Southborough – Four candidates will be on the ballot for two seats on the Board of Selectmen in the Tuesday, May 14 Annual Town Election. The Community Advocate has invited the candidates – Steven J. David, Martin F. Healey, Joseph P. Hubley and Sam R. Stivers – to share a bit about their backgrounds and why they are running for this position. Here, in their own words, are their answers.
Please tell the readers a little bit about your background.
Steven J. David – Born and raised in nearby Grafton, Mass., I am a graduate of Grafton Memorial Senior HS. I earned my Bachelor’s degree from Worcester State University, majoring in media/communications. My wife Linda and I moved to Southborough in 2003 and our son Charlie arrived in the spring of 2004, he is currently enjoying his freshman year at Algonquin Regional HS. My professional background has been focused in the marketing field, specifically brand strategy and development, media and public relations. I have held various leadership positions at New Balance, 47 brand, Life is Good and I currently serve as Vice President of Regional & Commercial Marketing for Clarks Shoes where I oversee marketing for the US, Canada and Latin America. In town, I have been involved in the youth baseball, basketball and lacrosse programs where I have served as a coach or assistant coach for several years. I am a former member of the NSYLA (lacrosse) Board of Directors.
Martin F. Healey – My wife Nicki and I moved to Southborough in 1991. Our four children all went through the Southborough schools and Algonquin. My town government experience includes 10 years on the Advisory Committee, seven as chair; four years as chair of the Main Street Working Group; and many other committees. I’ve coached pretty much every youth sport in the book. I graduated from Harvard and Georgetown Law and have spent most of my career as a federal prosecutor, in San Francisco and Boston, prosecuting organized crime and public corruption and currently supervise all securities enforcement litigation in New England for the SEC.
Joseph P. Hubley – I was born and raised in Southborough, where I joined the Fire Department in 1978. In 2002, I was promoted to captain. Upon my retirement in 2015, I was appointed senior staff representative at the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations/Joint Labor Management Committee. In this role, I conduct mediation and dispute resolution between municipalities and their firefighters and police officers. I have been a member of the Southborough Community Preservation Committee for many years, have served on the Housing Authority, and I am chair of the Southborough Historical Commission.
Sam R. Stivers – I’ve spent most of my 20+ years in Southborough as an active participant in town government. My work experience as a teacher, as a business consultant and as a manager, combined with my educational background in finance and operations management, gives me the skills to help with a broad range of town government issues. I have served on a number of town committees, including the Advisory Committee, and this gives me the background to be an effective selectman from day one. I’ve helped many organizations be more successful—and I can apply this experience directly to town government.
What is the one main reason you want to run for the Board of Selectmen?
David – I have always had a passion “to get involved” and it’s a good point in my personal and professional life to give some of my time and energy to the needs of the town. We have a fantastic community in Southborough and I firmly believe we can continue to develop the Southborough “brand” to bring new residents, businesses and activities to this very special town. I have also watched the tenor of our town and committee meetings, at times, become less about the issues and more about picking sides and personal needs. I would like to be part of bringing back into focus a “community first” mindset for our town while maintaining an open exchange of ideas where by everyone gets an opportunity to be part of solutions that better the community.
Healey – Southborough is a wonderful town, but challenges abound. Chief among them: maintaining fiscal discipline and affordability, particularly for those on fixed incomes, while continuing to provide excellent services, top notch education, and a full range of active and passive recreational opportunities, all while intelligently managing growth and maintaining the look, feel and character that make Southborough special. I believe I have the vision, experience, leadership and energy to tackle those challenges and I’m asking that Southborough vote to give me that opportunity.
Hubley – I am running for Selectman because I share a love of what makes Southborough unique: its conservation lands, its traditional feel and its open, participatory government. Recently however, pressures have been building to inalterably change our town, and not for the better. Our town government is often not responsive to the wishes of the voters or the recommendations of our various town boards, committees and commissions. If elected, I will pay attention to voters’ concerns, take advice from town boards and committees, and then put into practice fiscally sound policies that enhance the quality of life for us all.
Stivers – I care a lot about Southborough’s future. I want to help retain and enhance the great things about Southborough that make us all want to live here. An important part of our future success will be an effective town government that has the support of its residents. My management and planning skills can help town government be more effective; my record of taking an independent approach to town issues without any conflicts of interest, and my record of listening carefully to all sides of an issue, can help restore public confidence that town government seems to have lost.
If you are elected, what is the committee or project that you will be most interested in working on and why?
David – A difficult question to answer as I have keen interest in several areas of our community. Economic development and strategic planning is an area I would like to focus on. With our new Public Safety Complex coming to completion this summer and the Main Street project at Rt. 85 and Rt. 30 just getting underway, we have proven that this little town can come together and move major initiatives forward. I believe in smart, long term planning that will benefit the residents of Southborough well into the future. Other areas that I am most interested in: our schools, veterans and seniors. I want to ensure that from our kids to our seniors we are thinking, planning and advocating for all, while developing innovative resources and programs.
Healey – I don’t view the Selectman’s job as focusing on a particular committee or project. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s all related. Public safety; schools; recreation; open space; services for seniors, veterans, and kids; intelligent growth; economic development. Every decision a selectman makes has to weigh priorities, resources, short and long-term impacts, and much more. Vision, experience and leadership informs every decision. But one thing overlays all of that: open, transparent, responsive government. Our residents expect and deserve nothing less. Maintaining trust requires it. I’ll demand it from myself and all of town government.
Hubley – I have several priorities if elected:
- make sure the voters have a say in the disposition of our remaining agricultural lands
- pursue options for delaying the start-time for our middle and high school students
- explore the creation of a Community Center using public/private partnership
- use my honed negotiator skills to seek increased PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) from our largest nonprofit educational institutions: Fay School, St. Mark’s and the New England Center for Children
- begin the process of replanting trees on our streetscapes, and removing invasive species as well as dead/fallen trees from our DCR lands
- host regular bi-monthly office hours to directly hear and respond to voter concerns
Stivers – I am very interested in helping the town get the most value from the over $50 million that we spend annually. With the substantial Main Street and Public Safety projects now underway or nearing completion, the selectmen can turn their focus to longer-term infrastructure planning. Such projects can include recreation facilities, “walkability” from sidewalks and trails, a community center, etc. The town needs to utilize the most skilled management resources to assure that these expenditures will deliver the best value for the taxpayers. My experience allows me to play an effective role in this process.