St. Mark’s Street Park continues to divide officials (Updated)

Select Board and Planning members debate process and whether officials have broken their word.

Above: An update on the project for a park (potentially “Southborough Heritage Park”*), private school parking lot and reconfiguration of the intersection for St. Mark’s Street. (photo by Beth Melo)

Town Meeting voters who approved the “land swap” with St. Marks School may have thought controversies over the park and street road project abutting the Old Burial Ground would finally be laid to rest.

That hasn’t happened yet.

Town Counsel recently advised the Select Board that the park plans don’t require official Site Plan Review. Planning Board members publicly rebuked the Select Board — accusing them of continuing to prioritize chasing deadlines over following proper process.

The disagreement took place at the Planning Board’s June 27th meeting at which former Select Board Chair Kathy Cook and current Chair Andrew Dennington were present, along with Town Counsel.

Members of Planning expressed “disappointment” that the Select Board wasn’t following the process that was publicly agreed on leading up to the Town Meeting vote on the land deal. Cook argued that she didn’t “agree”, just “accepted” what she was told was required and recently learned wasn’t. Dennington wasn’t yet willing to commit to voluntarily submitting plans for Site Plan Review. And the Select Board has yet to publicly discuss the issue as a board.

Planning also questioned if the Select Board would live up to its promise to reconstruct the improperly removed historic stonewall at the site.

Below are more details on the disagreement and the status of the project.

Planning Chair Meme Luttrell opened the June 27th discussion, updating her board on the situation. 

She reminded that when the Select Board was preparing to bring the land swap to Town Meeting voters, she and Town Planner Karina Quinn met with Cook to agree on the process. (Lisa Braccio, who was a Select Board member then and is a Planning Board member now, was also present for that meeting.) They discussed the park plans coming to the Planning Board for Site Plan Review. Luttrell said that the Select Board members agreed to that process which was later reiterated in public meetings (including at a joint meeting in May).

Since then, Town Planner Karina Quinn received emails informing her that the Select Board wasn’t pursuing Site Plan Review based on Town Counsel advice. 

Explanations from Quinn and Town Counsel Jay Talerman revealed that the dispute over zoning requirements stemmed from disagreement over how use of the park should be defined under Town bylaws. (Scroll down for details on the interpretation issue.)

Not for the first time, the Planning Board lamented that they don’t have independent legal counsel. Members noted that Talerman represents the interest of the Select Board. Member Marnie Hoolihan suggested putting in a formal request to the Select Board for access to special counsel on the issue. Other members worried that under the circumstances it would be a waste of time.

Quinn noted that she believed the Building Commissioner’s opinion was needed as the Town’s Zoning Enforcement Officer. She hadn’t heard back prior to the meeting. I followed up with Quinn this week. She shared that Commissioner Casey Burlingame informed her that he agreed with Talerman’s legal opinion. 

But during the meeting, Planning members argued that even if Town Counsel was right, the Select Board should voluntarily submit to Site Plan Review in the spirit of cooperation. It had been the boards’ joint expectation (and publicly communicated) leading up to Town Meeting. Now those plans were changing “at the 11th hour”.

Cook defended that she wasn’t going back on her word to Planning since she hadn’t “agreed” to a process. She specified that she had accepted Luttrell’s and Planner Karina Quinn’s assertion at face value that Site Plan Review was required. Now, she had learned from Town Counsel that it isn’t. She argued that Luttrell hadn’t clarified Site Plan Review might not be required. Luttrell countered that she was still convinced it is required and that if Cook had doubts she should have inquired months ago.

Cook and Planning members discussed possibilities for the Select Board to voluntarily seek a less formal review by the Planning Board. Stein suggested that the board could look at the plans even after it goes out to bid, assuming that changes they had wouldn’t be significant enough cause a problem. (That was apparently the path Cook said she originally intended to take for an official Site Plan Review.)

But Dennington warned against coming to an agreement without his full board’s deliberation. He pointed out that he and other Select Board members had never voted on the “agreement” that Planning was upset they weren’t standing by. And he indicated he wasn’t convinced that the plans should be submitted for review.

Stein later argued that Site Plan Review by the Planning Board was for the good of the Town, since it is the Planning Board’s area of expertise, not the Select Board’s. 

