McAuliffe steps aside, selectmen appoint Eagle to zoning board

In a surprise move at last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Zoning Board of Appeals member Regina McAuliffe withdrew her application for reappointment to the board. Her withdrawal paved the way for selectmen to appoint Southborough businessman David Eagle as a new permanent member of the ZBA.

McAuliffe’s reappointment was scrutinized at a meeting on May 29 as part of an ongoing effort by selectmen to address complaints about the zoning board raised by developers and residents last year. At the meeting Selectman Bill Boland said he would not support McAuliffe for reappointment, while Selectmen John Rooney and Dan Kolenda said they wanted to hear from other candidates before making a decision.

At last night’s meeting, selectmen interviewed David Eagle, who is currently an alternate member of the ZBA, for a permanent position on the board. The Metrowest Daily News describes what happened next.

McAuliffe, who served for seven years, listened to the board interview Eagle in silence last night. When asked to speak, she said she had nothing more to add to statements she made on May 29 and abruptly withdrew her application.

McAuliffe said she withdrew the application “in light of some situations that have come about.” She declined to comment further after the meeting.

After McAuliffe withdrew her application, selectmen unanimously voted to appoint Eagle, but not before voicing some concerns over potential conflicts of interest. Read more about their concerns – and Eagle’s assurances – in this article by the MWDN.

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John S
11 years ago

According to the article (on the conflict of interest) – WOW how much more brazen can this get —
“Though they unanimously appointed Eagle, selectmen did voice concern about a possible conflict of interest. Eagle is a member of the Southborough Economic Development Team, a private group of residents working to promote the town’s image to the business community.
Former ZBA Chairman Sam Stivers pointed out that in its mission statement — which is posted on the town’s website — one of its stated goals is to “recommend members for town committees that support business development.”

We now have the ZBA run by people who are developers and all they obviously care about BUSINESS development in the town – how about RESIDENTS for a change?

They didnt choose ZBA by accident – didnt chose the Planning board or other boards that actually can help foster business climate, instead they took over running the “back door” of getting parcels of land rezoned as fast as they can to build businesses on residential land !

Even if Mr Eagle resigns from the SEDT, will he change what he believes in overnight?

Please BOS – we know you elect the ZBA and can do whatever you like (no election needed), but how can you ignore this blatant conflict of interest and still claim you have the interests of the town at heart ??

11 years ago

I suspect that John S’s comments will fall on deaf ears. The BOS already has a history of replacing others on the ZBA because of their perceived lack of cooperation with the builders and businesses that came before them. The primary reason these groups show up in front of the ZBA is to receive permission to do things that the current rules don’t allow. Removing past members because of their inclination to enforce rather than bypass the rules has already occurred. This is simply more of the same if you ask me.

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