidates out of the four running for the Board of Selectmen. To help you make that decision, I have invited each of them to submit a letter to readers. You may comment to endorse the candidate. No mudslinging allowed.]

To the Editor:

My name is Sam Stivers. I’m running for Selectman. I appreciate this opportunity to describe why a vote for me is a vote for a better Southborough.

You may know me as a current member of the Public Works Planning Board and the Master Plan Committee. I’ve also been a member of a number of other Town committees, including the Advisory Committee, the Fire Chief Screening Committee, the St. Mark’s Golf Course Master Plan Committee, the Zoning Advisory Committee and the Zoning Board of Appeals.

I’ve lived in Southborough for over 20 years. I’ve spent most of this time working as a Town government volunteer. To stay informed about Town government, I attend at least 2 or 3 Town committee meetings every week. This gives me a detailed understanding of Town government—and this means that I will be a fully effective Selectman from day 1.

For more information about my background in Town government and about my “real jobs” during my career as a teacher, as a business strategy consultant and as a manager in health care companies, I’d ask you to visit my website at www.samforselectman.com.

Why Am I Running For Selectman?

  • I care a lot about Southborough’s future.
  • Town government will face a number of challenges over the coming years. My business experience, my management skills, and my detailed understanding of Town government can deal effectively with these challenges.


What issues will I focus on as a Selectman?

  1. Financial Oversight. I believe in vigilant oversight of Southborough’s $50+MM annual budget, especially with the Public Safety Building and the Main Street Reconstruction project financial pressures.

I’ve managed large projects like the Public Safety Building and the Main Street Reconstruction. With this background and my Advisory Committee experience, I know how to get the most value from our tax dollars and how to limit tax rate increases.

  1. Longer-Term Planning. I recognize the value of longer-term planning for the Town’s future infrastructure and services needs.

Our Master Plan shows that residents support: (i) improved recreation facilities; (ii) a Senior Center/Community Center; (iii) an enhanced network of trails and sidewalks, including connections between parts of our Town with pedestrian bridges across Rt 9 and pedestrian access across our causeways; and (iv) a library that doesn’t flood. It’s time to plan prudently for these and other projects and to pursue additional funding sources such as PILOT payments.

  1. Municipal/Schools Collaboration. I understand the impact of the school budget on our tax rate and our opportunities for collaboration.

I’ll encourage active collaboration between Town boards and our schools, as we continue to support our excellent schools and as we work together to address such issues as expanded pre-k programs, later school start times, and shared services. Our children deserve this.

  1. Housing Opportunities. I will seek more housing options for residents—particularly for our young families and our seniors.

With my Zoning Board experience, I have a detailed understanding of our zoning bylaws. I can identify ways to provide incentives for creating more housing options.

Our best chance to balance competing interests and views on these and other issues is to have an effective Town government. I can help make this happen.

Why Vote For Sam?

My website (www.samforselectman.com) lists over 50 of our fellow residents who have either served on a Town committee with me or have watched me work as a Town committee member over the years. These are knowledgeable, capable people who care as I do about Southborough and its future. They know what it takes to be an effective volunteer. They are saying “Sam is my choice for Selectman”. I’m proud of these endorsements. They are based on my record of working collaboratively to deliver important results.

How will I work as a Selectman?

  • I will show up for work—I will devote the time necessary to do the job well
  • I will do the homework necessary to make informed decisions
  • I will remain independent, impartial, and free of conflicts of interest
  • I will look beyond “business as usual” to find opportunities and solutions to problems
  • I will pay close attention to longer-term planning
  • I will welcome and listen to citizen input on Town issues
  • I will carefully consider the advice of my appointed boards and committees
  • I will communicate with residents about important Town issues

I will work to ensure that Southborough continues to be a thriving, beautiful Town, where we have confidence that our Town government listens to us and supports the things that are important to us. I ask for your vote on Tuesday, May 14th.

For more information, please feel free to contact me by phone at (508) 303-3396 or by email at sam@forselectman.com, or look at my website or Facebook page at: www.samforselectman.com; www.facebook.com/samstiversbos

Thank you,

Sam Stivers
Candidate for Selectman

Updated (5/15/19 2:21 pm): Following his win, Stivers asked me to add the following statement:

I’m very grateful for the confidence that the voters have shown in me—thank you! I’ll work hard to continue to earn this confidence. I look forward to being part of a Board of Selectmen working to meet our Town’s challenges and realize our opportunities in the coming years.

I’m also very grateful for the hard work that so many of my supporters have done to produce this result. I know that their significant efforts to reach out to their friends and neighbors to communicate my message played a major role in this election outcome. My sincere thanks go to everyone in this group!

I want to congratulate Marty Healey for his win. I’m delighted to serve with Marty as the other “newcomer” to the Board of Selectmen. I also want to congratulate Joe Hubley and Steve David for running a strong and positive campaign. I hope that both will stay involved with Town government.

Now, on to the real work!

