Important new vacancies on school and Town committees Updated

Each of our public school committees has an open seat, Conservation needs two replacements, the Community Center Exploratory Committee is still unseated, and more

The latest announcements about openings on committees mean that Southborough has openings on both of our high school committees and that the Conservation Commission is in need of help.

Other important vacant seats readers may have missed hearing about are on the K-8 School Committee and for a new committee to explore a community center (possibly at Woodward).

One family that has served the community for years shared news that they are relocating. The Butka family is leaving some big holes to fill.

Two family members have been serving as Southborough representatives on public high school committees (for Algonquin Regional and Assabet Valley Technical). That prompts me to point out that this summer’s sad news about the unexpected passing of resident Kim Tolander means that the there is also a vacant seat on the Southborough School committee that oversees our K-8 schools.

Meanwhile, the Conservation Commission issued an announcement this week that it is seeking:

at least two volunteers that would be willing to serve on the Commission who has knowledge, interest, or experience in wetlands protection, stormwater management, and/or natural resource protection & open space. Note that experience is not required but you should possess a willingness to learn and/or attend virtual trainings.

You can read the full details here.

As for the Butka family, their message explains that after almost 30 years in town, they are making a full-time move to the Cape. With the closing on their Southborough home pending, three family members need to step down from their positions.

Paul Butka is resigning from the Regional School Committee that he has served on for 14 years. Dan Butka who has been our only rep on the Assabet Committee for the past two years is also leaving.

Sue Butka has served on the Youth Commission (which works with Southborough Youth & Family Services) for 9 years. While she is stepping down, there are already residents lined up to be appointed to Commission vacancies next week. And in the short term she will continue to support it the community by volunteering her time for Friends of Southborough Youth & Family Services, Meals on Wheels, and Caregiver Meals. But the family still encourages that those organizations can always use additional help.

They also shared:

We have mixed emotions about this decision as we could not have imagined a better place to raise our family, grow up, and make lifelong friends. . .

We are forever humbled that our neighbors trusted us with these positions and allowed us to give back to the town that gave us so much, but excited for the opportunity for others to step into these roles. We highly encourage any interested volunteers to apply. . .

We are eternally grateful to the teachers, friends, neighbors, coaches, workers, and local businesses who touched our lives over these decades – you are what makes this town so special.

Thanks for everything Southborough,

The Butka’s

Since the school committee positions are elected ones, interim members will need to be appointed to fill the seats until the next Town election in May.

For the seat on the NSBORO Regional School Committee, the replacement is appointed by a vote of the members representing the town.* For the seat on the Southborough School Committee, the committees and Select Board hold joint meetings to interview and appoint the interim member. For the Assabet seat, the appointment is made solely by the Select Board.

The Select Board is also the appointing authority for positions on the Youth Commission, Conservation Commission, and many other vacancies. (The good news is that the Board is scheduled to appoint new members to SCAC and the Golf Course Committees next week.)

A new committee that the Town is still recruiting volunteers for is the Community Center Exploratory Committee. Its primary function is to research options for a community center and make a recommendation. The Select Board hopes the committee will help cement public “buy in” for whatever recommendation is pursued. (You can read more about that here.)

To apply for any of the open seats, use a New Citizen Activity Form here. For information on Town committees, you can find links to their pages here and view past meetings here.

If you are interested in pursuing school committee positions, you should also know where to find more information about them and when their next scheduled meetings are:

  • Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School Committee 
    • next meets on September 13th
    • click here for more details about the committee
  • Southborough School Committee
    • next meets September 14
    • click here for more details about the committee
    • click here to view past meetings and here for past “combined” NSBORO committee meetings
  • Regional School Committee (for Algonquin)
    • next meets September 21
    • click here For more details on the committee
    • click here to view past meetings and “combined” NSBORO committee meetings

*Updated (9/7/22 8:00 am): NSBORO Superintendent Gregory Martineau got back to me about the method for filling the school committee vacancies. He explained that the process for filling the Regional seat is different than for the Southborough School Committee. On the Regional committee, the the replacement is appointed by a vote of the remaining members representing the town. The Southborough and Regional School Committees have added the topic as an agenda items to discuss at their September meetings.

(image of hand from public domain image by Karen Arnold)

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