That morning, the Select Board had signed the Purchase & Sale agreements for the purchase of land from St. Mark’s and sale of land to the school (more than 60 days after Town Meeting.)** Closing on the deals was scheduled for this Friday, July 7th. The board was eager to move ahead with plans for construction.

Earlier in the meeting, Planning voted to endorse the “Approval Not Required” application to divide the parcels involved in the sale. (I color coded the ANR map right to clarify which parcels are being sold and retained.) The parcel being accepted by the town (in light green) will be combined with existing Town property for creation of the new section of St. Mark’s Street and a “pocket park” next to the Library.

Cook discussed the need for the continued roadwork be covered under the original contractor this summer to avoid additional costs. The Select Board was also hoping to complete construction of the park this year. To that end, they hoped to issue the bid mid-July to build in enough time to have work completed before late fall.

Mitigation for removed stonewalls and trees

Without Site Plan Review, Planning members asked how they could ensure the Select Board would follow through on installing the stonewalls and trees they committed to as mitigation for those taken down on St. Mark’s Street in 2020.

Because the wall and public shade trees were on a designated scenic road, removing them required approval by the Planning Board in a public hearing. The Town had bypassed that process. At an overdue public hearing was held this May in which Select Board agreed to replant eleven trees at the St. Mark’s Street and Marlboro Road corner and reconstruct the historic stonewall, with a length at least as long as the original.

Planning members highlighted that park design plans created based on suggestions by the St. Mark’s St Working Group don’t include stonewalls. (The plans do include at least 11 trees, with 7 to be a “layered” mix of evergreens and deciduous trees by the Old Burial Ground to help provide a windbreak.) Dennington pointed out that the separate plans for the road construction work already include stonewalls to be rebuilt. But Planning members countered that it only showed 80 feet, and the original wall was 100 feet.

Dennington mentioned that the St. Mark’s Working Group had discussed including an add alt to the RFP to find out how much it would cost to add in a stonewall barrier around the entire park. (An “add alt” allows an underlying bid to be accepted without accepting the additional work if if its too pricey.) But he followed that he worried that including the alternate would overcomplicate the RFP process and increase the risk of not getting any bids back.

Later, Dennington asked for clarification if the stonewall was the only reason that Planning wanted to review the site plan. The answer was no. The discussion was ended without any clarity on next steps or if the item would be discussed at a future Select Board meeting. (They are scheduled to meet on Tuesday, July 11th. The agenda has yet to be posted.)

As for the parcel being accepted by St. Mark’s (the current St. Mark’s Street intersection with Marlboro Road), it will be combined with the center parcel they are retaining for creation of a larger parking lot. According to Quinn, the school recently confirmed that they will be bringing that to the Planning Board for Site Plan Review (likely in August).

Bylaw Interpretation Disagreement

To explain why she believed Site Plan Review was required, Quinn opined that the park is a recreational parcel, so subject to a Town zoning bylaw provision that parking be provided for: “Theaters, membership clubs and places of amusement, recreation and assembly (public or private): one space per four seats.” Those uses require “Off-street parking spaces shall be provided . . .and not more than 25% of the required parking spaces, other than for dwellings, shall be located in the required front yard.” Under the bylaws, any uses/buildings that require off-street parking “shall be subject to the site plan review and approval by the Planning Board”.

Talerman stated that the recreation use Quinn pointed to “clearly contemplates a structural element where there is going to be formal seating. This is a park space that is adjacent to the library. There’s no seating. There’s no assembly required. It’s simply a landscape space that people can enjoy. There’s no Band Shell. There’s no setup for permanent amusement or anything like that. It just it’s a square peg and a round hole.” He didn’t believe the plans “trigger” a formal review.

Stein questioned Talerman about the “no seating” description, referring to the story time area and benches in the artist’s rendering. Luttrell called the grass story time area “grass seating” and Stein noted it was “for people to assemble” for story time. Talerman rejected that, arguing that their definition would apply to any public property with a lawn.

*The St. Mark’s St Park Working Group voted 4-1 to recommend naming the park Southborough Heritage Park. Members spoke about their hopes that historical markers/a history walk will be incorporated into the park in the future. They referred to Heritage as not just referring to the history of the official town. It can incorporate the indigenous people and serve as a “living legacy” to incorporate the heritage of future generations of residents.

