Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by Beth Melo on January 11, 2018

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It’s time for another open thread. What’s on your mind this week, Southborough?

For those of you new to the blog, the open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Ask questions about programs in town or the town itself
  • Post a note about things that you’re selling or giving away, or things that you want
  • Share notices about upcoming events (Southborough or otherwise)
  • Register your thoughts on town issues or news stories
  • Point out interesting or helpful resources

You can add comments to the thread throughout the week. Check back often to see new comments. (If you read the blog via email or RSS, you might want to check the site from time to time for new comments.)

To view past open discussion threads, click here.

(Photo by Susan Fitzgerald posted to flickr)

1 Sherly Pittackal January 11, 2018 at 11:12 PM

Looking for suitable person to shovel the walkway and clean my cars
During snow time.
You can reach me @ 508-769-6014

2 Sboro Resident January 16, 2018 at 10:08 AM

Hi, Did anyone respond to your request ?, I’m also looking for someone to shovel my walkway and clean my car.
you can reach me at

3 Rob Lorenson January 12, 2018 at 7:40 AM

Does anyone know why the town has one tax rate? A lot of towns have a residential rate and then a higher Commercial Tax Rate?

4 beth January 12, 2018 at 9:21 AM

There has been a lot of debate on the blog and at Board of Selectmen Meetings on this in the past. The primary reason is that Town officials have taken the stance that a higher commercial rate would drive out businesses or impede efforts to attract them. The perception is that would ultimately increase the tax burden for residents.

In 2010, selectmen made the surprise 2-1 vote to switch to a split rate. It caused an outcry and call for a new hearing to readdress the issue. (The public agenda met open meeting law requirements. But concerned residents and business owners were upset that they were unaware the possibility was being considered.) At that hearing, selectmen were convinced by public comment to change the vote. You can read about that here. At the time, selectman were inundated with complaints from business owners about the split rate. They didn’t hear from residents arguing in favor of a split rate.

Over the past several years, resident Carl Guyer has been an outspoken proponent of a split rate. After failing to convince selectmen, he brought a non-binding citizen’s petition article to Town Meeting in 2014. That was shot down. (You can see his pro arguments here. And here you can read the argument against it by perennial opponent Chris Robbins of the Economic Development Committee.)

Since then, there have been more debates in comments on the blog when this occasionally comes up.

5 Rachel January 12, 2018 at 8:43 AM

Can you post the link to register for softball if you have it? I believe girls register through Northborough, but I just want to double check. Thanks!

6 beth January 12, 2018 at 9:29 AM

Normally, they reach out to me in the late fall/early winter asking me to post. It seems no one did this year. But I found the website link for you:

And there is a flyer on the program in the Trottier virtual backpack:

7 resident January 12, 2018 at 3:20 PM

I have been seeing some clean up of the parcel of land on the corner of Newton and Main Streets across from Lamy Insurance. Anyone know what is going on? It is nice to see something happening there.

8 Louise Barron January 13, 2018 at 2:24 PM

Today Saturday Jan. 13, 2018 An alarm went off in Hawaii, texts were sent to residents that the sounding of an alarm was not an accident, and in fact the alarm was a warning of a ballistic missile inbound.
It was then quickly reversed and citizens were notified that it was false, and the system could have been hacked.
Does our new police/fire facility have shelter accommodations. If not, shouldn’t it satisfy the needs of residents in an emergency. I’d like the OFFICIALS to address this

9 resident January 15, 2018 at 9:56 PM

Yes, let’s add to the already engorged budget of this facility to add bomb shelter accommodations for 10k residents—says the guy who was opposed to the budget of this facility.

10 D. McGee January 17, 2018 at 9:11 AM

YES!!! Let’s build big a bomb shelter running under the whole town! We could even stock it with Jim Bakker official survival gear! (Yes, the disgraced televangelist is now hawking survival gear: Let’s spare no expense for this, because the threat of a missile attack is perhaps the MOST pressing issue in Southborough right now.

11 Townie January 16, 2018 at 1:53 PM

Louise obviously only wants money to be spent on things that will directly affect her life. Here’s a reality check for you. If there was any true ballistic threat and southborough was in the direct path, you better take a nice long sip of that vintage bourbon you got sitting on your shelf because there’s no where to hide.

12 Djd66 January 17, 2018 at 8:19 PM

This is too funny! LB is the person most known for complaining on,… well just about everything that the government does. Now you want them to provide a bomb shelter??? If we ever get nuked, I don’t think you should expect to rely on our government.

13 Publius January 16, 2018 at 10:53 AM

In the unlikely event of a missile attack on Southborough a modest suggestion might be that we take in our neighbors. Those of us with larger homes could be a rally point for the neighborhood or street.

14 Frank Crowell January 17, 2018 at 11:47 AM

I don’t know how the pensions in SB are invested but I hope that a least a portion is in the stock market. We could use some good news on future outlays.

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