Letter: Sam Stivers for Board of Selectmen

[Ed note: My Southborough invited each candidate for a contested position in the annual town election to submit a letter to voters.]

Hello, my name is Sam Stivers and I’m running for Selectman.

Some of you may know me as a current Advisory Committee member or as a former member of several other Town committees, including the St. Mark’s Golf Course Master Plan Committee, the Zoning Advisory Committee and the Zoning Board of Appeals. Here’s why a vote for me is a vote for a better Southborough.

Why Am I Running For Selectman?

  • I care a lot about Southborough’s future. I want to help retain and enhance the great things about Southborough that make us all want to live here.
  • I can help Town government be more effective. My management skills and experience can help provide better value for our tax dollars.
  • I bring a fresh, independent view to Town issues, with careful attention to the interests of the residents most affected by these issues.

Why Vote For Me?

  • I have a detailed understanding of Town government activities.
  • I am independent, without conflicts of interest or obligations to special interest groups.
  • I am always ready to listen, and I work hard to understand all sides of an issue.
  • I deal effectively with complex issues and I find solutions to balance competing interests.
  • I will devote the time and effort necessary to do the job well.

What Important Town Issues Can My Skills Address?

  • Oversight of annual budget and major public construction projects (Public Safety; Main Street); the Town has a $50+ million annual budget and we will spend $30+ million on new Public Safety Building and Main Street; I have experience managing expenditures of this scale and I know how to put our tax dollars to good use.
  • Developing strategies for relieving fiscal pressures; my business background can help identify new sources of revenue and ways to streamline operations to reduce operating costs.
  • Improving coordination between Town departments/committees/
    ; my process redesign skills can help improve coordination across the various Town government entities for activities such as permitting, customer data acquisition and retrieval and document processing.
  • Creating additional housing opportunities for residents—particularly for young families and seniors; my experience with the Town’s zoning bylaws can help create incentives to improve housing options young families and seniors.
  • Identifying opportunities for public/private partnerships; my business experience can help the Town identify opportunities to leverage underutilized resources (such as land and buildings) through private investments.
  • Finding ways to support improved cultural, social, open space and recreational amenities; my experience with the Town’s various planning efforts over the past decade allows me to identify opportunities for better coordination between the Town’s various plans (including the Master Plan and the Open Space Plan and Recreation Plan)—to set priorities for investing resources in these areas.

My Background:

I’ve lived in Southborough since 1997. Among the important reasons that I 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 it is difficult to find elsewhere in the Metrowest area, and that it is worth working hard to preserve.

For the past 13 years, I have volunteered a great deal of my time for service on behalf of the Town. From my 5 years on the Advisory Committee, I gained extensive knowledge of Town financial operations in all municipal departments and the schools. I have regularly attended many Town board/committee/etc. meetings (including Selectmen, Schools, Library, Planning, Zoning, Conservation, Open Space, Economic Development, Technology), as well as meetings of many other such groups as particular issues arose (including Assessors, Community Preservation, Health, Historical, Personnel, Public Works, Recreation), and various other ad hoc committees (including Main Street, Public Safety, Town Manager, Town Meeting)—no other candidate has my breadth and depth of knowledge of the operations of this many Town entities.

My professional background includes 6 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). For the past 15 years I’ve been a health care company manager. I have a BA degree from Wesleyan University and a MSIA degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

To Summarize:

My professional experience as a business manager and business consultant and my detailed knowledge of Southborough’s government activities uniquely qualify me to be an effective Selectman from day 1. I have the right skills and experience to do this job well, for the benefit of all residents of Southborough.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about my candidacy:

Contact Sam: (508) 303-3396; sam@forselectman.com

For more information: www.facebook.com/samstiversbos

I ask for your vote on May 9th! Thank you.

Updated (5/4/17 2:14 pm): A website originally included is being worked on this afternoon. And, though this posted at just before 11am it was showing up under other posts as put up at 3am. (Actually, it was supposed to post at 3 pm!)

Updated (5/5/17 4:39 pm): The candidate’s website www.samforselectman.com is now running.

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louise barron
6 years ago

Sam Stivers. Finally. another totally qualified, dedicated, and honest above reproach candidate for selectman. Lisa Braccio is the other highly dedicated candidate. These two folks rise above the rest, and we will be proud to call them our new select persons. Time for fresh and new ideas in this town and these two candidates will deliver.

Jun Qi
6 years ago

thanks for running! Our town needs more independent persons with no conflict of interest to run the Board of Selectman, and other boards..