Only member Bill Sines opposed. Noting that the use and focus of the park could change over time, he advocated to name it “The Park at Southborough Center”. The ultimate decision will be made by the Select Board.

**A reader pointed out that the agreement signed by the school and Town prior to Annual Town Meeting included language that the P&S needed to be executed within 60 days of Town Meeting approval or the terms would be null and void. However, while the agreement was publicly shared so that voters would understand the terms, the Article was not based on that specific document. Instead, the Warrant and Motion referred to granting the Select Board authority “to enter into agreements for the conveyance of such land, on such terms as the Select Board shall determine”. And the agreement doesn’t appear to me to bar the Town and school from entering a new P&S if that agreement expired.

What I can’t yet say is if any terms were altered/renegotiated after the agreement expired. The Select Board’s discussions about the P&S were in closed executive session and no document has been posted yet. I have reached out to the Town and put in a public records request. When I do receive it, I’ll update this post. (And if there is anything worth highlighting, I’ll write a new story to share that.)

Updated (7/11/23 8:21 pm): I received the copy of the executed P&S agreements that I requested for the land deals. Each party will pay $1 for the parcel owned by the other, with agreements to be closed on concurrently. (That should have happened on the 7th.) You can view the documents here

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Alex Neihaus
2 months ago


This is the local version of the dysfunction we experience at the state and federal levels.

While boards play turf, the pile of rocks I drive by everyday gets a chance to weather down to pebbles.

There’s the (understandable) slow pace of normal government. And then there’s the wasteful, glacial pace of what happens — or doesn’t — in Southborough.

David Parry
14 days ago
Reply to  Alex Neihaus

Finally, after several years of chaos and public scandals, the “St Marks Road Project” is nearing completion. Some may celebrate completion, but many know better — they look at this Project as the most corrupt Project in Southborough Town history …. a classic example of government fraud, waste and abuse. And add to that cronyism and conflict of interest by three Town officials.

This project has provided no PUBLIC benefit. But it does provide a big PRIVATE benefit to St Marks School, by providing the ideal site for the School’s lot.

FALSE CLAIMS were made that the Project was justified because it resolved a “flooding” problem at the existing intersection of St Marks Rd and Rt 85. But the truth is more bizarre. St Marks School had caused the minor (inches deep) “flooding”, when the School built a new stone wall next to the roadside — blocking the old drainage channel, without approval of the Planning Board.

What should our Select Board have done about the “flooding”? They should have ordered St Marks to resolve the drainage problem which the School had created — for instance, by making a gap in the wall, so as to re-establish the original drainage flow.

But what did the Select Board actually do? Instead of making the School pay to restore the old drainage pattern, the Select Board and Town DPW proposed the following complex and expensive scheme … expensive only to the Town, but very cheap to the wealthy private school.

THIS COMPLICATED SCHEME requires the Town to abandon the existing road intersection, and replace it with a new intersection located 500 yards to the south.

This was all done for ONE purpose — so that St Marks School could have a brand NEW and much LARGER private parking lot — situated in the ideal location for the school — which is directly opposite the School’s main entrance off Rte 85. This site is presently the Town road and intersection, but not for much longer. Under the complex scheme, the Town abandons the road and intersection and moves them … thereby making the old road site available for new uses. In this Scheme, the School will use the site of the abandoned intersection for a new, paved parking lot.

It is no surprise that the School would want to improve the appearance of their main entry. So the School accepted the offer from the Town Select Board to pay for the scheme, (except for the parking lot paving, which the School is paying for).

The main issue is WHO PAYS ? … which is usually determined by determining WHO BENEFITS ? The Town Select Board offered to pay (without even being asked to do so). And the result is depletion of our tax funds by over one million dollars.

Another overlooked result has been the destruction of the only documented, pre-colonial, HISTORIC INDIAN TRAIL — AND ITS BURIAL UNDER THE NEW SCHOOL PARKING LOT.

You ask — WHY did the Select Board promote such a problematic project ? The answer lies in the following :

1. COVID – – which provided an excuse to have no meetings, and no public reviews by other Town Committees. In other words — SECRECY.

2. CORRUPTION – – Attempts to hide Conflicts of Interest and mis-spending by various town officials, including the Town Administrator — who mis-spent State grant funds leading to investigations by the State Inspector General.

