Letter: Dan Kolenda Re-election 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.]

To the Editor:

I have been honored to serve as your Selectman for the past two terms, and humbly ask for your support and vote on Tuesday, May 9.

I started my service in Town not long after returning from Iraq, where I deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Part of the reason for my running for office here is what happened over there. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraqi’s waited in very long lines, through multiple security check points, literally risking their lives to be able to dip their finger in purple ink and say “I voted!” Upon my return home to Southborough, I was determined to participate in my own democracy in a more meaningful way. I have since been elected and re-elected to the Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee, as well to your Board of Selectmen. I am V.P., Business Practices & Compliance, Worldwide Law Department, at CA Technologies, and am also a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserves, JAG Corps. I bring those management and leadership experiences to you as your Selectman.

As your Selectman, I have always been, and remain committed to, limited taxation, continually seeking ways to ensure the taxpayer receives the greatest service at the lowest possible cost. I also fully support our exceptional schools, and through my service on the Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee, I consistently look for ways to identify opportunities for fiscal improvement. I also support our local businesses, as well as responsible new business development in town, all while maintaining the character and charm of Southborough.

A main reason I am running for re-election is to help complete the amazing work we’ve started together over the last few years, including ensuring that our Main Street is repaired and repaved properly. I’m proud to have helped secure over $7m in state funding for the project, money that would otherwise have come out of the pockets of the hard-working taxpayers of Southborough. I also want to see our new Public Safety facility built, and built properly. The safety and security of our residents is of primary importance to me, and I want to ensure our police and fire professionals have the facility they need and deserve to perform their incredible work for every resident of Southborough.

I also want to see a return to greater respect for one another in our civil discourse. When I was first elected, the manner in which residents and boards interacted was much different than what I see today. While contentious issues can result in emotional responses, when we speak at or over one another, we’ll never hear what the other person is saying, and we’ll miss the opportunity to learn, understand, appreciate and at least acknowledge a differing opinion. Our Board of Selectmen, as well as other boards and committees, have lost some outstanding citizen volunteers recently. We can’t let Southborough continue down that path any longer. Service, whether to one’s nation, state, city or town, can and should be honored and appreciated. Let’s recommit ourselves to that this election, regardless of who is elected.

I’ll be out of the country, in a remote part of Africa, on an Army mission during the election. I’ve already voted absentee, and ask that you please vote on Tuesday, May 9. Our democracy only thrives with active participation from the electorate. Our elections are free and fair – let’s take full advantage of what others before us have fought and died for, and vote for the candidate of your choice on Tuesday.

Dan Kolenda
Candidate for re-election, Southborough Board of Selectmen

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7 years ago

Mr. Kolenda, thank you for service to our town and our country! You certainly are qualified but I am troubled by you and BoS’s action and messaging on Fayville Hall. I don’t have strong feelings about Fayville Hall but can’t understand the reasoning.

1.) Adaptive re-use articles were moved ahead of article on Fayville Hall and they passed.
2.) BoS says they want to preserve (the exterior?) of Fayville Hall and says that is why adaptive re-use articles were moved ahead but BoS refuses to impose any restriction/language into article to that effect.
3.) With Mr. Rooney having resigned before town meeting and two seat up for re-election, was the “promise” of the current BoS any good? I mean if you do not win re-election then in fact the majority of the new BoS would not be bound by such promise whereas language in the Fayville Hall article would had?

A conservation restriction might had tied BoS’s hand too much but it does transfer with resell of property.

Also I don’t see how agreeing to solicit bids and prioritizing bids that specifically seeks to preserve the exterior of Fayville Hall tied BoS’s hand that much? If there aren’t any buyers who want to preserve the exterior then BoS can still sell it to highest bidder without such condition? If that was the intention of current BoS anyway then why that wasn’t proposed as an amendment? Especially given that the board could be radically different?

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