Candidate refutes BOS accusations

Southborough Wicked Local posted news that the Board of Selectman delivered a cease and desist letter to former Selectman David Parry last week. The letter, written by Selectman Bill Boland, made two accusations. Parry is refuting both.

Boland wrote that a state agency informed him that Parry misrepresented himself to them. Parry allegedly called himself a selectman and city planner while requesting documents related to the Park Central 40B project.

The letter also charged Parry with making markings on Southborough Library property, related to the Main Street project, without authorization from the BOS “or their designee.” (Click here to see a copy of the letter, posted by SWL.)

SWL shared part of Parry’s response to the letter and a reaction from a Library representative:

In an email reply to Boland, Parry said the letter was delivered to his home by an “embarrassed” sergeant of the Southborough police department. Parry denied misrepresenting himself, saying that the identified himself as a former selectman who was running for selectman. He also said that the information he was seeking is public record.

Parry also wrote that he believed the Library Board of Trustees would be the proper board to ask for permission to mark up library property, and said he would do so in the future.

“It’s fine with me,” Library Trustee Chairwoman Jane Smith said Thursday. “We don’t have any problem with him staking it out. What’s to hide?

“As a citizen, I’d like to see the whole thing staked out, frankly,” she said, noting it would make things much easier to visualize.

Parry communicated directly with me about the article and accusations. He claimed to be astounded by the charges. He clarified that he hadn’t marked Library property. On Saturday, Parry wrote:

I did NOT insert any stakes into the Library property, because I did not yet have permission. In fact there are still no stakes on the Library property. Here I am, doing the right thing, the legal thing, by waiting to get permission before banging in the stakes, and in some perverse way I am portrayed as being guilty of some gigantic infraction!

SWL shared selectmen’s defense of their letter:

Wednesday night, Selectman John Rooney said he had seen and approved the letter before it was sent out. He said he believed using a police officer to deliver the message was a legitimate use of town resources because of the seriousness of the allegation.

“We wanted to get it into his hands as soon as possible,” Rooney said.

Boland said the board stands behind the letter despite Parry’s denials.

To read the full SWL story, click here.

“We wouldn’t have sent the letter out unless we were confident in what we were saying,” he said. He added that the board always sends hand-delivered letters either by police or constable.

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Karen Connell
9 years ago

I am a witness and participant in this event. I accompanied and helped David Parry with the stakes and other markings. We marked and staked ONLY the property we had permission to touch.

Betsy Rosenbloom
9 years ago

Massachusetts law says the Library Board of Trustees “shall have the custody and management of the library and reading room and of all property owned by the town relating thereto.” Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 78, sec. 11. As an attorney and former Library Trustee, I have interpreted this provision to mean that the Trustees have the say on whether someone can dig or post signs on Library grounds. During my tenure as a Trustee, department heads from other departments sought permission from the Trustees before taking action on Library grounds.

Diane R.
9 years ago

From the blog on March 26th: “As I shared on Monday, Parry claims that someone grabbed clipboards with a set of his official papers signed by 180 voters. He publicly hoped that the Transfer Station’s security video captured the incident.”

And now…..

No comment except that I was at the Transfer Station the day he was collecting signatures and I signed…. So what’s the deal with David Parry?

9 years ago

“Refutes” in what way? I find it interesting that Mr. Parry and his supporters only talk about the library marking and fail to address the issue of him saying he was a selectman. To me that is the more serious offense. I would like to hear what he says about that, and what the evidence the town has about this matter. If someone is willing to lie to gain an advantage, that is important information to know when heading to the polls.

9 years ago

I totally agree with Library Trustee Chairwoman Jane Smith. What is there to hide? If the BOS wants this to be a transparent process why are they admonishing someone for making the scope of the project clear? And, the incident at the library involved stakes! It’s not like he was spray painting the lawn.

9 years ago


Not sure who is whining more, the former or the current selectman. As for Mr. Parry I understand you have to make some noise to be heard and it “seems” that you have the interests of the town, or at least your neighborhood, at heart but I look forward to learning more of your history regarding the Main Street project.
As for the letter from Mr. Boland, while it “seems” like you wanted to get this info info his hands quickly, I don’t see that drafting a letter and having the police deliver it being faster than a phone call. Your intent was really that you wanted to be seen sending him a message. Mission accomplished. Pretty petty politics point to Mr. Boland.