3. ARROGANCE AND MOMENTUM – – The Select Board was unwilling to question their faulty premise of the Project, because it was so EMBARRASING to do so, and they were caught up in the sheer MOMENTUM of years of effort.

Lastly — WHY did Town Meeting approve the Project? Because they were deliberately MISLEAD by false claims of the Select Board.

In conclusion — what has been gained and lost ?

The Town has paid for a new road it didn’t need; the Town is short of 1.5 million dollars it could have used on other projects; the Town has lost forever the old historic Indian trail; the Town’s old cemetary graves have been permanently exposed to potential wind damage because a large area of woodland has been cut down unnecessarily.

But St Marks School has a large new parking lot, in the ideal location, at very low cost.

John Gulbankian
2 months ago

  What is this all about anyway??  All of these hushed-up “liasons” to St. Mark’s should not be promising deals out of the public eye and should not be allowed by the voters. It defies the very purpose of Open Meeting Law. What do “We the townspeople” get from all of this besides more taxes?
  This isn’t the first time the public had no idea of the math behind the deal.  The last giveaway deal to St. Mark’s involved the “swap” of the public safety land on Main Street for the St. Mark’s Golf Course, a deal that also apparently involved no appraisals. Take a close look at who was involved in that deal and the town should be asking where are the appraisals on all deals with St. Mark’s.  

  I’m on the right side of history writing about this in “My Southborough .” To the ire of Kathy Cook who visited my sister at flower shop, asking who I was and why I wrote my letter. My comment was well taken as it was on target “The Select board past and present have let people of town down.”

Whereas it seemed to be glossed over at town meeting where Select member said “It’s fastest 60 million dollars town has spent!”
While another Future select board member said; “My mother said that we should Clean up our mess” ?? 
Being a longtime citizen of town don’t appreciate someone reaching into my pocket to spend money because the town mismanaged state funds. 

 I could say a lot and I hear it from many others in town that are upset of how no one knows what’s going on. There’s no transparency in our Select board.

I strongly suggest people start asking questions as best thing we can do is talk about “IT”. This may just get exposed. There’s the saying; “Follow the money ” this is clearly one example.
Special thanks go to planning board and its members for trying make sense out of this as this whole debacle, clearly doesn’t make sense to a lot of us.

David Parry
2 months ago

Great letter John. Right on the facts.

David Parry
2 months ago
Reply to  Beth Melo

The FIRST commenter is correct about the St Marks Road Project. The writer states (quote) —

“There’s the (understandable) slow pace of normal government. And then there’s the wasteful, glacial pace of what happens — or doesn’t — in Southborough.”

But that statement only scratches the surface of this scandalous and wasteful project.

I am going to explain how and why this Project came about. It has never been fully explained before, because itvis not only complex, but also smells of petty corruption.




The FACT that the Project is not needed is still being covered up by our present Town government officials. The LAST thing they want to remind you taxpayers of — is this — that they (the SelectBoard) recommended to Town Meeting that you voters approve this unecessary project costing over a million bucks … and sure enough, because of the clever sales job done by our SelectBoard, Town Meeting fell for it !

(I doubt this is the first time that Town Meeting has been hoodwinked into voting for unnecessary items).

Let’s take a brief tour …

WHAT WAS THE REASON GIVEN BY TOWN OFFICIALS? ? — to try to justify the huge cost of abandoning the existing intersection, and then moving it, and replacing it, with a brand new intersection — located 500 feet south, further down Rt 85?

WAS THE REASON given for abandonment that there was a MAJOR TRAFFIC HAZARD ? … No, that was NOT the reason given by the SelectBoard. There had PREVIOUSLY been a minor hazard to traffic in the distant past, but this hazard was removed 20 years ago by the previous Town DPW, headed (back then) by Superintendant John Boland. Mr Boland did not see any need to abandon the intersection and move it at huge cost. No … instead, he sensibly left the intersection where it was, but adjusted the former, sharply pointed shape of the intersection, by changing it into a new, wider “Tee” shape, thereby allowing safer turns onto Rt 85.

