The week in government: Planning (on Mooney and 96 Mt Vickery); Selectmen; Combined & Regional School Committees

Above: These days, most meetings that used to welcome the public to attend in the Town House Hearing Room or other public facilities are accessible to the public by video/audio conference calls only.

Here are the posted committee and board meetings for this week along with my selected highlights from the agendas. All currently scheduled meetings are available to the public virtually.*

As always, be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. (Last week, a couple meetings popped up that I didn’t list last Monday – scroll down for those details.) For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website

Monday, December 14, 2020

  • Planning Board Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda, materialsAgenda Highlights: Hearings on Mooney Baseball Field Site Plan, Richardson Tennis Courts Site Plan, 96 Mt Vickery Rd Subdivision Plan & Lower Impact Development Special Permit; Discussions on NY Bagel Factory Roof Sign, Downtown Initiative Bylaw Status
  • Recreation Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Attending Planning Board hearing on Mooney Field and Richardson Court lighting projects
  • Capital Planning Committee Meeting, 7:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Local Rapid Recovery Grant Program; Meeting with architect on potential for town re-use of a school building; School Research Subcommittee Update; Approval of Capital Planning Policy for consideration by BOS

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

  • Library Board of Trustees Meeting, 12:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Update on Library expenditures; Library Annual Report Submission; Teen Librarian Job Description; Library Façade Restoration Project update; Preservation Restriction status
  • Board of Selectmen Meeting, 6:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Legislative update by State delegates; CSX easement for Main Street project; Proposal for pocket park; Main Street update; FY22 Budget update; Board of Health staffing; Update on CHA for CommCan payments; Update on Common flagpole; Review of EDC Residential Info Packet; Town Administrator goals; Approve draft zoning bylaw for Downtown Initiative; Discuss policies and practices for boards & committees; Code of Conduct; Identify and establish list of contracted services; Close warrant for March 20, 2021 Annual Town Meeting

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 

  • Southborough Housing Authority Meeting, 5:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Report of the Executive Director; Approve bill payments
  • Combined School Committees Meeting , 5:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: COVID-19 Quarantining and Travel Requirements; Org Growth Chart Update; Draft 2021-2022 Student Calendar; Juneteenth (pre-register for webinar)
  • Recreation Commission Meeting, 6:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Updates on winter RAP, summer camp, lighting project updates, and Fayville Basketball court; position on input to Master Plan; Update on warrant articles pertaining to recreation; vote on updated field permit policies
  • Advisory Committee Meeting, 6:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: FY22 Budgets Library, DPW, Board of Health, and overall preliminary Budget; Possible changes to Advisory By-Law; Capital Planning update
  • Board of Trustees Library Meeting, 6:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Joint Meeting with Advisory Committee on FY22 Budget
  • Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee Meeting , 7:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Updates on COVID-19, Coalition for Equity, Legislative and state FY21 Budget, Survey Results, MCAS, Mascot Study Group; Presentation by Guidance Dept Presentation; FY22 Budget Priorities; First Readings of 9 policies and recommend rescinding one
  • Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Sign variance for 20 Turnpike Rd NY Bagel Factory (pre-register for webinar)
  • Master Plan Committee Meeting, 7:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Discuss OML’s treatment of subcommittees and working groups

Thursday, December 17, 2020

  • Trottier School Council Meeting , 2:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Update from teachers on the various learning models; Questions from parents/community members; Health and Safety Measures; Student Survey Results; Status of School Improvement Plan and next steps; impact of district strategic plan (available to public via zoom)
  • potential – Capital Planning Committee – School Research Subcommittee Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (No agenda was posted as of mid-afternoon today, but the time was reserved on the Town’s virtual meeting schedule)
  • potential – Community Preservation Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (No agenda was posted as of mid-afternoon today, but the time was reserved on the Town’s virtual meeting schedule)

Looking Back:

Below are meetings from last week that were posted after I ran last week’s list:

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

  • Advisory Committee Meeting (agenda, video) Agenda Highlights: Possible vote on using Reserve Fund to fund non budgeted Board of Health expenses; FY22Budget – presentations for Facilities and operations, Police Dept, Fire Dept, and review of overall preliminary budget; possible changes to Advisory By-Law; Capital Planning Committee work including evaluation of number of schools

Thursday, December 10, 2020

  • Conservation Commission Meeting (agenda, video) Agenda Highlights: Discussion of request for lifting of Cease & Desist order and/or modified allowances on 147, 149, 151 Middle Road
  • Capital Planning Committee – School Research Subcommittee Meeting (agenda, video) Agenda Highlights: Updates on MSBA Conversations, NESDEC Study, feedback from School Committee and Capital Planning Committee, and from outside consultants

*The Town intends to make each of its meetings available for viewing/listening via streaming live (and saved) video and audio on YouTube with some available for public comment by zoom. Live streaming of school committee meetings is only available for viewing via webinars. There is the caveat that there could be technical glitches that force the Town to take backup actions:

No in-person attendance of members of the public will be permitted, but every effort will be made to ensure that the public can adequately access the proceedings in real time, via technological means. In the event that we are unable to do so, despite best efforts, we will post on Southborough’s website an audio or video recording, transcript, or other comprehensive record of proceedings as soon as possible after the meeting.

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Open Letter to BOS
3 years ago

This week’s BOS agenda lists two items of concern: the EDC residential info packet and approve draft bylaw for Downtown Zoning Initiative. Here comes another attempt to take over the town by greedy, whining, scofflaw developers and their noisy hacks by a sweeping initiative to bypass the town residents and their elected officials on Planning Board. This is bullshit. So much for the BOS promise that nothing would happen to destroy the “bucolic” nature of our charming country downtown. The six inch curbs and the giant 5G tower masquerading as a flagpole have already paved the way, literally.

Also, can someone please explain what a town employee, the Town Assessor (??!), is doing at this week’s EDC meeting advocating in his official capacity (??!) for a private developer, Peter Bemis, and his Main Street project, while the project is under litigation?? Talk about conflicts of interest. This person should be reported to the state and fired immediately. All not OK and against state conflict of interest laws, not to mention common sense. Memo to BOS: when these types of conflicts recently arose in Boston, Mayor Walsh cleaned house and set up independent examinations to institute new policies. Taxpayers do not want BOS jumping on the developers bandwagon and allowing them to take over the town. Balance and independence, please. Also, how about some policies and removal of conflict scofflaws. What the heck is up with that?

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