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John Butler May 9, 2019 at 3:04 PM

I worked with Sam Stivers for many years on Advisory Committee, and so had a lot of direct working contact with him on Town matters. Based on that experience, I’d say he’d be excellent on the Board of Selectmen. Here’s why. He is exceptionally hard working for the Town, attending a huge number of meetings to stay fully informed and doing excellent supplementary analysis when required on various topics. He puts the interest of the whole Town first. He is a good listener, tenacious when required, but also willing to change his mind. When disagreements arise, and he and I had our share of them as one would expect, he doesn’t take disagreements personally, or allow these to infect his view on other topics. This is a very important characteristic for Town service, in my view. In summary, we don’t have enough people like him serving the Town, and I think we are fortunate that he is willing serve on the Board of Selectmen. I hope you will vote for him.

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2 Eileen May 9, 2019 at 7:56 PM

I am looking forward to casting my vote for Sam, and thank you for confirming what seemed to be the case.

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3 Kathy Cook May 9, 2019 at 3:34 PM

Like Mr. Butler I also served for many years with Mr. Stivers on the Advisory Committee. Mr. Stivers is eminently qualified to serve on the BOS. I encourage all residents to vote fir Mr. Stivers as one of their two choices. The addition of Mr. Stivers to the BOS will add a person who knows how to think and plan strategically. There are those in Southborough who continue to disparage Mr. Stivers without any basis. I encourage residents to seek the views of those who have worked directly with Mr. Stivers rather than those who have not. We need residents with Mr. Stiver’s background and town experience on the BOS. On Mr. Stivers’ website http://www.samforselectman.com you will find an extensive list of people who currently or formerly have served town government in one or more capacities. Please look at the list and ask yourself what that means. Those that actually know Mr. Stivers and have worked with him strongly support him.

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4 Andre Fortin May 9, 2019 at 5:48 PM

I echo the sentiments of Mr. Butler, and also feel that the election of Mr. Stivers to the Board of Selectmen would be of tremendous benefit to the town.
I was very new to Town government affairs a few years ago when I became actively involved with the campaigns to save the GC and open space, as well as find a permanent solution for a public safety complex. It was at that time that I got to know Sam Stivers as a dedicated individual willing to devote a lot of his personal time and professional experience towards the betterment of the Town. I can say without exaggeration that he was present at most if not all of the meetings I personally attended during my participation in committee work and activities. And not only attending passively but always contributing constructively to the process.
If town voters are interested in electing a diligent, experienced, principled and hard working individual to this very important position, I would hope that they join me in supporting Sam Stivers for selectman this coming Tuesday. If successful, Town government will indeed be in excellent and dependable hands going forward.

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5 Hewitt Heiserman May 10, 2019 at 6:36 AM

I am proudly voting for Sam next Tuesday because he is personable, hard-working, knows the issues, passionate about improving Southborough’s quality of life, and will make sure our budget dollars are wisely spent.

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6 Al Hamilton May 10, 2019 at 7:47 AM

I have know Sam for over 10 years and served with him on the Advisory Commission. Sam is thoughtful and regularly went above and beyond in digging into an issue. He does his homework. He willing to ask hard questions that need asking and is open to vigorous debate.

I have attended a number of public meetings of various boards and commissions over the years and more often than not Sam was there listening. His commitment to truly understanding what is going on in town is exemplary. I also know that he is dedicated to an open and transparent government. I know of no one who is better qualified, he has earned my vote and I hope he has earned yours.

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7 Taxpayer Alert May 10, 2019 at 7:51 AM

Mr. Stivers has worked tirelessly for many years on behalf of the residents. He shows up, works hard, and listens carefully. Importantly, he has no conflicts of interest and understands what constitutes a conflict. For all voters and taxpayers, this is a desired and essential element to clean, transparent, accountable, well functioning local government.

He understands that local government is not a military dictatorship, an ego trip, or a vehicle for using, ignoring, or allowing biased, or dishonest, deceitful influences, which turns off and away potential volunteers. He leads by a gentlemen’s standards and puts the “service” back in public service. He understands the privilege of serving the local community, from the very young to our seniors. He will serve our Town with honesty, enthusiasm, and good leadership skills that in turn will inspire citizen volunteerism. Looking forward to voting for Sam. Let’s show him our support for all of the above and turning out to vote for him next Tuesday, May 14th. Thank you Sam!

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8 Ruth May 10, 2019 at 12:05 PM

The two people who care about the quality of life and and safety in Southborough are Sam, Freddie . They will stop the turning of Southborough into signs littering the highway. Developers make up their own rules
Developers who have done sleazy, harmful , anti environmental.

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9 Meme Luttrell May 10, 2019 at 5:06 PM

I urge you to vote for Sam Stivers for Selectman. The numerous capacities in which Sam has volunteered his time and the countless meetings he attends not only give Sam extensive knowledge of all aspects of Town government but also demonstrate his dedication to the Town. I have known Sam for many years and am currently working with him on the Master Plan Committee. I have always found Sam to be professional, knowledgeable, thorough and evenhanded but at the same time he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Sam is a problem solver who is never afraid to ask the difficult questions and is always willing to roll up his sleeves and work on a resolution. A great example of Sam’s willingness to roll up his sleeves and work on a resolution was his tireless behind the scenes work on crafting what has become known as the “Grand Compromise” to preserve the Golf Course and build the new Public Safety Complex.
Sam would be a great asset to the Board of Selectman and I enthusiastically support him!