SO WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM WITH THE INTERSECTION WHICH WAS CLAIMED (by certain Town Officials) TO JUSTIFY ABANDONMENT ? The DPW, Town Administrator and FULL SelectBoard made only ONE claim to justify full abandonment of the intersection (of St Marks Rd and Rt 85) …. Their claim was that the intersection had dangerous ” flooding.” Lets look at this claim in more depth, to see if it holds up.

WAS THIS CLAIM OF “SERIOUS FLOODING” ACCURATE? …. NO, it was NOT accurate. It was grossly exxagerated. The flooding was NOT a major traffic hazard, for several reasons … because it was:
1. “Inter-mittent”. (Only during heavy storms)
2. Very shallow. (Just one to two inches deep)
3. Small area. (Only 10 x 30 ft … size of garage)
4. it was easily solvable at low cost. (Max $5k)

“INTERMITTENT FLOODING” means that the flooding occurred ONLY after heavy rainstorms. Even then and it was only a few inches deep, (one to two inches) , spread over 20 feet long and 10 feet wide, along the north side of St Marks Rd, at the intersection. The flooding was so small that only cars which were in the south-bound lane, entering St Marks Rd off Rt 85, had to drive through the shallow pond. In the 10 years that the flooding existed, no cars had any accidents and no cars got stuck in the shallow water, which soon dried up.

Twenty years ago St Marks wanted to “dress up” the intersection because it was located at their formal front entrance — directly opposite the School’s main driveway. So the School built an attractive stone wall at the intersection. HOWEVER, this new wall was within the town road right-of-way and it blocked the pre-existing drainage … because previously the rain water drained AWAY from the intersection over the adjacent grass lawns, but now that grass drainage channel was blocked by the new stone wall. However. that problem could easily have been corrected — by theTown ordering St Marks to resolve the drainage problem which St Marks had created — for instance, by removal of part of the wall, so the water could drain through its old swale (shallow ditch) across the grass.

WHY WASN’T ST MARKS ORDERED TO REMEDY AND PAY FOR THE FLOODING THEY CREATED ? … Because of a cosy relationship, which became even cosier because of complex negotiations over PILOT payments, and also personal close relationships, such as the fact that our (former) Town DPW Suoerintendant was an alumnus of St Marks School.

THE TOWN GAVE ST MARKS A HUGE UNEARNED GIFT. …What Town officials SHOULD have done — is instruct the Scbbank stac St Marks to spend their money on cleaning up the problem they created, our DPW and Town Administrator proposed instead THE DIRECT OPPOSITE – – Turn a small private School cost (of max $5,000) into a major town cost of over $1,000,000 benefiting solely the wealthy Private School.

HOW DID THEY COME UP WITH THIS SCHEME? This brings us to the real reason for this scheme. It originated from work undertaken by a Town SelectBoard Task Force , which was attempting to negotiate higher PILOT payments from St Marks School. We will deal with this next.

RAISING THE AMOUNT OF “PILOT” PAID BY ST MARKS. In 2020 , a special Town task force was created, (composed of reps from the SelectBoard , Town Administrator, and others as needed), and was tasked with the solving a hot political issue — that of raising PILOT payments — “Payments In Lieu Of Taxes” made by all the non-profit organisations in town — such as St Marks School. The task force met secretly to negotiate with St Marks School officials, in an attempt to persuade the School to increase their pathetically low PILOT payments.

What do I mean by “pathetically” low ? Herexare the exact numbers for StcMarks School property in Southborough:
Land area : 211 acres.
Assessed value: $115,500,000. (That’s115 million).
Tax owed IF for-profit: $ 1,704,000. (!.7 million).
Actual PILOT: $40,000.

They would be paying 40 TiIMES as much IF for-profit. (1,704,000 divided by 40,000. = 40)


In the course of these negotiations a related issue came up … what could the Town “legally” do to “help” a rich private school like St Marks School, which might have the benefit of encouraging the School to modestly increase their payments ?

You may now begin to see, dimly, where this is headed and what happened next … theTown Administrator brought into the PILOT negotiations two additional people — both the Town DPW Superintendant, Karen Galligan, (who is an alumnus of St Marks School) and the Town road engineer from the engineering consultant firm Vanesse Hangen. This sub – task – force, composed of road engineers, responded to pleas from St Marks — that the Town should help to beautify the main FORMAL ENTRANCE INTO ST MARKS SCHOOL (which is at the intersection), and also figure out a way for St Marks to increase and formalize their private school GUEST PARKING LOT — which was previously informal, on grass, a t the intersection — but in future will be much larger and formally paved as part of the Project, at the intersection.

