Position paper: David W. Parry (Updated)

Seat: Board of Selectmen – 3 year term

(vote for 2 candidates)

Why I am running for office:

THIS IS MY TOWN. I have lived here 32 yrs and I care VERY deeply about protecting our wonderful and unique town (especially its schools, open spaces and rural character). We are extraordinarily fortunate to be living here, and I want to do all I can to preserve and protect our quality of life.

Just a handful of items define our town, make it truly unique, and have protected it from over-development:

(1) The extraordinary heritage of having two of the finest private schools located right in our town center. Without them, our center would probably have become the typical commercial sprawl we see around us.

(2) The Resevoirs, providing such magnificent long range views. Without them the trip along Rte 9 would be typical and average. Instead Southborough provides the main remnant of real open country along all of Rte 9.

(3) The lack of a municipal sewer system, which has effectively prevented commercial sprawl on a grand scale. Having private systems maintains a limit of density , as well as being environmentally sound because of the ground water recharge.

These three have been the bulwark against massive over-development. The fact that the first two (schools and resevoirs) don’t pay taxes is immaterial compared to the huge value they give this entire town in beauty and reputation . As time marches on, the first two assets grow immensely in value, because they are irreplaceable.

(4) Our HOMEOWNERS. In this respect we are very lucky that most residents are homeowners, (rather than renters), because homeowners generally care more deeply because of their huge investment. But, among the homeowners, I have found that it is often the newer residents who become the prime guardians of our “uniqueness”, over the longer term residents, for an ironic reason. It seems to be because the newer residents have travelled more extensively, and so they have seen more of the sprawl that is out there, around us, and so they likely moved here to get away from the sprawl, and therefore they want to protect our uniqueness even more fiercely. So there you are –our new homeowners might be the greatest protectors of our uniqueness. I find that rather comforting, because it means there is long term reason for hope.

(5) LOCATION AND HIGHWAYS. We have an extraordinary location, with the Mass Pike, I-495, Rte 9 and the rail station. But these highways, which were once nothing but assets, are now becoming problems. They bring huge development pressure, and now they are getting congested, especially Rte 9. I regard the growing congestion on route 9 as our greatest single problem, and I will address this in more detail below.

IF YOU ELECT ME AS YOUR SELECTMAN, THEN I PLEDGE TO BRING

  • Balance and fairness,
  • transparent openness,.
  • true resident participation in a meaningful way.
  • From my long experience, I will bring more perspective, knowledge, and expertise.
  • My style is cooperation, teamwork, and partnership.
  • Leadership is necessary. Normally we can all work within teams, but sometimes it is necessary to step into the breach on controversial issues. I am not afraid of “saying it like it really is”, and taking the bull by the horns.
  • But I do prefer organized teamwork.

Why I am the right candidate for the position:

I care about the WHOLE town and I have demonstrated this clearly many times over many years. For example:

  • MBTA station traffic planning.
  • MWRA tunnel impact study committee.
  • Traffic Safety Committee.
  • Housing Partnership Committee. (Affordable housing)
  • Woodward School Planning Committee,
  • Purchase of Cordaville Hall
  • Numerous other committees

Previously Selectman for 3 terms (9 years) from 1995 – 2004).

Previously Planning board member, for two separate terms, 1986 and 1994

My priorities/Key issues:

LONG RANGE GOALS

I am especially interested in helping the town plan far ahead, to achieve ambitious long range goals. For instance, here are some long range goals I am interested in:

(1) TRAILS. A town-wide trail system, spanning not just along the edge of resevoirs, but across the resevoirs. How can this be done? Initially, through use of partially abandoned railbeds. Later, possibly through use of excess, clean rock fill. We very nearly achieved this, back in 1996, with the full cooperation of MWRA and MA DOT, when MWRA had masses of excess rock from the new water tunnel. Remarkably, MWRA did NOT object to the idea, so long as the rock was clean. What prevented it going ahead was simple: lack of funds for environmental impact studies.

(2) Rte 9 TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS. Traffic congestion along the Rte 9 corridor has become a major headache. Plannning for this by Mass DOT is sorely lacking. There is a complete absence of planning for some sections of Rte 9, such as Fayville, while other sections, for instance near I-495, have partial solutions which do not solve the full problems at all, but only half the problem, with the result that traffic backflows into residential neighborhoods behind.

THE FLAGG ROAD EXAMPLE. A n example of an unsatisfactory partial solution is Flagg Road at Rt 9. At present all traffic exiting from Flagg Rd heads west onto Rte 9. The “Park Central” project traffic plan maintains this pattern. In my opinion, the project application should be withdrawn and all efforts put into finding a good solution for entry and exit onto Rte 9 in both directions, west and east. That would increase the value of the developer’s land, (as industrial use only), increase the net positive town tax revenue (by avoiding expensive school costs), and also solve the traffic problem for both the industrial site and the whole neighborhood. I have pledged to work with the developer to help that come about, but only if he withdraws his application for the Ch 40 B housing. It could also save the well-respected developer’s reputation from going down the tubes. Only creative planning followed by intense focus, partnership and leadership can resolve these complex problems

(3) Ch 40B AFFORDABLE HOUSING. Our town’s affordable housing situation is within reach of a permanent solution. We only need another 58 units to get over the threshold of 10%, when we will be rid of the state threats, whereby developers can override local zoning. (That is what Park Central is doing – placing affordable housing in an industrial park, where housing is NOT normally allowed, but where it IS allowed if the project includes affordable housing because we are not yet over the 10% threshold). Just one other site could resolve this problem.

