Northborough “Select Board” name change approved by governor

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Northborough “Select Board” name change approved by governor
This sign in Town Hall marks the office of the Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator in Northborough. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – The Northborough Board of Selectmen has officially been changed to the Select Board. 

Northborough now joins other towns in the region, including Shrewsbury, Southborough, Westborough, Grafton and Hudson in pursuing the change. Voters approved an article for the name change during Town Meeting in 2023. 

Changing the name was one of the recommendations from the Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s final report to the board in 2022. In early 2023, Chair Mitch Cohen asked for the name change to be placed on one of the board’s agendas, noting past broad discussions about making the move to Select Board. 

Several board members voiced their support at the time for the change. 

“I think it’s time Northborough joins the 21st century and use a gender neutral term for a board that has all kind of people on it and might in the future have all kind of people on it,” said Kristen Wixted.

At that time, the board voted to place an article on the Town Meeting warrant. As the “Board of Selectmen” is in Northborough’s charter, changing the charter required the legislature to file and approve a bill and for the governor to sign it into law.

According to Cohen, Northborough’s legislative delegation of Sen. Robyn Kennedy and Reps. Meghan Kilcoyne and Kate Donaghue filed bills to begin the process of changing the board’s name. The House approved the bill on Feb. 1 followed by the Senate on Feb. 5 before Gov. Maura Healey signed it into law on Feb. 12. 

According to Cohen, the final step will be for the Select Board to vote to amend the bylaws with the changed name.

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