Southborough Candidate Statement – Select Board – Albena Phillipo


Southborough Candidate Statement – Select Board – Albena Phillipo
Albena Phillipo

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

My name is Albena (Bena) Phillipo, I am running for one of the two open Select Board seats.

I grew up in Southborough, went to school here. When I was a child, this town was mostly farms and open spaces. I went to college in Boston at New England School of Photography and did advertising photography in Boston and New York.

Moved to Northern California, managed an office in the Hazardous Waste industry for Rollins Environmental and cleaned up military bases all over the state. Lived in Silicon Valley working for different software companies, a small startup called Sun Microsystems, Farallon Computing and Netopia.

Moved back to Southborough in 1996, continued to work in the software industry as Director of Customer Service and Technical Support, built and supported many teams in Technical Sales, Technical Support and Customer Service, I worked with small startups and Fortune 500 companies. I left the industry in 2004 and started my own business as a Massage Therapist and Reiki Master.

Why are you running?

I grew up in Southborough, lived here most of my life, when I was child, this town was mostly farms and open spaces. As I grew up, so did Southborough. I have seen open spaces disappear, industry move in, and housing become unaffordable to the average person. It’s time we turn out focus back on its citizens and not growth and industry.

In regards to recent action regarding the St. Mark’s Street park and regional dispatch center, how should citizen voices be integrated prior to Town Meeting?

It seems to me that communication is a huge issue between boards and town residents. I don’t have a solution and have not heard one that sounds like it could solve this issue. But, I am willing to hear what others have to say and help facilitate a discussion towards building a framework that would be easy to setup and maintain.

What are the lessons learned from the St. Mark’s Street park project? If elected, how should the board use these lessons moving forward?

When the town executes a large project it needs to present the project at town meeting and ensure they get buy in from the citizens who are the legislature. There needs to be plenty of room for public comment and engagement, not only would this ensure public support it may prevent costly mistakes from being made as they could be discovered during the debate. We have democracy for a reason, the more minds involved in a decision the greater the chance that we fix the flaws early in the process.

What are the three biggest issues facing Southborough?

-Affordable housing is almost nonexistent for the average family, and there is only one subsidized housing development for seniors, Colonial Gardens, the units are all one bedroom very small and there is always a waiting list to get in.

-If we properly plan and execute the sale of water to Hopkinton, we can use this project to drive modernization of our water system at no additional cost. This allows us to continue to improve the service to our citizens while being a good neighbor.

-Managing our relationship with institutions like St. Marks and Fay in a way that makes sense for the town given the constraints we have to operate in. We should look into solutions that other communities have used with success.

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