[Ed note: What follows is a statement authored by Sam Stivers who is running for a seat on the Planning Board. If you’re running for a town office this year and would like to post a statement on My Southborough, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Town elections are on Monday, May 14. You can find a list of candidates here.]
Some of you may know me as the former Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). I’d like to use this opportunity to tell you a little more about myself, and why a vote for me for Planning Board is a vote for a better Southborough.
I’ve lived with my wife, Marilyn, on Presidential Drive in Southborough since 1997. We have two adult children and two grandchildren. Among the important reasons we moved to Southborough were the Town’s rural character (reflected in part by the continued sense of the original “villages”), its abundance of open space, its colonial New England history and its blend of larger commercial businesses along the Route 9 corridor and the active small business community in the center of Town. I believe that this combination of characteristics is very desirable; that this combination of characteristics is difficult to find elsewhere in the Metrowest area; and that this combination of characteristics is worth working hard to preserve.
My professional background includes 5 years as a teacher, 25 years as a management consultant for private and public sector organizations (focusing on business strategy development and the related implementation activities of process redesign and organizational restructuring) and 12 years as a health care executive. I am currently semi-retired.
Since 2004 when I first became an alternate member of the ZBA, I have devoted a great deal of my time to serving the interests of the Town. This includes: (i) serving on the Southborough Zoning Board from 2004-2011, (ii) participating in the Master Plan workshops and (iii) serving since 2008 as a member of the Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC) as we are working on updating the Town’s zoning bylaw which will have a large impact on Southborough’s future.
I believe that the combination of my professional experience as a consultant and as a manager and my local experience with Southborough’s ZBA and ZAC uniquely qualifies me to be an effective member of the Planning Board. Through my ZBA experience I have gained a detailed understanding of the day-to-day application of the Town’s zoning bylaws. Through my ZAC experience and Master Plan participation, I’ve had the opportunity to think strategically about how the Town should manage growth.
I have demonstrated a strong commitment to keep myself informed about the various issues pertinent to planning and zoning generally and in Southborough specifically. I’ve attended hundreds of hours of various Southborough board meetings and external zoning and planning related workshops. Particularly through my ZBA role, I’ve attended more Southborough Planning Board meetings than the majority of the current members of the Planning Board, despite the fact that it’s a board I don’t yet sit on. My extensive experience will allow me to be a full Planning Board participant from day one.
[…continuing reading (PDF)]