THE PILOT ENGINEERING TASK FORCE CAME UP WITH THE SCHEME, AT THE DIRECT REQUEST OF OFFICIALS FROM ST MARKS … The engineering sub-task-force responded to the request from St Marks officials (according to the engineer from Vanesse Hangen) by devising an entirely new, ambitious and costly, road and parking lot scheme — whereby the Town would move the entire intersection 500 feet south, so that the land under the old (former) road and intersection would become part of the newly enlarged parking lot ), to be used privately by St Marks School guests.

So our Town government devised and promoted the Project, with the active support of St Marks School. which would benefit in two ways:

(1) By being “let off the hook”of any responsibility for originally causing the flooding, and therefore having to pay in full for the remedy.

(2) St Marks School gets a large new parking lot situated on land which was previously used for a perfectly good road.

IMPACT OF COVID …One reason this happened was the complete lack of proper oversight — because of COVID. Much of this finagling happened essentially in SECRET, when there were very few public meetings, and nobody was paying attention.

This project should never have happened. Or it should have been paid for 100 % by St Marks School, which is the primary beneficiary.

This project is the perfect (worst) example of SCANDALOUS GIFT of Town funds to a rich private institution.

OTHER PETTY CORRUPTION ON THIS PROJECT … Furthermore, the Project is riddled with mis-spending of State Highway grant money … on non-eligible items. You doubt me? … just read past editions of My Southborough. (Or ask the State Inspector General’s Office. Town officials were hauled into Boston and interrogated over this mis-spending.).

In a normal Town, you could expect a truthful explanation from the Town Administrator, who oversaw this project and gave orders to Town DPW.. BUT the sad fact is that this isn’t a “normal” town. The Town Administrator has been in office far too long. He intimidates Town employees and he should have been fired for mis-managing this project. Our previous Select Board not only failed to stop the petty corruption, but some members actively participated in it and promoted it. For instance, there were three (3) notorious Conflicts of Interest… all investigated by the State Inspector General, and State Ethics Commission.

WHICH TOWN BOARDS HAVE TOLD US THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS PROJECT ? Only two town boards have been truthful about this project, and they are the Historical Commission and the Planning Board. But they have both been stymied and denied by bullies on the Selectboard, and by the SelectBoard’s consultant Town Counsel (who serves the SelectBoard’s political needs). And these two boards have been stymied, above all, by the inept Town Administrator, Mark Purple — who is SUPPOSED to be in charge of DPW. Yet it is an established FACT that (until the recent change in DPW Superintendants) the dictatorial DPW was literally out of control under Supertendant Galligan — who was FINALLY (too late) removed by Town Administrator Mark Purple, her boss, in November 2022 — because of continuing fiascos. Both the Historical Commission and Planning Board have been truthful about this project but they have been sandbagged by the domineering SelectBoard and their political Town Counsel who tells them what they want to hear ( in other words , he is a politician as much as a lawyer).

SURPRISE CONCLUSION … WATCH THESE TWO SHORT VIDEOS OF ONLY 3 MINUTES EACH … I think many of you will be shocked. ALL you need to do is COPY AND PASTEL the two items below into your search bar … they are very short, and I guarantee it will be worth your precious time !


Youtube. Southborough Selectboard. December 20, 2022

( NOTE ABOUT VIDEO 1 …FIRST 3 minutes ).

(NOTE ABOUT VIDEO 2 …. Fast-forward Video 2 to the very END … watch ONLY the LAST 3 minutes)
Show more

David Parry
2 months ago
Reply to  David Parry

IMPORTANT ADDITION Need to add a missing paragraph at the very end of my comment immediately above. …

VIDEO 2. Copy and Paste the next line into your search bar …



NOTE on watching Video 2 … Fast-forward to the very END. Watch the LAST 5 MINUTES

John Kendall
2 months ago

On spot John! And Ms. Cook should not be bothering your sister. She’s got enough on her mind

Kelly Roney
2 months ago
Reply to  John Kendall

I think it’s very positive when our elected officials reach out to us as citizens. When Kathy Cook contacted me, I thought it was the way democracy should work.

