Candidate’s Letter: Sam Stivers for Selectman

[Ed note: On May 8th, residents will vote to appoint candidates to five contested seats on three important boards. To help you make that decision, I have invited each of them to submit a letter to readers.]

To the Editor:

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

Some of you may know me as a current Advisory Committee member or perhaps as a former member of several other Town committees, including the St. Mark’s Golf Course Master Plan Committee, the Zoning Advisory Committee or the Zoning Board of Appeals. I appreciate this opportunity to describe 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 retain and enhance the great things about Southborough that make us all want to live here.
  • My business experience and management skills will help in several ways:
    • I know how to produce better value from our tax dollars;
    • I know the importance of leadership and a proactive approach to dealing with Town issues—I know how to make this happen; and
    • I know how to solve problems, and I’m willing to do the work necessary to succeed.

Why Vote For Me? 

  • I have a detailed understanding of Town government activities, so I’m ready to be an effective Selectman from day one.
  • I bring a fresh, independent view to Town issues.
  • I welcome citizen input and I listen to all sides of an issue.
  • I have no conflicts of interest.
  • I know how to reach consensus and find solutions that address the needs of all parties.
  • I will do my homework, and I’ll devote the time and effort required to be an effective Selectman. 

What Important Town Issues Will My Skills Address? 

  • I will provide oversight of our annual budget expenses and major public construction projects (Public Safety; Main Street); We have a $50+ million annual budget and we are projecting a $30+ million cost for the new Public Safety/Golf Course project and the Main Street Reconstruction project; I know how to get the most value from our tax dollars for projects such as these.
  • I will find ways for the Town to expand revenue sources and to get more value for our expenditures; I have done this for many organizations.
  • I will improve coordination between Town Boards, Departments, Committees and Commissions; These groups are the key to a successful Town government; I am very familiar with the missions and activities of these Town organizations.
  • I will create more housing opportunities for residents—with a focus on young families and seniors; I will use my detailed knowledge of Town zoning bylaws and funding sources to expand housing options for residents.
  • I will find opportunities for public/private partnerships; I will identify opportunities to use underutilized Town resources, including both land and buildings, in connection with private investment that can benefit the Town.
  • I will improve the Town’s cultural life, open space and recreational opportunities; I’ve spent over ten years following and participating in the Town’s planning efforts, including the Master Plan and the Open Space and Recreation Plan; I will work to increase the Town’s investment in these areas.

My Background:

I’ve lived in Southborough for over twenty years. My family moved here because we valued the rural character of the Town, the abundance of open space, the New England history, and the blend of larger businesses along Route 9 and the small businesses in the center of Town. A town with similar advantages is hard to find elsewhere in the Metrowest area, and it’s worth preserving.

For the past 14 years I’ve spent many hours volunteering for the Town. Serving on the Advisory Committee for the past 6 years, I’ve gained a deep knowledge of the Town’s finances and fiscal operations in all municipal departments and the schools. I attend many committee meetings across Town government, including: Selectmen, Schools, Advisory, Library, Planning, Zoning, Conservation, Open Space, Personnel, Economic Development, Technology and a variety of others. As an Advisory Committee member I regularly attend over 100 of these committee meetings each year so I can stay informed about Town government activities. This extensive knowledge of Town government is an important qualification for a Selectman.

I started my career working for 6 years as a teacher. I then worked for 25 years as a management consultant, where I specialized in helping public and private sector organizations develop successful business strategies and restructure their organizations as needed to implement these strategies. For the past 15 years I’ve been a health care company manager.

My academic background includes a BA degree from Wesleyan University and a MSIA degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

In Closing:

A vote for me is a vote for a positive future for our Town. I will welcome your input. I will listen to you. I will communicate with you. I will commit myself to maintaining and improving the Town we call home.

Please feel free to contact me at (508) 303-3396 or at

For more information:;

I ask for your vote on May 8th!

Thank you.

Sam Stivers
Candidate for Board of Selectmen

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Kathy Cook
6 years ago

I am supporting Sam Stivers in the Southborough Board of Selectmen race next Tuesday. I have served with Mr. Stivers for several years on the Advisory Committee and have learned much from him during his tenure. I have much respect for his opponent, Brian Shea, but feel the current Board needs new members with fresh ideas and someone with Mr. Stivers’ background.

Southborough voted a few years ago to increase the number of Selectmen to five from three and to increase the responsibilities and authority of the Town Administrator. I had hoped that both changes would allow the Board of Selectmen more time to focus on major town issues including long range planning. Until those changes, the Board of Selectmen always seemed mired in small matters that took too much of their limited time.

I have not seen the improvements I had hoped would occur with these two significant changes. Our current Town Administrator is very capable which should have allowed the Board of Selectmen to deal with the Town’s major issues such as Park Central. Instead the Board of Selectmen have continued to react to issues instead of taking the lead on major issues.

I believe the Town is facing a long term budget problem that will require strong leadership to solve. That leadership will need to make some difficult choices in order to keep real estate tax increases at reasonable levels and still keep Southborough the desirable place it currently is to live for all.

Mr. Stivers has a long history in Southborough governance including the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Advisory Committee. He also has a business background that is currently lacking on the Board of Selectmen. That background includes experience in strategic planning and experience in solving problems with creative solutions. Mr. Stivers has also spent countless hours attending meetings for all major local committees and boards so is abreast of all current Town issues. He clearly has the requisite skill,and vision, and background to provide the leadership that the Board of Selectmen need to do their job.