Freddie Gillespie
6 years ago

I support Sam Stivers 100%. Sam is a man of highest integrity, with total commitment to the town of Southborough. The quality I appreciate most about Sam is that he actually listens carefully to others and develops his opinions after thorough investigation of the issues. He is not unyielding and he is willing change his position based on input from citizens and new information. While Sam and I have not always agreed on issues, I have always known his position was arrived at honestly and was what he believed to be in the best interests of the town. Sam is the only town official who has regularly attended Open Space Preservation Commission Meetings to get our take on things. In a Town that consistently states we care about open space as a highest priority, the Open Space Preservation Commission couldn’t get on the Selectmen’s agenda to discuss the disposition of the town’s most important open space priorities as documented in 35 years of reports and plans. Having a Selectmen who considers all sides of an issue and listens not only to citizens but Town Boards and Committees will be an asset to our Town.

Meme Luttrell
6 years ago

I enthusiastically support Sam Stivers for Selectmen!

I first became acquainted with Sam when he was the Chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and there was a 40B proposed behind my house. My husband and I attended all the hearings and found Sam to be professional, dedicated, knowledgeable, thorough, evenhanded, patient and methodical. He was very knowledgeable about the Comprehensive Permit process, he listened intently to the concerns of the neighborhood and he worked diligently to negotiate with the proponent for conditions that would address the concerns raised. Sam maintained his respectful professionalism throughout the entire process in spite of many heated meetings, threats of lawsuits and a slanderous letter attempting to discredit him sent to the Board of Selectmen by the project’s proponent. I admired and respected him for that. The project was ultimately approved in a way that was satisfactory to both the neighbors and the proponent, as was evidenced by the fact it wasn’t appealed by either side.

Since that time I have come to know Sam quite well. I have worked with him and sought his opinion on various matters and I respect and admire him even more today.

Sam is methodical in his decision making. He knows the laws or rules governing any particular issue, he listens to all sides of the issue and he arrives at a decision that he believes to be right—not necessarily popular or based on pressure from any interest group.

Sam is a problem solver. He is never afraid to ask the difficult questions in order to get to the heart or truth of a matter. If he identifies an issue that needs attention he makes the issue known and works to get the matter addressed—even if that requires his rolling up his own sleeves and working on a resolution himself. To that end he has authored many citizens’ petitions aimed to solve problems. He sought to correct a section of the zoning code which had been known to be unenforceable for years; he sought to remove the “use variance”, which is not recognized by Mass General Law, and he sought to put alternate processes in place.

Sam can be serious, but even with his impressive resume does not take himself too seriously. Sam also has a great sense of humor which he unleashes often to bring levity to tense situations.

Through the years I have often agreed with Sam, and a few times I have disagreed with Sam, but I have always admired and respected him. Sam approaches every issue not clouded by what is popular or politically correct. Instead, he thoroughly researches, he listens to all sides and he makes decisions influenced only by the truth and the desire to do the right thing.

Because Sam is professional, dedicated, knowledgeable, thorough, evenhanded, patient, methodical and always striving to do what is right, I whole heatedly support Sam for the Board of Selectmen!

Meme Luttrell

Kathy Cook
6 years ago

I also enthusiastically support Mr. Stivers. I have gotten to know Mr. Stivers thru the Advisory Committee on which we have both sat several years. Mr. Stivers is one of the most competent people I have ever worked with. Additionally he is one of the hardest working people I know. He spends an enormous amount of time not only doing the work of the Advisory Committee but also attending many other meetings of other committees and Boards. He understands the issues that Southborough faces as well as anyone I have known. There is no doubt he will have the best interest of the Town in mind when he serves as a Selectman.

Claire Reynolds
6 years ago

I echo Kathy Cook’s comments. Sam Stivers is one of the most committed residents that this town has. Although people don’t always agree with each other, Sam listens to all sides when making decisions. This is one of his best assets along with being thorough informed of all sides of the many situations that we face. He has gained this knowledge from his dedicated attendance at meetings of boards and committees. He has the background and knowledge to provide the direction that Southborough needs moving forward. Thank you Sam for stepping forward.

Carol Gay
6 years ago

I am also impressed by Sam’s dedication in researching the details of a situation. I have sat through many meetings and felt that we have had another hard working person who questions and researches for the rest of us. We have been very lucky to have him on top of different situations. He deserves your support, as he works towards the goals of the town’s master plan. Remember to vote tomorrow!

Al Hamilton
6 years ago

I am voting for Sam as well. His experience, integrity, and willingness do dig into issues will serve us well.

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