The week in government: Planning Hearings, School Committee on Extended Day, and more

Above: These days (unless otherwise noted) all of the Town’s committees and boards are back to meeting over zoom.

Here are the posted committee and board meetings for this week along with my selected highlights from the agendas.

Unless otherwise noted, meetings are all remote sessions open to the public.*

As always, be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. (Scroll down for details on meetings that popped up after last Monday’s post.) For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website.

Monday, January 10, 2022

  • Board of Health Meeting, 9:30 am (agenda, video) Agenda Highlights: Mask Mandate discussion and potential vote (They voted yes.)
  • Capital Planning Committee – School Research Subcommittee Meeting, 10:30 am (agenda, video) Agenda Highlights: Updates on Neary School Statement of Interest and Town Space Needs Study; Review of MSBA Cost Analysis; Components of final report for special School Committee Meeting
  • Northborough Southborough Regional School Committee Operational Budget Subcommittee Meeting, 4:00 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: FY23 Recommended Budget and Preliminary Assessments
  • Northborough Southborough Regional School Committee Capital Planning Subcommittee Meeting, 5:30 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Review of FY23-27 Capital/Maintenance Plan
  • Planning Board Meeting, 7:00 pm (agenda and packet, hearing materials) Agenda Highlights: Public Hearings on Ken’s Foods warehouse expansion, 200 Turnpike Rd Snow Removal/Landscaping Contractor Facility, 1 Pine Hill Dr Harvard University Collections Storage Building; Discussions on Master Plan Committee Update, 156 Northborough Rd Site Plan Compliance, Public Shade Tree Removal Policy & Tree Bylaw Proposal, Scenic Road Proposed Warrant Article

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

  • Recreation Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Accept Annual Report; Camp Refund Policy; Admin. Assist Position; Pay Rate update for Part time staff; Updates on Budget and Space needs study; Little League re: Northborough merger info and meeting request; Revised Activitas study; CPA Projects discussion; Program and projects updates including lighting projects, Kallander Field, and Lundblad Field
  • Youth Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm (agenda and packet) Agenda Highlights: Updates, including FY23 Budget, Annual Report, Advisory’s conversation about  software

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 

  • Personnel Board Meeting, 9:00 am (agenda and packet) Agenda Highlights: Annual Report; discuss Chair meeting with Labor Counsel; Rec Commission salary changes; Hiring Policy; Benefits review; New Position Guidance Document; Salary Tables adjustment; Requests to classify new Board of Health position and change Children’s Librarian to Youth Services Librarian; Review proposed SAP revisions
    • Board of Health Meeting, 9:00 am (agenda) Agenda Highlights:Joint meeting with Personnel Board to discuss new job title/description for Nurse/Assistant Health
      Director/Outreach Coordinator
  • Southborough School Committee Meeting, 6:30 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Covid Update; English Learners Presentation; Recommendation on Southborough Schools Before and After School Care Program; FY23 Budget presentation
  • Scholarship Advisory Committee Meeting, 6:30 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Website changes; past recipients, New scholarship opportunities Hubley and Corporate; Fundraising and Marketing ideas
  • Master Plan Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Discuss Chapter Reviews of Economic Development, Land Use and Zoning, Vision, and Community, Historic and Cultural
  • Noise Bylaw Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Discuss the MAHB (Mass Association of Health Boards) template
  • Advisory Committee Meeting, 7:30 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Discuss proposed FY23 budgets with Council on Aging/Senior Center and Library

Thursday, January 13, 2022

  • Southborough Stewardship Committee Meeting, 6:30 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Request for Falconry at Breakneck Hill; Rules for Signs; Dog litter and educational campaign; Breakneck Hill Encroachment update, Tree work and Mow

Looking Back:

Below is a meeting from last week that was posted after I ran last week’s list:

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

  • Noise Bylaw Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm (agenda, video) Agenda Highlights: Discuss results of Survey, Outline a Draft of a Bylaw

Thursday, January 6, 2022

  • Conservation Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm (agenda and packet, video) Agenda Highlights: Public Hearings on 1 Brookside Road deck, 1 Willow St home demolition, Lot 2 Burnett Rd house construction, 8 Schipper Farm Lane wetland boundary, 14 Ledge Hill Rd shed replacement and lawn expansion, 75 School St new dwelling, and Ken’s Food warehouse expansion; Discuss proposed boardwalk and footbridge near Fayville Dam, request to pave Golf Course parking lot, 7 Clemmons St 1-yr extension, 10 Pearl St administrative amendment, Stonebrook Court certificate of compliance, 84 Main St project changes, Chestnut Hill Farm Management Plan, and Stormwater Management Permit bylaw updates
  • Economic Development Committee Meeting, 7:30 pm (agenda, video) Agenda Highlights: Expression of Interest for One Stop for Community Grant funding FY23; MassDevelopment meeting; Annual Report; EEA Planning Assistance Grant project management; EDC newsletter

Friday, January 7, 2022

  • Capital Planning Committee – School Research Subcommittee Meeting, 12:00 pm (agenda, video) Agenda Highlights: Review and discuss potential cost figures to facilitate final report of the Committee

*The Town intends to make each of its remote public 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.

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2 years ago

I understand the Ken’s site expansion proposal has been going on for some time (five meetings, if I heard correctly). Chair Morris suggested *considering* rejecting the proposal and closing the hearing to permit the applicant to get the remainder of their affairs in order and perhaps come to the planning board again. Initially, this seemed unfair (in my opinion, to the applicant), but then I thought about it more, and realized Chair Morris was likely stating this so as to give other projects their fair shot in front of the planning board, instead of constantly carrying this forward, meeting after meeting. If that was the intent, then I (now) certainly understand.

However, at the 23:20 mark of the meeting (you can jump right to it, here: ), PB member Jesse Stein offers this comment (from a transcript):

”So I continue to be impressed by the leniency and the cooperation of the Southborough town planning team. I think this this planning department just goes above and beyond to assist with project management with coordination. And a wise proponent will be very grateful to the planning department in this town for their patience and leniency.”

That was the extent of Mr. Stein’s remarks. To me, this is a passive-aggressive swipe at the applicant. Chair Morris already stated that this application may get rejected to give the applicant more time to get everything in order. I don’t know what value, at all, Mr. Stein’s remark/quip adds to the process. If anything, it further de-rails an already lengthy process.

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