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10 Claire C Reynolds May 12, 2019 at 12:17 PM

Why Southborough needs Sam Stivers as a Selectman……..
Dedicated:
• He attends several Town Board/Committee meetings each week
• He has served on numerous Town committees (listed in his letter)
• He has done the preparation to be able to ‘hit the ground running’
Background:
• He is an analytical thinker
• He has in-depth operations & financial experience
• He thoroughly understands how Town government works
Responsible:
• He believes that the ‘buck stops’ with the Board of Selectmen
• He wants public meeting agendas to include “public comment” (with comment response/follow-up provided)
• He tackles the hard issues
• He does what he says he will do!!!!
Sam has the skills and has done the homework to earn your vote for Selectman. We need him to deal with the challenges that Southborough will be facing.
Thank you.

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11 Marnie Hoolahan May 12, 2019 at 12:57 PM

Sam Stivers for Selectman!

I am always amazed at Sam’s commitment and dedication to this town. Sam has served on so many towns and committees over the years and has been an active and honest voice. I applaud Sam’s tenacity and persistency. This is exactly the type of leadership that we need in the BoS. It is clear that many of the issues we are facing as a Town are due to the inability for cross-functional engagement and collaboration and what better way to correct those issues with a proven team player.

My email could go on and on in support of Sam, but I will not belabor my point. At the end of the day- I encourage everyone in Southborough to get out to Trottier on Tuesday and VOTE for SAM STIVERS! Let’s get this BoS in balance and representing the Town, not unknown agendas!

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12 Deborah Costine McAdow May 13, 2019 at 8:21 AM

I support Sam Stivers for the same reasons as summed up by those above who have worked with him extensively on town boards and projects.

-Sam is extremely well-informed on town issues and events. He shows up!
For years now, he is a regular presence at not just Selectmen’s meetings but, Planning Board, ZBA, Conservation Commission and many others. He is there listening. He makes it his business to know the background behind the debates.
-He actually listens. He is patient and respectful and takes the time to hear different points of view in order to make the best informed and balanced decisions.
-He is in no one’s pocket and has no “axe to grind.”
-Sam’s integrity is impeccable.
-I believe he is the best example of what a really good Selectman should be.

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13 Freddie Gillespie May 13, 2019 at 10:53 AM

Vote for Sam Stivers because he is a really nice guy!
Oh… and he is the most qualified candidate for Selectman. In addition to his vast experience in most, if not all areas of town government, Sam is always considerate and respectful, I have never seen him loose his temper or be rude. That is an important quality of great leadership, as important as the depth of his knowledge of town government.
Sam actually listens to all sides of an issue and while we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, I have always respected his reasoning when we disagreed.
Most importantly Sam is willing to listen to all sides and has changed his firmly held position when presented with compelling information. Such was the case with the purchase of St. Mark’s Golf Course. Sam firmly believed the land beyond the Public Safety Complex should be used for future municipal building needs. We had many discussions but he was firm in his belief and we ended up agreeing to disagree. Sam was subsequently appointed to the Golf Course Master Plan Committee. He listened to input from Boards and Committees and most importantly the residents, and he changed his position. Sam then worked with me to draft the Grand Compromise Amendment that allowed the town to purchase the course, build the Fire and Police Station and preserve the rest as open space. This was a huge win for the town because without it, no one was going to prevail with the 2/3 vote needed. There would be no Public Safety building and no protected open space. Most people don’t know the major role he played, because as is often the case, he works with others supporting their efforts and isn’t in the forefront.
There’s a reason over 50 public officials support Sam which speaks volumes to his ability to work with others to get things done. Note that his endorsers includes members from Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Open Space Preservation Commission, ZBA, Historical Commission, Community Preservation Committee and Advisory among other town entities. Additional endorsers are from Board members of the Southborough Open Land Foundation and Historical Society. Sam is multifaceted, a businessman who supports economic development while preserving the characteristic of town the residents value. He will work to keep our taxes low while supporting our vital services. The Town needs Sam. Please vote for him!

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14 Mark Ford May 13, 2019 at 12:44 PM

Add my endorsement to the many that precede. I served with Sam on Advisory, and have known him for many years through his diligent work on behalf of Southborough. To me he exemplifies what town service should be; dedicated, thoughtful, unbiased, thorough…our town will be well served with Sam on the BOS, and I hope you’ll join me in casting a vote on his behalf.

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15 Ravi Mynampaty May 14, 2019 at 4:51 AM

I served with Sam Stivers on Advisory last year and will be voting for him on May 14th.

Others have gone into great detail about why Sam is a great candidate for this role and I echo many of those sentiments.

I’ll keep it short and say that Sam genuinely cares about Southborough and has the knowledge and skills to effectively serve as Selectman.

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