Planning Board Candidate Q&A

Above: Planning Board Candidates answer question from the blog and readers. (contributed photo)

As I previously posted, Candidate’s Night wasn’t able to include a live Q&A for the Planning Board. So, I put together a written Q&A to help readers make their choice before voting this Tuesday, May 10th.

I gave readers a chance to participate, but it was short notice, so I supplemented with questions that I believed voters would care about.

Below are the questions with topics including Conflict of Interest, qualifications, thoughts on zoning, and other Planning Board responsibilities.

You can read all of the questions below, or head straight to the responses for Alan Belniak or Debbie DeMuria.

Note on Comments for this post.

I’m taking a break this weekend and won’t be checking in on comments. Given the proximity to the election, I won’t be allowing anonymous attacks here. So, I’m going to try out something new – asking anyone who wants to post a comment for readers to see on Monday and Tuesday to use their full name and street address – just as they would have at Candidate’s Night.

Conflict of Interest

From Betsy Rosenbloom, Strawberry Hill Road (moderator of Southborough Library’s Candidate’s Night) –  to Alan Belniak:

Ms. DeMuria told us at Candidates’ Night that she works in the pharmaceutical industry, so not much chance of a conflict of interest there. Mr. Belniak, I believe you said you work for a private engineering firm that works with many municipalities in Massachusetts. What firm do you work for and have they been hired to do work for Southborough in the past? Are they currently engaged with an projects for the Town? If your employer was hired on a Town project that involved Planning Board, would you recuse yourself? I note that in the past, a candidate for Planning Board had relationships that were seen as presenting a possible conflict of interest, and that was relevant to several commenters attending Candidates’ Night. 

From Beth Melo, Birchwood Drive, mysouthborough.com – to Debbie DeMuria:

Mr. Belniak was asked about whether his job could pose a conflict of interest. Do you have any affiliations which you foresee could pose a conflict with Planning Board duties? If so, what are they and how would you handle the matter?

Claire Reynolds, Main Street – to both Candidates:

Please state one or two things that you would bring to the Planning Board that would make you stand out. 

The questions below are all from Beth Melo for mysouthborough – to both Candidates:

One of the Planning Board’s responsibilities is reporting to Town Meeting on potential zoning changes.

    • There was a lot of public debate over the recently passed Downtown Business District zoning, which passed after amendments made on the floor. Were you satisfied with the final version passed? If not, what revision(s) would you have advocated the Planning Board push for?
    • Can you share your vision for an area of town, bylaw subject, or type of project that you would prioritize having the board address with future zoning changes?

Under the Planning Board’s other duties Is there anything you would prioritize as an area that could be improved?

Click here links for the following:

You can also view the Planning Board section of Library Candidate’s Night which included Candidates’ statements.

Reminder, the Town election is on Tuesday from 6:30 am – 8:00 pm at Trottier Middle School. Find the official details, including on Absentee Ballots, here.

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Alan Belniak
3 months ago

Thank you, Beth, for the opportunity to do this. I really wish I could’ve been there in person. I’m hopeful this gives residents something to think about, both my responses and Debbie’s, to make an informed decision. Whomever you choose – please show up Tuesday May 10 and vote!

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