Are there stakes on library property? Who put them there? Who is in charge? Clearly there are a number of opinions that refute who has the authority to grant permission. Why not also cite him for littering where he put stakes on other publlic property? Is that letter on route to Mr. Parry via ambulance?

There would have been no advantage to Mr. Parry impersonating a selectman over identifying himself as a former and also current candidate especially if the info is in the public record. I would like the full report on what he asked for and from whom. I really don’t trust anyone in politics and am finding more than enough to base my vote just in the public behavior we are all witness to.

All of you PLEASE spend the next month showing me you are more mature than my kids.

9 years ago
Reply to  Matthew

Do you mean “Stake-gate”?? Seems the hubbub is all about stakes on the library lawn. Is that all we have to worry about? Thank goodness nobody is hungry, dying, ill, worried about how to pay their bills…..because THERE ARE STAKES ON THE LIBRARY LAWN!!!!

9 years ago
Reply to  resident


Yes of course that’s what I meant. I have no excuse other than my own enthusiasm.

or maybe…
Stargate – How surreal it is to routinely use police to deliver urgent messages from the BOS. Did they get a letter from MGM to use this name? Boy that new Explorer police vehicle is wicked fast (when it’s not idling). Glad we got a new one…
Stampgate – The cost of an officer used to send a letter. Soon to be thought of a means of avoiding the high cost of stamps and the delivery rate of the overly subsidized Post office.
Stewgate – where the current and prospective selectmen are sitting.

Anyone else?


Karen Connell
9 years ago

Sorry for repeating myself…..
I was there. I was not only a witness, but I participated. I was wearing a bright yellow Boston Marathon slicker and day-glow gloves. A Police Officer observed us and several other people drove by, some tooted or yelled supportive statements. Not only did we do nothing wrong, we did everything right. We asked for and received permission to put in those stakes. I personally held the stakes while David Parry banged them in with a sledge hammer, where we had permission. However, we did not bang in stakes into the Library property, because David Parry told me we would need permission first, before we did so. So we did not, in fact, there are still no stakes there.

This is totally bizarre. David told me that he just met with our new Police Chief yesterday afternoon and really liked him, and they had a really good discussion of town affairs. When this issue came up, he told me they both just laughed out loud, at the absurdity of it.

I now understand why people don’t use their real names on this blog or just ignore town affairs altogether. Who wants to be made to defend themselves against such frivolous allegations? The whole time I have been involved in this topic (Main Street Reconstruction) I have been protective of people I personally like or once considered a friend, even when they made legitimate missteps. Now we have a situation where someone did all the right things but is under attack. We can do better.

9 years ago
Reply to  Karen Connell

Yes, we can and should do better. And it is absurd that when someone is made to defend oneself against spurious charges (which wouldn’t ANYONE do?), he is then called on it.

9 years ago

This is a whole lot of controversy from one candidate. Some might even call it erratic behavior.

9 years ago

Some might call that refreshing. Keep in mind which direction the controversy was generated.
Did Mr. Parry initiate it all or was the B.O.S.over-reacting and as the library (people who know) have pointed out they have no problem with stakes and have the final say -not the BOS.
The same B.O.S. that have made no public statement regarding “Plowgate”.

I defend no one but and am waiting for ANYONE to take the high road. The other candidates have been silent. Smart. Very smart. Let everyone else self-destruct and then pick up the pieces. I wish someone would raise the bar on behavior…

BTW – Erratic? How about daring? “Out there”? Thick Skinned? Curious? A resident?
Strange how many of the pseudonyms people use on this blog could be used to describe a candidate! Except “Matthew” of course. that one is trademarked.

BTW – When you say he was erratic..was he weaving across the double yellow? Please come up with an insult more deserving or at least creative. Have you even read Cyrano?


David Parry
9 years ago

You know, just reading this column makes me laugh out loud. I forward it to my friends living out of Town and out of State, and they call me back and say: “Your joking. This can’t possibly be true. I don’t believe it!”. I usually reply: “Well, I sometimes wake up thinking that too”.

Hey, today is the day I get to speak, publicly, at, guess where?…….wait for it ……. YES ………it’s at the LIBRARY! But there aren’t any stakes there yet (more on that topic below).

The Library Trustees are very good folks and they provide a public service, every year, in the form of panel discussions. Today (Wed, April 9, at 7 pm), the subject is the Warrant Article concerning Main Street. It will be on TV too (although possibly recorded and played back later on local cable).

