BOS news: committee appointments, Open Space review, and search committee updates

The Board of Selectmen met on Tuesday night, October 22, 2013. Here are some highlights from the meeting.

The major agenda items were:

Committee appointments
Selectmen interviewed four candidates for the long open vacancies on the Open Space Preservation Commission. Much of the interview questions focused on how to deal with issues about open space enforcement, procedures, infringement, and working with other committees.

After thanking all of the accomplished applicants, they opted to appoint Helen Hamman, PhD, and Sean Connelly. (These were also the two candidates recommended by the OSRC for “their thoughtful perspectives” at past meetings.  (For more detail on the applicants and interviews, you can click here for The Metwest Daily News’ coverage.)

Selectmen made uncontested appointments to fill vacancies in other committees, including 8 members to the Southborough Cultural Arts Council. (SCAC recently announced it was in danger of being abolished if they didn’t get more members. Looks like their call for help was answered!)

Open Space review process  
Tuesday night, Selectmen voted to rescind the establishment of the on again off again Open Space Review Committee.

This summer, the OSRC and Planning Board asked the BOS permission to form a subcommittee to establish a process for enforcing Open Space requirements. At the time, Selectman were skeptical that a committee was the best answer. They postponed the decision for review.

In September, BOS voted to approve the committee. On October 1, they voted to postpone appointing the committee members until the Town Planner had a chance to get settled in.

This week, they decided to go another way.

They plan to ask the Planning Board to schedule a discussion for their next meeting on guidelines for a process. They hope to invite to that discussion all involved parties (Town Planner, Town Administrator, OSPC, and developers.)

This decision was made after Selectmen Bill Boland suggested that the committee should wait for the Town Planner to work with the Building Inspector to identify the problems that need fixing.

Rooney once again expressed skepticism that a committee was the best solution. Meanwhile, he worried about postponements in establishing a process.

He rhetorically asked about developments currently being built, “Who from the town is minding the store?”

They hope the Planning Board will be able to accomodate the request for the agenda item.

In the interim, Rooney asked Town Administrator Mark Purple to help them figure out who from the town will be going out to sites to see what is going on until they hire a new Building Inspector.

Speaking of a new building inspector. . .

Search committee updates
The Building Inspector applicants have been narrowed down to two candidates in the process of being vetted. Purple hopes to make a recommendation for appointment by the November 5th BOS meeting.

Meanwhile, the Southborough Police Chief search has garnered 49 resumes. (A search of The Metrowest Daily News articles reveals there were 41 applicants to the recent Ashland police chief opening and only 20 for Hopkinton.)

The committee is currently narrowing down applicants for interviews. Purple is hoping that the process of hiring a new chief can be completed by the end of January.

(Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

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