Southborough candidate profiles: Michael Weishan – Board of Selectmen

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Michael Weishan is running for a seat on the Southborough Board of Selectmen. (Photo/Submitted)

SOUTHBOROUGH – Southborough is gearing up for its 2021 municipal elections on May 11. As voters get set to head to the polls, the Community Advocate has zeroed in on contested races for prominent bodies like Board of Selectmen and School Committee.

The Community Advocate reached out to candidates who filed paperwork to appear on their town’s ballot and asked them to submit a personal statement as well as answers to three specific questions.

See those biographies and read extended questions and answers from Southborough Board of Selectman Candidate Michael Weishan here…

And see profiles of other candidates…

PERSONAL BIO

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I attended Harvard on full scholarship. I am a 30-year resident of Southborough.

I own a landscape architecture firm in Southborough and have had a substantial career in the national press, NPR and PBS as host and commentator.

I am currently the chair of the Southborough Historical Commission. During this time, I authored the Demolition Delay & Adaptive Reuse Bylaws; and saved the restored barn now going up at Chestnut Hill Farm. Additionally, I led the rescue of the Southborough Historical Society after a flood, restoring both building and finances, and currently serve as SHS president.

QUESTIONS

(The candidate opted to answer the presented questions with a combined response)

What do you see as the most important issue(s) facing Southborough today? 
What will you bring to the Board of Selectmen if (re-)elected?
Is there anything else you want voters to know about you as a candidate?

As the head of a landscape architecture firm, my role, at its most basic, is to assess the possible.

Sometimes when I arrive at a place, the space is a total blank; sometimes it just needs some well-chosen additions (or subtractions); and sometimes, although fully formed, it simply no longer meets the needs of the current occupants. My job is to determine what’s wanted, figure out what’s possible in terms of time, materials and budget, and with these in mind, entirely re-imagine what might be—and then, of course, make it happen.

That, I think, is also exactly the job of a good selectman, and that is what I would bring to the table if elected.

I can imagine, for instance, a Southborough that is linked by a series of pedestrian and bike paths, offering residents easy access across the whole of the town. I can see a post-Covid Southborough that is less a commuter town, and more of a community, with residents working and playing right here at home. I can foresee an active community/senior center that is the crown jewel of a whole series of pocket recreation areas, paid for by public/private partnerships. I can envision a vibrant Main Street and downtown cultural district, with a selection of small restaurants and shops were people eat, relax, talk, and in the process, increase revenues for the town. I can see a Southborough where our large private schools pay their fair share of the tax burden, where the costs of private development are carefully weighed and considered against the needs of Southborough as a whole, and where our historic resources are valued, protected and preserved.

I can see all these things. They are entirely within reach.

We just need someone to believe, and help turn the vision into reality. That is what I would pledge to attempt if elected, and I hope to have your support this May 11th.