The Library invited me, by the way. It was their idea, not mine. We will all be there —myself (as sponsor, speaking for the 160 persons who signed the Citizen Petition Article), plus members of Advisory, Planning Board, DPW, and numerous others in the audience. They will probably all have something to ask and say. I hope so. The more questions about this Main Street project the better. It needs a good airing.

By the way, last week’s meeting at Cordaville Hall had about 120 people attending. . That was by far the biggest number ever on this project, thanks to the Selectmen advertising it on TV, and press coverage. That number (120), is more than a quorum (100) required for Town Meeting. If any of you watched the TV recording, you will certainly know that the sentiment was overwhelmingly against the State-funded and State-ruled corridor — the big, new highway planned to pass right through our historic Town Center. However, the message from that meeting does not seem to be getting through, yet. Anyway, my thanks to the Selectmen for setting it up, because now residents are finally beginning to learn just how big this project really is.

I might just mention that, to get this Main Street Project approved, it will need a 2/3 rds vote of approval at a future Town Meeting. That is because Town Meeting, and not the Selectmen, must approve all takings and easements by a vote of 2/3rds. This project has about 6 separate easements along its 3/4 mile long excavation / construction path.

Oh, I almost forgot — the stakes: I still haven’t put up any stakes at the Library, even though I do have permission, from the Library Board of Trustees, not the Selectmen. You see, it is the Trustees who happen to control the Library.

Sorry, folks, I ‘m afraid you’ll just have to guess how far the new highway extends onto Library land, Or you can go down to DPW and ask to see engineering sheet # 14 out of the set of 54 sheets total. Sheet 14 shows the details at a scale of 1 inch = 20 ft. The new road is shown in black, but the existing road is shown in light gray, so you might want to take along a magnifying glass and a good pair of spectacles. Plus a measuring scale, of course.

Back to the stakes. I haven’t put them in at the library, because my friend and co-conspirator Karen Connell (of 15 Main St), who kindly helped me install stakes on St Mark’s land, (with approval of St Mark’s), does NOT want to receive any visits from the police at her door. I told her she needn’t worry, because the police are very polite, professional and rather embarrassed. She can just send them over to my house, and I’ll give them a cup of tea and we can have a good chuckle.

I do hope to see you at the Library. Please say hello if you come.

David Parry
The real person, ,not some pseudonym.

9 years ago
Reply to  David Parry

Hi David,

Many of us (pseudonyms or otherwise) are very appreciative of the good–and honest–work you’re doing, and are also in disbelief over the ridiculous “charges” that were leveled against you. I certainly hope that’s obvious to you. Given what people seem to have to go through when they approach issues openly, honestly, and comprehensively right now in this town, I can’t possibly imagine running for public office–at least right now. More power to you, and on with the real issues!

Bupters (a real person, who happens to use a pseudonym on this blog).

9 years ago
Reply to  David Parry

How is a single travel lane in each direction, plus a turn lane plus side walks equal to a “big, new highway”?

I think this project is sorely needed. I watched the video and thinks it looks great. I have looked at all the pictures. I am truly puzzled why so many people are fighting against this project. I just don’t get it.

9 years ago
Reply to  Resident

Because a single travel lane in each direction means you are making the road twice as wide. It’s not necessary, and it really will look odd for such a tiny downtown. It won’t be a highway as some have claimed, but the scale is wrong for the intersection. I have to say most of the drawings are very clever in that from the angle of the rendition, it doesn’t look bad. There is a set of drawings that I only saw once, that really highlighted what this project will do to that intersection. When I saw it, I thought this is really nuts.

9 years ago

This was the most amusing blog series we have ever had on MySouthborough. So funny. Special thanks to Matthew. I have 3 comments.
First, I think the intent of the Selectman who sent the police to the door has now backfired IMMENSELY. The public may have more sympathy for Mr. Parry and may actually offer him more support.
Second, based on the behaviors exhibited lately, proclaiming yourself to a State agency as a Southborough Selectman might be to your detriment, not your advantage. Citizens, keep that in mind when seeking public records in the future.
Finally, thank you, Mr. Parry, and Ms. Connell for all of your work to give a visual sense of the project to our citizens. It is a shame that the beautiful renderings/drawings displayed in Town these past few years did little in comparison. The video from Karen Galligan was also very informative. Maybe we can learn something from this for future projects in Southborough, to be presented at an earlier stage in their development.

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