Marlborough Candidate Statement – At-Large Councilor – Sean Navin


Marlborough Candidate Statement – At-Large Councilor – Sean Navin
Sean Navin

Tell us about yourself

I’m a lifelong Marlborough resident and a proud graduate of Marlborough Public Schools. My wife Jessica and I live on Bolton Street with our 2-year-old son, Giovanni. I currently serve as the Ward 6 Councilor – a position I have held since 2020.

My sisters and I were raised by two dedicated public servants who instilled in us the importance of community service. From childhood, we were taught the value and responsibility of public service and leaving your community better than you found it. These lessons led me to choose a career in government.

I first ran for City Council to serve my community and because I believe that local government is where you can make a true impact on people’s everyday lives. With 20 years of public sector experience, I work every day to make our government more responsive and responsible. I am proud of the progress we have made and am excited by our potential. I believe that Marlborough’s best days are ahead of us and that we succeed when we work together. I respectfully ask for your vote on November 7th.

What are the biggest issues facing the city? 

Since first elected, I have been a member of the Committee on Urban Affairs and Housing, which oversees zoning, special permits, and many of the economic development opportunities before the city. These critical issues impact the city as a whole in a variety of ways. This role has helped me focus on the issues that I am passionate about – issues that I believe make our city stronger and more sustainable: responsible economic development, infrastructure investment, helping our aging and vulnerable residents, supporting our schools, protecting our environment, and keeping property taxes reasonable. These are the concerns that I consistently hear direct from our residents. They are critical to address for both the near-term prosperity of our city and our decisions will shape Marlborough’s future for generations to come.

As a city councilor, how would you approach issues regarding traffic, public safety and speeding?

As a Ward Councilor, I have worked hard to provide consistent and reliable constituent services. The number one topic in the calls, texts, and emails I receive from residents is regarding traffic and speeding. I have worked diligently with our neighbors to develop solutions that help mitigate these issues.

The City of Marlborough has a Traffic Commission that works with the community to address traffic concerns across the city. During my time on the Council, I have partnered with the Commission to change several traffic patterns in order to reduce cut-throughs and speeding on small residential streets.

I am most proud of my effort, working with the Commission and the Mayor’s Office, to drive the changes at the intersection of Bolton and Reservoir Streets, in response to the speeding issues on the causeway across Fort Meadow, There is no one-step solution to making our roads safer, which can lead to the appearance of inaction, but I am dedicated to this effort and every change made leads us to overall improvement.

Do you think the city is on the right track in relation to residential and commercial development?

The community understands that economic growth is a vital part of our success and a way to keep property tax increases reasonable. However, many residents, including myself, are concerned that the rate and type of growth are not always in line with what is best for our city in the long run. There are concerns that the impacts on our roads, schools, and critical city services outweigh the proposed economic benefit.

I am in favor of responsible economic development policies. To me, this means creating a partnership between our city and the developers and business owners who want to invest here. In order for this to succeed, both sides need to benefit. This means supporting a project that benefits our residents first and incentivizes businesses to invest here. It also means rejecting proposals that would disproportionately benefit private industry at the expense of our city and its residents.

A series of zoning changes were vetoed by Mayor Arthur Vigeant earlier this year. Now, there are proposed changes in the Village District’s zoning. How would these changes improve the district? 

The original District created a series of incentives for developers to spur downtown development. I was not on the Council when this was done in 2014, but I believe that these incentives went too far and leave the city open to unintended consequences that could hinder the long-term viability of Main Street. This was evident when the development at the former Rowe Funeral Home recently came before the Council.

The proposed zoning amendment will provide guardrails to prohibit developers from constructing buildings over four stories, increase the number of parking spaces they must provide, and require mixed-use developments to get a Special Permit from the City Council. Some have said that these changes will hurt development downtown, however, the current zoning is not delivering on the anticipated benefits it hoped to achieve. I believe these proposed changes will still allow building to take place while protecting the downtown that we all hope to improve and revitalize.

Currently, there are several vacancies on Main Street, in addition to the vacant lot next to Welly’s. As a councilor, how would you support downtown revitalization?

Main Street in Marlborough has been continually improving over the past several years. Through the hard work of the City, MEDC, the Chamber, and most importantly, our local businesses, we are seeing a renewed interest in our downtown. That said, we have work to do to further support and encourage this growth. I believe the proposed zoning changes currently before the Council will help build reasonable mixed-use development downtown, without further impacting the limited parking and creating additional strain on our resources.

Additionally, the City and other stakeholders should continue to work with Main Street building owners to discover great tenants who can be a positive part of the fabric of our downtown for years to come. In my opinion, that is a variety of restaurants, cafes, retail shops, and businesses that will complement the investments already made by some of our successful Main Street anchors.

What skills and experience do you have to prepare you to be a member of the city council?

I am a proud graduate of Marlborough High School, I graduated from Stonehill College with a degree in Political Science and earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from UMass Boston.

My experience across government provides me with the skills and understanding to be an effective advocate for the residents of our community. Skills I have utilized in my past four years as the Ward 6 City Councilor.

Our city is at a turning point. We are about to go through a shift in leadership that we have not seen in over a decade. Many critical decisions about how the city will serve its residents will come before the Council in the coming term, and I am eager to continue playing a role and providing continuity through this change. As the parent of a young child who is only a few years away from entering our public school system, I bring a unique perspective and focus to the council to help make the best decisions for our community today, while ensuring that the next generation is set up for success in the future.

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