To the Editor:
I read, with some amusement, “Maselli stays on Design Review Committee following controversy.” I met Lisa Maselli a few years ago during her run for Selectman. I found her to be smart, articulate, hardworking and guided by common sense. She is, however, NOT in the real estate business, or cozy with developers and this is the source of the current “controversy.” She is a change agent in a town often guided by the status quo and motivated by self-enrichment. If you are asking yourself why so many individuals in the real estate business try to get on these volunteer boards, you are on the right track. It has been this way in Northborough for decades which has largely disadvantaged the residents. Projects like Amazon, SA Farms and Steris are stark monuments to this arrangement.
So, into this environment comes Lisa, who asks questions about why things are this way. Why for example, is the town looking to spend millions of dollars to move the town hall offices to White Cliffs instead of the, empty and renovated building sitting right in the center of town? Lisa asked and was told it was because there were only 14 parking spaces available. She did research and discovered that there are 72. So now we are back to the original question and she is asking many more.
This is the backstory to the uproar over the social media post about the project being built on the SW Cutoff where she suggested that just being a local developer with money should not come with special privileges/ exemptions on projects. Letters poured in from the developer’s friends (there were 4!) and subsequently were pushed forward by a realtor on the committee in order to have Lisa removed. There is no controversy here. The reality is that Northborough needs more people like Lisa on these boards, people who are not personally enriched by these relationships and are willing to ask the hard questions and get the answers which will benefit the rest of us.
I am glad the committee retained her.