(4) A VERY LONG RANGE PLAN FOR A NEW BRIDGE FOR PARKERVILLE ROAD OVER RTE 9. We almost achieved that in 1997, when our local State Rep worked for the Speaker of the House. Such a connection, if planned carefully, with speed controls, could link our school campuses together, and also better link the town together. This is still possible.

(5) ZONING BYLAW UPDDATE – THIS IS A CONTINUING STORY. Unfortunately, the town has wasted 5 years of valuable time in a fruitless effort to revise its zoning. Why did this happen? In my opinion, it happened because the consultant led the Town Planning Board astray by proposing overly complex rules. Then another town committee worked on the bylaw laboriously, and created an even more complex document. The real waste is expressed in lost time and energy, and huge frustration by developers . This year the NEW Planning Board is proposing the first section of the re-write for approval – on Site Plan Review. I am a City Planner and Architect, by profession, and I pledge to work with the Planning Board to get this backlog reduced .

(6) A MINIMALIST, TRAFFIC CALMING, PLAN FOR THE HISTORIC TOWN CENTER. The Main Street Reconstruction Project has been understood by few residents. If built, this project will introduce a wider, faster road and huge intersection into the Town Center, with much higher traffic volumes. … which is not a good mix with a rural , historic village. As I write, this project is still being actively pushed by certain parties, but it should be rejected. This project was premised on supposedly “free” state funding for construction, but someone forgot to mention that state rules apply when you use state money. We have recently learned that this project is quite possibly the most expensive “free” project in town history, because it has already cost us over $450,000 in engineering fees to date, and that amount is not even one-third of the total that would eventually be required in fees. To continue would be to pour good money after bad.

If the State funding is dropped, for whatever reason, we can retrieve as much as possible from the engineering plans. We will no longer have to abide by State rules, so the plans can be modified in any way we choose (contingent on safety being maintained). The town can then eliminate huge sections of the State plan, and undertake a much scaled-back local plan, for a much reduced area, focusing on pedestrian safety, traffic calming, and drainage. The benefit to a local plan is that we have total control over design, we can start when we want, and we can save and protect our rural, small-town character. Initial priority will have to go to road repairs, after years of neglect. The scaled back local plan can include a National Historic District, and a rejuvenated downtown.

(7). TOWN POLICE STATION UPGRADE. I am an architect, so I speak with knowledge about this building, which I have toured on several occasions. This needs urgently updating., but it need NOT be a brand new and super-expensive “Town Police/Fire Complex” , located outside of our downtown. It can stay right where it is. The site is perfect. The parking and septic is perfect. The building is 4 stories high with basement, and has masses of space inside, but the space is badly used. This building is listed as historic (the old High School annex). Because it is rock solidly built, (at the exterior walls and roof) it can be renovated for far less than the cost of a new building. It needs gutting and rewiring. The Fire Station needs minor work in comparison, and can also stay right where it is, in the downtown where it should be. This solution will save us millions and keep our facilities where they should be. .

(8). THE SENIOR CENTER. . This building location is excellent, close to downtown where it should be. I was responsible for the purchase when I was a Selectman. We got it for very little money, and the parking and septic are excellent. What is missing are upgrading internally, and more important upgrading the PROGAMS AND FACLITIES for seniors. What do I mean by this ? A simple comparison with the facilities in other towns will amaze residents. I suggest a half-day tour be made by all 5 new Selectmen and the Advisory Committee, simply to visit these neighboring facilities, to open our eyes to what can be done, and done inexpensively. This need NOT be costly. But we do not to beringour facilities and programs up to date.Or seniors need attention too.

IN CONCLUSION. The above items are just some areas of interest. I want to help our new Board of 5 Selectmen to prioritize our tasks, set long range goals, create an appropriate vision for this town to aim for, and work to achieve those goals, with measured steps.

Additional Comments:

WORK EXPERIENCE
Naval Architect, Naval Technical Di Anzio. Italy 1964
Architect with Buckminster Fuller, Geodesic Dome, Montreal 1965
N.Y. State Urban Development Corporation 1970-80: Roosevelt Island, NYC Planning Office
MA Div of Capital Planning and Operations 1981-84: Dir of Programming
City Planner, Marlborough 1987 – 1993
Private Consulting Practice 1993 – Present
Registered Architect in MA, NY, UK
Professional City Planner USA UK

UNIVERSITY EDUCATION
BA and MA Cambridge University
M Architecture in Urban Design , Harvard University
M Science in Urban Planning, Columbia University

One daughter, Katrina, living in London UK

Widowed

To contact me to help support my candidacy:

Preferred method of initial contact is via E mail: parrydavidw@aol.com
Home phone: 508 485 8544 (Leave message)
Home address: 22 Main St – Write and I will send you a flier.

Please send an e mail or a note

Call and I will talk.

Drop in at the house, and we will share a cup tea.

Please have no hesitation in contacting me, because my door is always open, and I cannot help you if I do know what your problems are.

I will listen, and I promise you that I will try to help you.

(Contributed photo)

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Updated (4/28/14 8:40 am): Mr. Parry asked me to add items (7) and (8) to his long range goals.

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