[Ed note: My Southborough invited each candidate for a contested position in the special town election to submit a letter to voters.]
To the Editor:
My name is Brian Shifrin and I am proud to be a candidate for Selectman. I have had the privilege of serving on many boards and committees and hope I have earned your support and vote on Tuesday, November 7th.
Soon after moving to Town over 15 years ago, I began my service on the Recreation Commission. For the past several years, I have served as:
- Chair, Recreation Commission,
- Chair, Southborough Housing Opportunity Partnership (SHOPC),
- Chair, Affordable Housing Trust Fund Committee,
- Member, Community Preservation Committee,
- Commissioner Southborough Men’s Softball,
- Little League Coach and
- Chair, St. Marks Golf Course Master Planning Committee.
My amazing wife, Kristine Wingate Shifrin, is a local Realtor and has proudly served as member and Chair of Southborough Organization of Schools (SOS) and school council at Finn, Woodward, and Neary. We are personally vested in the Southborough school system as our awesome kids Charlie (11) and Courtney (9) currently attend Woodward and Trottier.
Many issues that come before the Selectmen involve contracts and/or real estate in some form. I have been a certified real estate appraiser in MA and RI for 15 years and an attorney, admitted to practice in MA for 4 years. My practice has an emphasis on real estate related matters and contract drafting and negotiations.
I believe in an inclusive, thorough, collaborative process to make decisions and accomplish goals. When others are proud to say “NO” and shoot things down, I say ”Let’s find a way to make it happen.” When the St. Marks Golf Course was offered to the Town many different groups had many different ideas for the parcel. The divisiveness could have stalled the purchase. The Master Planning Committee, to which I had the opportunity to Chair, gave each group a voice and heard all the concerns. As a result, I was able to make a presentation at Town Meeting that contributed to our acquisition and protection of the scenic Golf Course Land.
I have great working relationships with many Town employees, current Selectmen, and members of Boards and Committees. My inclusive nature and desire to collaborate and work with others for the benefit of the Town has earned endorsements in this campaign from members of the Historical Commission, Advisory Committee, Zoning Board of Appeals, Recreation Commission, and Community Preservation Committee.
As Chair of Southborough Housing Opportunity Partnership, I have been an advocate for responsible Town driven development of affordable housing. The funds are available. We need strategic planning and leadership from the Selectmen so we may take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Fayville Hall and the Arts Center Building are two examples where we can create much needed affordable units to promote economic diversity and for Seniors in town.
There are some major projects that will soon be underway in Town. Boards and Committees will need to work together to ensure the projects are completed efficiently and in the best interest of the Town. The public safety complex / golf course / loop road project will require the Selectmen to work with the Public Safety Committee, School Committee, Golf Course Committee, Neighbors, and the Conservation Restriction Committee so the area is developed and protected appropriately on-time and under budget. The Selectmen should be working with the Economic Development Committee and local businesses to revitalize the Downtown area in conjunction with the Main Street Reconstruction project. I have a proven track record of collaboration and responsible decision making that will be critical on the Board in the years to come.
I am passionate about public service. I look forward to this opportunity. My wife and I have volunteered in Southborough in many different capacities. We love this Town and all it has to offer. This is the highest elected position in Southborough and I will take that role and responsibility very seriously. Now is the right time for my fresh ideas, energy, and passion. I would appreciate your support. Vote Brian Shifrin on Tuesday, November 7th.