[Editor’s note: This spring, Southborough voters will be able to choose among two candidates for one seat on the Planning Board. To help you make that decision, each candidate is invited to submit one letter to readers promoting their campaign. (To find other candidates’ letters click here.)
As in past years, you may use comments to endorse the candidate. No mudslinging allowed here.]
To the Editor:
Thank you to Beth for providing such a wonderful forum for Southborough Residents to stay informed and share their thoughts. I appreciate the opportunity to re-introduce myself and demonstrate why I am the best candidate to fill the open Planning Board seat. I certainly have some big shoes to fill and I thank Mr. Mills for his many years of service to our Town, he has contributed so much to make Southborough such a great place to live.
My husband Matt and I have made our home in Southborough for 22 years, where we raised our son Robert who went all through the Southborough and the Regional School System. Robert followed the family tradition of service to the Town of Southborough and is an elected member of the Southborough Housing Authority.
I have served the residents of Southborough continuously for 18 years. Currently I am serving my second term on the Select Board and my eleventh year on the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)/Medical Reserve Corp. (MRC). As a member of CERT I volunteered delivering groceries to those unable to grocery shop during the pandemic, worked local shelters, staffed the medical tent at local events, as well as local COVID vaccine clinics. Previously I was on the Open Space Preservation Commission (OSPC) for 12 years as well as the St. Marks Golf Course Master Plan Committee, Southborough Emergency Planning Committee (SEPC), Southborough Housing Opportunity Partnership Committee (SHOPC), Affordable Housing Trust Fund Committee (AHTFC), Capital Planning Committee, Neary School Building Committee, the Master Plan Committee and the Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC).
I served the last 2 years on the Mass Municipal Association (MMA) Board of Directors, Mass Select Board Association (MSA) District 5 representing Worcester County, Local Governance Advisory Council appointed by the Governor.
In addition, I founded and co-organized Care Package for Troops starting in 2005 that hosted events in Town and generated over 9900 boxes weighing over 208,000 pounds of items donated by the public to send to our brave Troops serving overseas.
My volunteerism has been recognized at the Federal, State and Local level. I am honored to have received the Commander’s Award for Public Service in 2014, it is the 4th highest public service decoration given to a civilian from the United States Department of the Army. I have also received accommodations from the Governor, Senate, House of Representatives, Congressmen, Department of Veterans affairs, American Legion, VFW, Marine Corp. League and the Boy Scouts of America. I proudly was one of 100 women recognized by the State as an Unsung Heroine in 2009. In 2021 I was recognized by the Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF) and was awarded the Elaine Beals Conservation Award.
I have served Southborough through many of the Town’s milestone events over the last 18 years. As a member of the Select Board we shepherded the Town through the Main Street reconstruction and the (hopefully) once in a lifetime pandemic assuring the Town could continue to conduct business while keeping its employees and those having business with the Town safe. As a member of the Open Space Preservation Commission we advocated for the Conservation Restriction preserving Chestnut Hill Farm and the purchase of the Golf Course which preserved much of the golf course while also providing a site to construct the Public Safety Building. I made the Select Board more accessible to the residents of Southborough during my tenure on the Board by bringing back Office Hours, which makes Select Board members available to answer questions and listen to comments from residents during monthly “office hours” at the Town House. In addition, I spearheaded the creation of events in recognition of those who keep the Town functioning, the Town’s employees and volunteers. I am so grateful for all of the overwhelming support I have been shown in my 6 years on the Select Board. I cherish every conversation I have had with so very many of you.
The open seat on the Planning Board has provided me an opportunity to serve the Town on a Board with a more focused charge and a more process driven approach and utilize my knowledge of the Town’s zoning bylaws. During my 12 years on the Open Space Preservation Commission, I became very familiar with plan review and the zoning code reviewing subdivision plans and advising the Planning Board on open space requirements. Additionally, the Open Space Preservation Commission spearheaded the Deed Research project, in collaboration with the Planning Board during my tenure. The project entailed reviewing all deeded subdivision open space, creating an open space layer on the town GIS, language in the deeds to make sure the protections were in place and creating a database that houses all the documents for each subdivision.
I have collaborated many times with the Planning Board and the Town Planner during my 6 years on the Select Board and have tremendous respect for the work they do. In working with the Planning Board, Select Board and SHOPC, the Economic Development Committee and I organized many collaborative discussions to create a new zoning district, the Downtown District, which created more opportunities to revitalize the downtown. Working with the Planning Board I developed regulations that clarified the process for the removal of public shade trees which was adopted by the Select Board and continue to work with the Planning Board and Select Board on a more comprehensive policy.
I hope you allow me the opportunity to continue to serve Southborough as a member of the Planning Board and I ask again for your vote on May 9th.
Feel free to reach out to me with any comment or questions at email@example.com or 774-248-1381.
13 Oregon Road