John Gulbankian
2 months ago
Reply to  Kelly Roney

I can’t say “Kathy Cook ” visit to us was positive as it was anything but that and  it felt like retaliation and harassment — certainly to stop at a place of business to inquire inappropriately about who I was as a result of stating opposing opinion. 
If you recall the town tried to shut our businesses down a few years ago so we take any representatives from the town questioning us as something is up.! 
That I wrote my letter in a public forum it should of been vetted by her in same forum. 
Rather than coming to my sisters place of business and questioning my sister who I was and why I wrote the letter.
Off the record isn’t why I wrote the letter, “IT” was to question what is going on in our town and why we are spending approximately million dollars for to  “Gift St. Mark’s for the following long list of inappropriate giveaways:”
The razing of their site, removal of trees, removal of debris, $20k worth of gravel and a new road partially installed on their privately owned land, along with drainage and infrastructure — all using our public tax dollars on their private land.  The design work alone for their private parking lot (billed to the Southborough townspeople) was $120,000.  St. Mark’s owes us.  Why did we spend (past tense) approximately $500k to over $1m for all of this design work, building materials, and a road, covered by us the townspeople?   
Then the BOS has the nerve to “swap” the land parcels, selling a paved, in-use highly trafficked road for $1.00, one dollar.  One dollar.  The town meeting floor and voters, I was one, never understood the town was selling for one dollar. Never brought up any of this at town meeting. Glazed over I would say.

Especially since the town just SPENT $500,000 to over $1m to BUILD A SIMILAR ROAD right near the existing perfectly good road (meaning just costs, not including the value of the underlying land).  So what was the existing road worth, readers??  You be the judge.

Democracy you say?   I say Kleptocracy is a perfect word that fits this scenario to a T . Furthermore please see this link; 
This is who represented the town in land swap evaluation. 
Peabody files suit against appraiser | Local News |

Are we irate yet? 
Prove me wrong.

David Parry
2 months ago

Is the word “KLEPTOCRACY” appropriate ?

This is the word carefully chosen by one of our most respected , long time, residents and businessmen — John Gulbankian —
in his ” comment” in MySouthborough, printed above.

This comment describes the deliberately misleading claims (and actions) of our previous Selectboard (and DPW Superintendent) as “kleptocracy”. The main facts are these .. Our Selectboard promoted spending huge sums of money on a PRIVATE project,as follows …

1. To abandon a perfectly good road interesection, at St Marks Rd and Rte 85.

2. To give the abandoned land to St Marks School for use as a new PRIVATE school parking lot.

3. To spend thousands in engineering studies.

4. To persuade Town Meeting to SPEND OVER $1,000,000 of Town funds on a new road intersection 500 feet south.

This new intersection is very important to St Marks School, because it is directly opposite the main FORMAL entrance to the school. The main purpose of the intersection is to promote a PRIVATE INTEREST — to provide St Marks School with extra land to accommodate their
expanded PRIVATE PARKING LOT for staff and guests attending school events.

What the Selectboard and DPW claimed was that the existing intersection was dangerous because of “flooding”, but they FAILED to explain that St Marks had actually caused the flooding, by building a new stone wall in the road right-of-way, blocking road drainage. The proper action would have been to ,;

1. Order the School to remedy the problem they created, by modifying the wall.

2. If St Marks School really wants a new private parking lot at their main entry — then they should pay 100 % of the costs.

( Lets’s look at a similar project. and how that was treated by our Selectboard. For example, the new water supply to Hopkinton, which faces a potential public emergency. Our same Southborough Selectboard has offered to allow Hopkinton Town to make use of, and alter, Southborough Town’s public water supply — so that it can serve Hopkinton … PROVIDED that Hopkinton paid 100% of all costs. … HOW IRONIC IS THAT … A neighboring Town. suffering a public emergency, must pay 100% … BUT a rich private school wanting a beautification project, gets it FREE, SUBSIDIZED BY TOWN TAX DOLLARS.)

So the St Marks Rd project is indeed an example of KLEPTOCRACY …
taking public funds and spending them corruptly on private enrichment.

John Kendall
2 months ago
Reply to  Kelly Roney

Kathy wasn’t reaching out, she was mad that someone questioned her “authority”

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