Please provide a brief biographical background on yourself. What should voters know about you?
I’ve lived in Southborough for 28 years, and my son graduated from Algonquin. I am a tenured professor at Fitchburg State University (retired), and I also taught at Hunter College and New York University. My experience in Southborough government is: Chair of the Library Board of Trustees, and trustee for 11 years. Chair of the St. Mark’s Street Park Working Group, which resolved the difficult situation with the downtown area cooperatively, and came up with a plan that will make Southborough’s downtown greener and better looking. I also am a member of Southborough Youth Commission, which supports the important work of Youth and Family Services. I am also on the Southborough Public Accessibility Committee, which works to bring Southborough in to compliance with state and federal disability standards. I also was on the Board of Directors of a non-profit nursing home in Worcester for 6 years, where I chaired the Investment Committee managing a $12,000,000 endowment. I have a B.S. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.
Why are you running?
I think our self government can work in a fair and equitable way. I’d like to use the good will of residents to work transparently and in good faith to make sure all residents are heard, and decisions are made clearly and transparently. In particular, I would like to see better, more active communication from all town boards and departments to residents.
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?
I think it is the responsibility of town government/boards/committees to actively “push” information out to residents. Residents need to know what is being done, when it’s being done. As I chaired the St. Mark’s St. Park Working Group, we inherited a confused situation in January 22. .We tried to listen to what people wanted, and then to provide that in the design. The financial history of the site was confusing. Again, better communication from the start would have used resident input to arrive at a good solution and avoid so much stress for everyone. The regional dispatch center decision, similarly, requires input from residents, and that makes a better decision.
What are the lessons learned from the St. Mark’s Street park project? If elected, how should the board use these lessons moving forward?
If I am elected I will speak with all Departments, Boards and committees and ask them what they can do to get information to residents better. Right now the library, Recreation, the Senior Center and the Schools do a great job of pushing info out, via email and websites. I will focus on the DPW doing a monthly info email, and also the Select Board. Up until now, town government has relied on people going to websites to look things up. Many times people feel blindsided, because not many people go to department websites. I think good communication is the responsibility of the town government, and this will avoid a lot of problems.
What are the three biggest issues facing Southborough?
MWRA water supply through Southborough to Hopkinton
Park Central development, and the defense of neighborhoods
Re-assignment of grades K-8 to different school buildings