I encourage all readers to vote for Mr. Stivers next Tuesday.

Concerned Voter
6 years ago

While the town is fortunate to have two good candidates, I am pleased to endorse Mr. Stivers whole heartedly as bringing new leadership and a seasoned, independent perspective to BOS.

What sets him apart?

• He is the hard working volunteer at the back of the room with the computer, in attendance at most Board and Committee meetings. He has his fingers on the pulse of town business, which is very important for a good and true understanding of our current state of affairs. Not many people do this. He makes the time.

• He has volunteered for years on various boards and committees and is the voice of reason and experience, importantly and notably, without conflicts of interest and without a political agenda.

• He has the management and financial experience to guide the budget process.

• He believes that the buck stops with the BOS and believes in the critical checks and balances for good governance. That means keeping the town administrator in a supportive role – and not town manager – and keeping elected officials in charge.

• His leadership style is one of honesty and a considered, rational approach to town matters. Even if one does not agree with him (which isn’t often by the way!), he is a gentleman’s gentleman – courteous (even when others are disappointingly not – what a contrast!), listening carefully to opposition and other ways of thinking.

• He understands that “public” is key and fundamental to “public service.” Importantly, he really listens carefully. I believe he will represent the public well, allowing the public to have a greater, not lesser, voice in town government.

• He believes in open and transparent government and most importantly, accountability.

This is a unique opportunity for the voters of Southborough to embrace strong and quality leadership. On this coming Tuesday, I urge you to join me in supporting Sam Stivers for Board of Selectmen. Please reach out to your friends and neighbors. See you at the polls! Thank you!

Marnie Hoolahan
6 years ago

I am endorsing Sam Stivers for the Selectmen race. Please vote on Tuesday, May 10th at Trottier.

Sam Stivers is a current Advisory Committee member and has committed his time and attention to many volunteer and appointed positions in the past including; member of the St. Mark’s Golf Course Master Plan Committee, the Zoning Advisory Committee and the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Sam has not given up on this town. Sam attends so many BOS, Planning Board, ZBA meetings (to name a few) in both his current capacity in advisory but just as concerned citizen in order to stay on top of the issues facing our community. Sam is dedicated to Southborough and willing to do the diligence required to ask the right questions and keep people on their toes.

Why I trust Sam Stivers:
1) He is transparent and candid in his opinions and his rationale. You will always know how Sam is voting and why he has made his decisions.
2) He reads content, attends meetings and stays on top of most everything in this community. He understand the issues, the perspectives and the implications. If you are seeking to understand something, undoubtedly Sam has the background and can provide objective review and his opinion on the matter.
3) He is fiscally responsible and understands the basics of financial management. This knowledge coupled with the activities happening in the community allow him to provide leadership and expertise in suggesting budget guideposts.
4) He understands that as an elected official, he votes as a representative of the public and not as a self-serving, agenda driving, yes man.

Please join me in supporting Sam Stivers on Tuesday at the town elections. He needs you to place the vote. We can no longer allow for the indifference and complacency on our BOS. One seat at a time! VOTE FOR SAM!

Pat D
6 years ago

The town election is Tuesday, May 8, not May 10.

Claire Reynolds
6 years ago

I wholeheartedly support the previous statements of Kathy Cook, Concerned Resident and Marnie Hoolahan.
Voters need to know that Sam is the ONLY town volunteer (including elected officials) who regularly attends so many board and committee meetings, to stay totally informed and up-to-date on all town wide issues. I will add that it is important to note that Sam listens to opinions and makes decisions after thoroughly reviewing.

Sam has done the ‘legwork’ and his dedication to earn your vote for Selectman. I respectfully ask for you to consider such a deserving candidate. Thank you.

Louise Barron
6 years ago

There is but one qualified, honest, non partisan, transparent, candidate. Sam’s the man. Look no further. Drain the swamp. That can only happen with Sam.

Freddie Gillespie
6 years ago

I support Sam Stivers for Selectman. Over the years I have found Sam to be considerate and respectful in all the positions he has held and someone I have turned to over and over again to help get things done. Sam actual listens to all sides of an issue and while we haven’t always agreed on all issues I have always respected his reasoning when we disagreed. Most importantly Sam is willing to listen to all sides and has changed his position when presented with valid reasons. Such was the case with the Golf Course purchase for Police and Fire Stations where he originally thought the land beyond the Public Safety Complex should be used for future municipal building needs. After listening to input from Boards and Committees and most importantly the residents, Sam changed his position and worked with me to draft the Grand Compromise Amendment that allowed the town to purchase the course, build the Fire and Police Station and preserve the rest as open space. Most people don’t know the major role he played in that because as is often the case, he works with others supporting their efforts and isn’t in the forefront. There’s a reason over 50 public officials support Sam which speaks volumes to his ability to work with others to get things done. Note that his endorsers includes members from Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Open Space Preservation Commission, ZBA, and Historical Commission. Community Preservation Committee and Advisory among other town entities. Additional endorsers are from Board members of the Southborough Open Land Foundation and Historical Society. Sam is multifaceted a businessman who supports economic development while preserving the characteristic of town the residents value. He will work to keep out taxes low while supporting our vital services. The Town needs Sam. Please vote for him!
Freddie Gillespie

Freddie Gillespie
6 years ago

Please excuse typos in my comment above.

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