Southborough Candidate Statements – Planning Commission – Alan Belniak | SehndeWeb

Alan Belniak is running for a seat on the Southborough Planning Board. (Picture/submitted)

Please provide a brief biography of yourself. What should voters know about you?

I have a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from WPI and a technology-focused MBA from Babson College. My education and background are well suited for a position on the Planning Council. Throughout my career, I have developed these skills:

  • Ability to quickly understand and clarify issues
  • Ask probing questions to get to the real problem
  • Determine the best paths to find solutions
  • Identify resources needed to resolve issues
  • Use a creative thinking approach
  • Work collaboratively with cross-functional teams

I think I’ve also honed in on three key character traits that define a strong work ethic:

  • Integrity – I will uphold the commitment I have made and will make to my supporting community, past and present.
  • Fairness – I will listen to understand issues, act responsibly and execute collaboratively.
  • Optimism – I love this city and think it has a great future. I want to help move Southborough forward while retaining the character that many of us have chosen as our reason to live here.

Why are you running?

I will offer a new perspective to the Planning Council. I have yet to serve on any elected city council and I do not bring any preconceived ideas or approaches with me.

I use a common sense and practical approach when dealing with questions and problems, striving to find timely and fair solutions.

During my civil engineering career, I have worked with many municipal planning commissions. Through this work, I gained a solid working knowledge of the role and process of the Massachusetts City Planning Board.

What specific skills/experience/expertise would you bring to your role?

  • I have an undergraduate degree in civil and environmental engineering from WPI
  • I also earned an MBA with a focus on technology entrepreneurship from Babson College
  • I am a registered professional engineer
  • I led the authorship of the transport, transit and traffic chapter of the 2008 Southborough Master Plan
  • I served on the Southborough Extended Day Program Board of Directors
  • I’m currently vice-chair of the Southborough Economic Development Committee
  • In my years of experience in the private engineering sector, and even today, I have interfaced with numerous planning boards, zoning appeal boards, conservation commissions, etc.

What do you think are the three problems facing Southborough?

  • The need for common and inclusive places for people to meet and congregate and embrace the sense of our community
  • The ability to leverage the large Highway 9 Corridor and its current zoning to increase the non-residential tax base, thereby easing the financial burden on the citizens of Southborough
  • Increase diversity of housing sizes, types and forms to improve Southborough residents’ chances of “aging in place” – living in the same town longer, despite changes in income due to retirement or other circumstances

How do you plan to address the identified issues facing Southborough?

  • Collaborate openly and transparently with the city’s many councils and committees, soliciting the many voices, opinions, and viewpoints of experts to make these spaces a reality (e.g., the recently adopted Town Meeting article) .
  • Explore new ways to reshape and reposition Route 9 as an attractive place to do business in Southborough, while striving to retain the neighborhood characteristics of locations that are not part of Route 9 in Southborough.
  • Partner with others in town to see if there are options to smartly attract more businesses that can accommodate our community by rezoning to allow for harmonious land uses.
  • Review our zoning regulations to better understand existing and potential future options for residential and home lot sizes, setbacks, etc. to increase this diversity, providing more options for existing and new homeowners.
Previous postGordon R. Allen Jr., 78, of Shrewsbury
Next postSouthborough Candidate Statements – Planning Board – Debbie DeMuria

Leave a Comment