In Southborough, it’s the ‘Board of Selectmen’ once more


By Susan Gonsalves, Contributing Writer

Southborough town iconSOUTHBOROUGH – Southborough’s Board of Selectmen has reverted back to using its former name, at least until the Attorney General’s office officially signs off the change to “Select Board” that Town Meeting approved on Nov. 1. 

The board decided back in mid-November to refer to itself by the new name, feeling that the attorney general’s action was imminent, and feeling that it would be fine to use the moniker in the meantime.

However, during a meeting on Dec. 14, Town Administrator Mark Purple advised the board to “take a step back and wait,” until everything is official. 

Members made no comment, and the administrator continued discussing other matters.

Southborough is the latest community to change the name of its Board of Selectmen in recent years. 

Towns across the state have taken such action, primarily with the goal of inclusivity in removing a gendered term like “Selectmen.”

Locally, that includes Hudson, Westborough and Grafton.

Those towns have taken different steps as they’ve moved through their transitions to new names for their top municipal boards. 

In Hudson, for example, the Select Board discussed a name change months before Town Meeting. The board was then referred to as the “Board of Selectmen who, by vote, prefer to be referred to as the Select Board” on filings, such as agendas, until the name change was finalized.

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