Last week, I posted that Southborough’s Board of Selectmen had officially rebranded themselves the Select Board. Last night, the Town Administrator informed the Board that he was temporarily reversing course based on criticism of jumping too quickly.
This isn’t one of the most pressing matters in town. But, given that it will cause me to shift again in the language I’m using in covering the Board, I felt it was worth covering.
On November 1st, Special Town Meeting voters approved the name change. However, the change has yet to be approved by the state Attorney General’s office.
On November 16th, Board members had agreed to move ahead without waiting for it to be official.
In previous discussions, members were confident that the AG’s office would rubber stamp the change. In considering the Article to change the name, they discovered that more Massachusetts municipal executive boards appeared to currently be going by Select Board than by Board of Selectmen.
On the 16th, members discussed how to refer to themselves in documents and to the public. Marty Healey assured the Board that given the vote, “We are the Select Board.” He followed with the laughing acknowledgement:
Granted, there may be someone who says, “Aha! They’re running wild again! They’re calling themselves the Select Board when they’re not.” But I think we’re good saying so.
Members agreed to consistently to refer to themselves by the new name going forward. Town Administrator Mark Purple clarified that wouldn’t be a cost to the name change. He said that the Board’s letterhead isn’t pre-printed on bond paper. He just needed to change the wording in the template.
Subsequently, the Board’s official page, plus agenda and minutes headers, didn’t reflect a change. But documents approved by the board did, including the charge for the ARPA Committee. Last week, the Town issued a statement announcing the change. (That statement is still on the website without an update yet.)
In last night’s meeting, board members didn’t make any remarks on Purple’s announcement. Later, they agreed with his suggestion to replace all references to the board in a draft document with “Board of Selectmen”.
“On the 16th, members discussed how to refer to themselves in documents and to the public. Marty Healy assured the Board that given the vote, “We are the Select Board.”
He followed with the laughing acknowledgement:”Granted, there may be someone who says, “Aha! They’re running wild again! They’re calling themselves the Select Board when they’re not.” But I think we’re good saying so.”
“WE are the SELECT BOARD!”
OMG what hubris!
Yes, Marty, “you are running wild again,” and I, and a very large number of citizens in this community will never acknowledge this name change until the BOS agrees to form a committee to take down and replace those racist and white supremacists flags flying in the Old Burial Ground. We haven’t forgotten this issue as you would have hoped, or the fact that, as Chair, you buried a petition with over 300 HUNDRED signatures to take those flags down.
Or, that the current BOS couldn’t care less about potentially digging up Native American/Colonial graves in order to build a private park with state funds on St. Mark’s land.
Whether official or not, like-minded citizens should never refer to this iteration of the BOS as the politically correct “Select Board” until the BOS actually adopts “politically correct” practices such as paying attention to and respecting the opinions of people with beliefs and skin tones other than their own.
“WE ARE THE SELECT BOARD”
HA! Not in my book.
“A very large number of citizens” I think you meant very loud.