Shrewsbury Candidate Statement – Select Board – Siobhan Costello-Weber

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Shrewsbury Candidate Statement – Select Board – Siobhan Costello-Weber
Siobhan Costello-Weber

Please provide a brief biographical background on yourself. What should voters know about you?

My family chose Shrewsbury for many reasons, but especially due to the low tax rate and high quality town services. We moved here 8+ years ago with our five (yes, five!) sons, four of whom attend our public schools, while my oldest is a junior at Assabet. ​

Professionally, I have over 20 years of executive experience at several Fortune 500 companies. Five years ago I became self-employed and transitioned into a local real estate career, which allowed more time for family and area philanthropic efforts. I am especially grateful to serve as a Court Appointed Advocate for Children (CASA).

Now, with older children and a stabilized second career, I have the availability to leverage my executive expertise and passion for community engagement to bring a much-needed new set of skills to the Board. I am unaffiliated with any political party and am motivated only by the needs and concerns of Shrewsbury residents and taxpayers. I would be honored to earn your vote on Tuesday, May 2nd!

Why are you running?

As a local homeowner, 20+ year executive-level professional and mom of five boys, I have the passion, motivation and proven experience needed to:

  • Advocate for initiatives that generate long-term revenue, improved quality of life and sustainable growth to ensure ongoing value for taxpayer money
  • Apply critical thinking and question the status quo as necessary so that only comprehensively considered plans are proposed and approved
  • Create opportunities for community engagement and for diverse voices to be reflected in strategic town plans and projects

We have extensive opportunity for improvement, particularly in key areas such as Development, Town Services and Community Engagement.

To strengthen and unify our town, I will use my financial acumen, success in strategic goal setting, demonstrated coalition building and fierce dedication to our community. As an innovative agent for change, I am committed to listening to you and employing a realistic, reasonable approach to ensure our town government works for everyone.

The Beal school redevelopment is under consideration. What is your vision for downtown, and how does this project fit into this vision?

A Town Center is often considered the heart and soul of a community. Shrewsbury is fortunate to have an attractive Town Center and a growing interest in revitalizing that part of our community.

As part of my commitment to furthering economic development, I would explore offering incentives to small business owners and property owners located in the town center, encouraging reinvestment in their businesses and property. I would work to achieve more active engagement between the local merchants, the Town Center Association and the Planning Dept.

​Car parking and pedestrian access are of critical concern to address prior to any further town center development, which is one of many reasons I do not support the current Beal redevelopment project. As a resident, I would love a vibrant, walkable downtown. I’m not against multi-use development conceptually, but this particular project is completely flawed and ultimately insupportable.

There are a number of housing projects on the horizon in Shrewsbury. What specific criteria would you weigh when considering support for a project?

Housing continues to be the top monthly expense for most families, making affordability a key concern. Rising home values pose particular challenges for our seniors and those living on a fixed income. Our veterans are finding it more and more difficult to win in an ever more competitive housing market.

The new Affordable Housing Trust, as well as the Shrewsbury Housing Authority and the Community Preservation Committee, are valuable assets and potential catalysts for change in providing opportunities for more and better affordable housing in Shrewsbury. I am committed to seeing that these groups are more deeply embdedded in our community as we work to identify new opportunities for affordable housing in Shrewsbury.

Future housing projects in Shrewsbury should absolutely be judged on key criteria like 1) positive and sustainable town revenue generation, 2) appropriate proportions of 40B housing, 3) downstream impact / cost to support the project with physical infrastructure, fundamental town services, and sufficient parking.

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