On Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen will meet with applicants to become Southborough Town Counsel. To be interviewed are representatives of three law firms and the current Town Counsel, Aldo Cipriano.
Reevaluating options is a position that Selectman Sam Stivers has advocated for, dating back years prior to his joining the Board. This past winter, the full board agreed. Selectmen voiced interest in looking at larger firms, while still allowing Cipriano to make a case for continuing his representation. An RFP was issued this spring with responses due by noon on May 5th.
At the May 18th BOS meeting, Stivers and Town Administrator Mark Purple updated the board on the RFP responses. Seven were received, but two were disqualified for missing the deadline. At the meeting, the Board agreed to eliminate a third from consideration. The firm had responded with a sole focus as Labor Counsel.*
Selectmen decided that they would interview each of the four qualified candidates. Stivers recommended that questions be shared with applicants in advance of the meeting. Selectman Marty Healey recommended that each applicant should be asked the same questions.
Selectman planned to submit questions to Stivers, who would consolidate them into a list of 5-10 to ask.
The interviews are posted as scheduled for Tuesday, June 8th:
6:30 pm – Mead, Talerman & Costa, LLC
7:00 pm – West Group Law PLLC
7:30 pm – Petrini & Associates, P.C.
8:00 pm – Aldo A. Cipriano, Esq
The agenda indicates that this will again be a hybrid meeting. The public can participate in-person or online.
Selectmen indicated that this may be just the first round of RFPs for legal services. They agreed to inform the applicant for Labor Counsel that the Town plans to issue a future RFP for that specialty.* As for the general Town Counsel, they indicated intent to reevaluate on a more regular basis. Healey suggested perhaps every five years.
*The eliminated firm appears to be Clifford & Kenny LLP. The firm advertises itself as a Labor and Employment Law firm, is listed in the RFP respondents, but didn’t make the interview list.
We, the Town, do NOT need a larger legal firm to represent US.
What we need is a REFRESH.
Bye Aldo… It’s been real, and it’s been fun, but it’s not been real fun…
What we desperately need is someone who won’t sit in court representing developers!
How many BOS members are committed to open, clean, transparent government? How many BOS members are requiring same through their appointees and town employees including town counsel?
Most municipalities, in appeal matters such as Park Central, stand down and let the landowners and abutters settle the matter in court amongst themselves. Not this town and this town counsel. After years of protesting too loudly that no way he was benefiting the developer by sitting next to his attorneys in court, in the end, TOWN COUNSEL SIGNED ALL THE DEVELOPER’S FINAL ARGUMENTS and documents submitted to the court. This BOS, through this Town Counsel, has agreed to everything in the developer’s case. This is the ultimate betrayal of the trust, truth, health, and safety of town residents, all on taxpayers dime.
How about an excerpt from the towns own residents arguments: In February 2016, the developer filed a slew of requests for waivers with the ZBA. . .the waivers sought to obviate the need for both compliance with several town code provisions, and meaningful review. . . Like the rush to issue the final (comp permit) decision on August 24, the board rushed to rubber stamp the developer’s waiver requests before they could generate any scrutiny on THE VERY DAY the requests were filed, even though the agenda FAILED to inform residents that the requested waivers would be considered. (Trial Day 10).
SHAME on all of you. This town can and should do better! It starts tonight with a commitment to better town government, transparency, and honest receptivity to the towns people.