[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.
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.