The Economic Development Committee is seeking to make some changes to its composition.
According to a memo, last month the committee agreed that both it and the Town “would benefit from adding members of the BOS, Advisory Board and/or Planning Board to the EDC”. In addition, the committee is seeking to reduce its membership from 9 to 7, to reduce its quorum burden.
The committee currently has only 7 members and is about to lose one more. (In a memo to selectmen, member Kathy Bartolini informed them that she is resigning. She explained that after 50 years of public service, she decided it is time for a break.)
The memo doesn’t specify whether EDC is seeking for representatives from other boards to act in ex-officio capacity or to be counted among the 7 members.
It wouldn’t be the first time that selectmen shifted the committee’s membership numbers.
The EDC was reduced from 9 to 7 members back in 2014 for quorum issues. Following the change, three volunteers put forward their names for two seats. In a split decision, selectmen voted to raise the membership to 8 members. In 2016, the membership was raised back up to 9 members. (That year, five applicants had applied for two seats. After the committee voted to support two applicants, they asked selectmen to make room to also add Bartolini, due to her extensive experience in the public sector.)
As for the representation request. . .
In recent years, the EDC has been championing an initiative to revitalized downtown Southborough. As part of the work, they have been pushing to revise zoning code to allow for mixed uses in the Downtown Business Village. The committee has publicly pushed for the Planning Board and selectmen to take a more active role in that effort.
The EDC ran in to procedural problems when it attempted to include a zoning Article in the Annual Town Meeting Warrant earlier this year. After informing the committee that the Article would need to wait for a Fall Special Town Meeting, selectmen pledged to take a more active role.
Selectmen are scheduled to discuss EDC’s request during tomorrow night’s 6:30 pm meeting. You can find the agenda and packet here. (The memo is on page 44.)