Please provide a brief biographical background on yourself. What should voters know about you?
I am a wife and mother, I have lived in Southborough for 22 years. Volunteering is very important to our Family, we are all very fortunate to live in such a wonderful Town. I have served Southborough continuously for the last 18 years including on the Select Board, Open Space Preservation Committee (OSPC), St. Marks Golf Course Master Plan Committee, Southborough Emergency Planning Committee (SEPC), Southborough Housing Opportunity Partnership Committee (SHOPC), Affordable Housing Trust Fund Committee (AHTFC), Capital Planning Committee, Neary School Building Committee, and the Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC).
I have served on the Mass Municipal Association (MMA) Board of Directors, Mass Select Board Association District 5 representing Worcester County, Local Governance Advisory Council appointed by the Governor.
Why are you running?
I want to continue to serve the Town but on a more process and focus driven Board. The Town will be facing some planning challenges in the coming years and my track record of bringing people together to work toward achieving a singular goal will greatly benefit the Planning Board and the Town in facing those challenges. In addition my knowledge of Southborough’s zoning bylaw and subdivision plan review, gained during the 12 years I served on the Southborough Open Space Preservation Commission, will enable me to immediately be a contributing Planning Board member
What are the three biggest issues facing the Southborough Planning Board?
MBTA communities, Enforcement, and Streamlining the permitting process
In 2021 a new section was added to the state’s Zoning Act that mandates the 175 communities who benefit from the MBTA to create a zoning district that allows multifamily housing by right. Southborough is one of the 175 communities. Southborough’s compliance with this mandate is under the jurisdiction of the Planning Board and as a member of the Board I will advocate for public outreach and collaboration with other Town entities to achieve a path to compliance that best serves the residents of Southborough.
Enforcement and Streamlining the permitting process – answered in next section
If elected, how would you address these issues?
MBTA Communities answered prior section.
Enforcement of the town’s zoning bylaws and the Planning Board’s conditions of approval have continually been a concern. The Town is bringing on a new Building Commissioner and one of their roles is Enforcement Officer making this a good time to address this long standing issue. As a Planning Board member, I will work with the Town Planner and the new Building Commissioner to establish more consistent enforcement.
The tax burden on residential taxpayers could be reduced by increasing the number of businesses, especially on Rte 9. The Planning Board could help with this endeavor by ensuring the permitting process is expeditious. Although the Board has no control over permitting delays due to incomplete applications or untimely filings, I will work with the Board to look for any redundancy in the process that can be eliminated to streamline the permitting process.