Saturday, March 25, 2017

Shawn George: Why I Am Running


My name is Shawn George and I am running for Town Councilor in Precinct 3 here in Bridgewater.

Please let me give you a little background on myself as well as the things I see as important topics and issues impacting our town.

I have been a resident of Bridgewater since 1998 and lived here from 1986-1989 while attending Bridgewater State University (College). Though not a lifelong resident of the town, I do have a pretty lengthy history in Bridgewater and am proud to call it home. My wife Ellen and I have very much appreciated raising our two daughters in this terrific community and look forward to our future here.

I currently serve of the Citizens Advisory Committee and have been active in other town activities in an unofficial capacity. Over the years, I have enjoyed everything that I have participated in here in town and want to take the opportunity to give more back to the residents of Bridgewater.

So I guess the natural question then would be why do I want to become a Town Councilor? First and foremost, I want to give back to a community that my family and I have benefited from immensely over the almost 20 years that we have been residents of Bridgewater. Local civic duty can have the biggest impact on a community and I hope to be a part of that positive impact.

More residents need to get involved in town positions, be it elected or appointed, and we cannot allow the status quo of a government that is “good enough” to be what leads us. We need to expect more from our elected officials and I pledge to bring a fresh perspective to the Town Council. As I was out gathering signatures, I could not help but notice how diverse (be it political, professional, cultural, etc.) the resident are in their backgrounds and how their involvement would benefit our town. I will be active in recruiting residents to become more involved and be part of changing Bridgewater’s future and will be a voice for all of the residents in Precinct 3 and across all of Bridgewater.

My focus will be on proactively addressing our town’s fiscal future. Many leaders have done a lot of great work improving our financial health over the years but we have some headwinds coming our way that should be met with a strength and leadership drive matched to the tasks at hand. The need to look at town service levels in relation to the accelerated residential growth over the last year and in future years is a critical path that must be taken to ensure the long-term viability of our town. A simple increase in real estate taxes may not produce the revenue needed to increase town services to appropriate levels and looking at today’s fiscal disciplines will help us craft what we will have to do in the future to sustain the level of services our residents deserve.

Another area of focus for Bridgewater will be the Mitchell School Project. As most know, we need to bring the school back online but what exactly needs to be done is still to be determined. The town and the BRRSD have worked well together getting us to a point where will are eligible for state assistance but now the ‘real work” starts. Making sure residents are well informed and involved in the process is a significant priority for me and ensuring the children of our town have a safe and appropriate learning environment is critical. I look forward to working with the elected members of the School Committee on this project.

Lastly, as the Town Councilor for Precinct 3 I will constantly seek the feedback from the residents of Precinct 3 to ensure the Town Council is focused on the “important stuff”. As Town Councilor, I will have an open ear and mind to the issues impacting the precinct ranging from the power issues along Walnut Street to other residential developments that may be proposed for our neighborhoods. I will look for the feedback and guidance of those who elected me to ensure resolutions are found and answers are gathered; that is a benefit of having a Town Councilor dedicated to the issues of our precinct.

In closing, I ask for two main things from each of you:

1. Be prepared for me to constantly ask for feedback from all of you. I will have my initial views on many things but gaining feedback from you will help me come to a final decision of what actions to take on issues that affect Bridgewater.

2. “Many Hands Make Light Work” as the saying goes so as I have the opportunity to meet with you please be receptive to the idea of becoming more involved with our town. More citizens’ involvement will be very beneficial to our community.

I look forward to meeting all of you in the upcoming weeks before the April 22nd Town Election and hope I can count on your vote.

Please be sure to "Like" Shawn George's campaign page on Facebook by clicking here.

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