But I urge my fellow voters in Southborough to vote next Monday, May 14 (not Tuesday, as is often the case for elections) to re-elect Bill Boland as a selectman for Southborough.
Why break my reluctance to publicly endorse a candidate? There are many reasons. Here are just a few:
- This election matters to you if you live in Southborough. Unlike the more distant state and federal governments, the selectmen determine when your potholes get filled…when the transfer station is open and how much it costs…how much your property taxes will go up (or down).
- We have a contest. For the last several elections, there hasn’t been a contested election for Southborough selectman. I can see why. Being a selectman is a thankless, hard, demanding full-time job — with no pay. People do it because they are committed to serving the town. Leave whatever you think of politicians for an angry call to a talk-radio show. These people work their asses off for you — and you probably don’t know who they are. (And if you do know them you probably think nothing of calling a selectman in the middle of the night for stray cat noises.) The least you can do if you live in Southborough is drive to the polls and vote for someone willing to give up substantial time in an effort to serve.
- This contest pits two very different points of view — with two massively different probable outcomes for the town — against each other. Both Boland and his challenger are from the core of Southborough townies who are involved in government. If you, like me, only have time to be at the periphery of town committees, Town Meeting and the like, over time you become used to seeing the same people over and over and over again. This is not a contest between new and old blood. (The lack of new blood is why, IMO, crucial reforms of town government failed at Town Meeting this year. As diverse as the points of view are among this governing elite, they all seem to agree that the kind of reforms the larger community in town would think reasonable for a complex operation like Southborough shouldn’t be implemented.)
One side — the challenger’s side — has signs up all over town saying his is “for the future.” But from listening to that candidate at meetings and Town Meeting, I am convinced he represents the past.
A misty past in which Southborough was a quiet suburb with few commuters, a past in which the fiscal challenges were smaller, a past in which diversity of opinion meant little. On the other side, Boland represents a less stident, more moderate view of what Southborough is and needs to become. I’ve seen Bill at work in hearings. I’ve presented reports to Bill as a committee member and I’ve talked to Bill in the hallways. Boland is not angry about what Southborough has become. Instead, Boland is willing to continue to give up his time — indeed, a big part of his life — to help Southborough.
Everything you need to know is here. Don’t have time to read it? I’ll net it for you. Boland answered the questions. His challenger didn’t.
Take it from me, you really want Bill Boland to win this election. So, vote to re-elect Bill Boland for Southborough selectman next Monday, May 14.