Meet the candidate: Andrew Mills (Planning Board)

[Note: What follows is a statement authored by Andrew Mills who is running for a seat on the Planning Board. No endorsement is implied. If you’re running for a town office this year and would like to post a statement on My Southborough, drop me a line. Town elections will be held on May 10. A list of candidates can be found here.]

Hello Southborough Residents,

My name is Andrew Mills and I am running for the Planning Board. I am excited for this opportunity, welcome your thoughtful consideration and appreciate your vote.

This is a critical time for the Planning Board, as they continue to adopt the vision of the Master Plan and manage the development of Southborough, while searching for a new Town Planner.

I appreciate this opportunity to tell you more about myself and why I am the strongest candidate for the Planning Board.

Preserving Southborough’s Rural Character
I have been a Southborough resident for 14 years, first living in Fayville, and now within walking distance to the Town Center district. My wife, Alexandra, and I chose Southborough as our home for reasons that probably resonate with many who call Southborough home. We love the rural feel, New England colonial character and the unique village identities that make up our town. As a member of the Planning Board, I will work hard to ensure that these characteristics are maintained for the future.

A Dedicated Record For Serving and Preserving Southborough
I have been a member of the Southborough Community Preservation Committee (CPC) for the last five years, serving the last three years as the Chairman. While serving on the CPC, I worked closely with many project applicants and town departments to enhance our community. The following are a few notable projects:

  • Restoration of the Flagg School
  • Preserving Chestnut Hill Farm for recreational and open space
  • Preservation of Southborough historic documents
  • Restoration of the South Union School
  • Creation of the Triangle Park
  • Restoration of the All Wars Monument
  • Funding for the Affordable Housing Trust

As the Chair of the CPC, I worked closely with many Town Departments, Committees and Boards and have been extremely impressed with the commitment and dedication of our town employees and volunteers. During my time on the CPC, I worked diligently with the CPC committee, CPC applicants, Advisory Committee, Selectmen, Town Accountant, Town Administration and the Town Treasurer to create an efficient operating business model. This exposure gives me a strong understanding of how the town functions and who is responsible for making Southborough run smoothly.

Positioned for Success on the Planning Board
One of my goals as a member of the Planning Board is to ensure interested parties, committees and boards are well informed. I will strive to enhance communication exchange between all community parties. My business background with process improvement uniquely positions me for this role, as I have tremendous experience working with multiple business units to identify and eliminate inefficiencies, designing efficient working processes and implementing the new procedures.

Facing Important Town Issues
Southborough has some very important decisions to make in the coming years. Here are some thoughts on these items:

Town Planner Selection
We cannot afford a “learning curve” once a new town planner has been identified for this critical roll. I intend to work closely with the planning board to ensure the new Town Planner has documented processes and set expectations to be successful. These documented procedures will establish the smoothest possible transition for the new Town Planner and will also benefit the applicants, Town Departments and residents.

Careful New Development
Southborough can retain the characteristics of the town we all love and admire while encouraging commercial development to meet the needs of businesses. I am in favor of commercial development that is conscious of our community and seeks to blend in, not dramatically change our town.

Master Plan
The Master Planning process is an important one for Southborough. A master plan is a guide, or road map, of how the town envisions itself for the future. That being said, a master plan should remain flexible and accommodate adjustments along the way to meet the needs of the community as it matures.

Your Vote Counts
I encourage residents to come out on May 10th and vote. The Planning Board role is pivotal to the success of the town and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Trust Southborough to someone with appropriate business experience, hands-on town committee experience and who loves Southborough. I am that person and I am asking for your vote on Monday, May 10th.

Thank you,
Andrew Mills

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Karen Challen
12 years ago

Susan,

Thank you for covering the Candidates’ Night for the Planning Board race at the forum at the fire station last week — and for outlining some of the concerns and skills that Paul Cimino could bring to the Planning Board position. Because Paul noted so much more than the development of commercial potential in the Route 9 corridor that night, I would like to add from my notes of the meeting.

Mr.Cimino made me feel confident that he understood what the job entailed. He cited his qualifications as both an Engineer and a Lawyer that has worked on land use, and talked about how he would apply his experience to the job. While noting Southborough’s need to generate revenue in working toward financial stability, he paid equal attention to preserving the character of Southborough in the process of moving forward into the future. He spoke of the importance of implementing the new Town Master Plan “incrementally”, and balancing the preservation of open space with developing the Route 9 corridor. Mr. Cimino voiced a continued commitment to our Villages and in trying to preserve what we have, as we try to integrate responsible development into the town . And he cited the importance of listening to residents as part of the process of helping to guide our town’s growth into our future. In addition to his thoughtful, vibrant overview that night, he laid out much of what he said, both facts and ideas, in a summary flyer .

In this weeks posting about Andrew Mills, I am enouraged to see that he has now adopted these same concerns and priorities. When I left Candidate’s Night, I knew little more about him than that he had a process background and that he wished to put processes in place for the Planning Board.

But if they now both want to maintain the Southborough I have loved for over 35 years, who is the better qualified to serve in future planning for this “Oasis” (Cimino’s word) in the midst of an overdeveloped MetroWest (my words) ?

I find the differentiator to be Mr. Cimino’s superior professional qualifications, his convincingly voicing what we need in Southborough from the start, and conclude that Mr. Cimino clearly is the better choice for our Town.

Karen Challen

Mary Puracchio
12 years ago

If I lived in Southborough, I would vote for Andrew Mills.
He was one of my favorite students in school, and I know
he is well qualified for the position he is seeking in your community.

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