I haven’t had a chance to write about the Board of Selectmen meeting that took place last night. (I can’t do it justice, because I haven’t even had the chance to finish viewing it.)
But since the Town has released a statement asking for people to volunteer for a Working Group, I’ll give a quick recap of some of the related discussion.
At the meeting, selectmen John Rooney and Bill Boland debated the merits of a Working Group to resolve issues around the Main Street reconstruction project.
Rooney said that he believes it is important to continue working towards finding consensus on the project without losing state funding.
The town had requested to delay the state’s public hearing until October or as late as feasible. The state came back with a date of June 18, 2014. Rooney said that he would like to see if a committee (which Boland preferred to be a Working Group) could work through residents’ issues in time for that date.
The selectman noted that this group would have a different scope and goals than the committee proposed by David Parry’s citizen petition inititative. Rooney said that now is not the right time to research an alternative proposal.
Rooney reasoned that if the town is unable to find consensus on a plan before the state hearing, that would be the time to look at alternatives. He stated that he believed following Parry’s proposal would result in losing state funding.
This afternoon, the Town has posted a notice for 5-7 volunteers to help in this effort:
The Board of Selectmen seek candidates for a Main Street Design Working Group, to be appointed at their April 29, 2014 meeting. The group will be composed of 5-7 people who will meet frequently over the ensuing 8 weeks, review pertinent documents and plans, meet with local officials or their designees, and receive public comment. These meetings will be required to take place prior to the Department of Transportation meeting on June 18, 2014 regarding the project. Please submit a letter of interest and resume to the Board of Selectmen, 17 Common Street, Southborough, MA 01772 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates will be accepted until Friday April 25, 2014.
Tuesday night, Rooney and Boland also discussed dismay that a plan “remarkably similar” to the current plan was endorsed in 2008 by residents who are now vocal opponents.
They said that residents have a right to change their mind, but should acknowledge the real history of the project.
David Parry, who had been watching at home, appeared to counter some statements.
An argument ensued which you can read more about through Southborough Wicked Local’s coverage. Or you can watch the meeting online through Southborough Access Media. (Discussion of the Main Street project begins about 46 minutes in.)