Write-In Candidate For Sharon Selectman Promises to Listen
Michael O'Shea joins incumbent Richard Powell in running for the office.
Michael O'Shea says he would bring "the ability to listen to everybody and to make an informed decision" to the Sharon Board of Selectmen.
O'Shea is running a write-in campaign for the three-year term on the board at Tuesday's annual town election. Incumbent Richard Powell is the lone selectman candidate on the ballot.
The Sharon High School polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
A Quincy Police sergeant and Sharon native, O'Shea says that "I've been telling my wife for a long time, 'I'm eventually going to run for something.'" He adds that "I've always been interested in the board of selectmen."
O'Shea says timing affected his decision to run a write-in campaign this spring.
He recently finished his Juris Doctorate at the Western New England University School of Law.
And this spring, Sharon selectmen implemented health insurance reform with the town unions.
O'Shea has concerns about "how it was enacted."
"I really feel that at some point, something had to change. I think the process in which it was done, it's imperialistic. It's paternalistic in ways. And it really doesn't take into consideration anybody else's individual issues," O'Shea says.
"These people all work for the town. For the most part, they give back to this town greatly in their performance and in their actions. You take our schools. They're always in the top 10 in the state.
"These people, they work for the town and also they live in town. Civil servant is not indentured servant. There's a difference. When these people work for you and do a good job, while they should be rewarded, they should also be included."
O'Shea also supports attracting businesses to Sharon.
"I think the Sharon Commons program was a great idea when it started. I realize it does affect a certain amount of our neighbors, especially down near Sharon Woods," O'Shea says.
"But, the bottom line is you can't rely on residential taxes to take care of the things that the town wants forever."
O'Shea says that "in the long term, we need to be ready for a lot of things."
"Nobody wants to talk about terrorism, because it's touchy," says O'Shea, who has served with the U.S. Coast Guard.
"The bottom line is there's a wealth of knowledge that terrorists are going to come after our schools and our children."
O'Shea says he'd like to see Sharon's police and fire departments receive more training to prepare for this.
"This town, we're right off the (Interstate) 95 corridor. We're far enough away from the big cities that our police department is rather small. But, they have to be ready and cognizant. And so do our citizens," O'Shea says.
Sharon officials also should be aware of projects in neighboring communities that could affect this town, O'Shea says.
Town officials should discuss these matters with their neighboring counterparts, he says.
"What can we do for you? What can you do for us?" O'Shea asks.