Meet the Candidates: Dan Donovan, Patricia St. Pierre and Andrew Shanahan

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Dan Donovan and Andrew Shanahan
North Attleboro - Plainville Rotary Club is seeking out this year's Rotary Club distinguished Service Awards Recipients

max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

North Attleborough’s Town Election takes place on Tuesday, April 4, with polls at the high school open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. All nine seats on the Town Council are on the ballot and 13 candidates are running for them. In this article, you’ll meet three of the candidates.

NOTE: Patricia St. Pierre did not submit a profile photo

 

Dan Donovan-Candidate for Town Council

Please list any experience on other boards, committees or organizations.

I have been a member of the following boards and committees: RTM; Historical Commission; Bylaw Subcommittee; Charter Review Committee; Board of Public Works and Rules Subcommittee. I’m currently on Town Council.

Why are you running for this position? 

I want to continue representing the residents of North Attleborough on Town Council.

If elected, what issues would you like to focus on? 

Economic development, facilities maintenance and increasing resident interest/involvement in town government.

What sets you apart from other candidates? 

I think it’s my commitment to town government. After RTM was dissolved, I was a candidate for the first Town Council but I did not get on. I did not go away, and instead stayed involved in town government. I learned more about how it works, built relationships with many people, and continued working for the residents. I have not missed a single meeting since becoming a councilor. Town Council requires a lot of time, not just at the meetings, but in subcommittees and in preparation.

What are some areas that the town has improved upon and what, in your opinion, remains to be done?

The town’s financial stability has greatly improved since the passage of the Prop. 2 ½ override. Its credit rating is high, so borrowing costs are lower. Now we need to build on that by attracting more businesses to North Attleborough to increase revenue.

Being part of a board requires one to be a team player. Does your background lend you to working well in this environment? 

Absolutely. Whether it was as one of 165 RTM members or one of nine town councilors, I’ve always had to work with others in order to accomplish anything. One vote by itself does nothing. It’s only working as a group that things can get done.

Patricia St. Pierre—Candidate for Town Council

 What experience do you bring?

  • Head Start Policy Council, Taunton
  • President of the Policy council for the State of Massachusetts
  • PTA, North Attleborough, Tri County
  • Adult event planner North Bowl.
  • Managing coordinator for Neurology Center of New England

 Why are you running for this position? 

I’m running for Town Council because I want to be a part of the changes as we move forward. I think it is important that we all take our civic duty seriously and that we do what we can for our community.

I have some experience with sitting on boards and taking part in a group dynamic. I hope that experience can help me be a good candidate for the Town Council. Our town is growing and we need to be prepared for those challenges. I’m excited to hopefully be a part of it.

If elected, what issues would you like to focus on? 

The issues I would like to focus on is infrastructure for our town. Our roads and bridges are a mess. People I have talked to are less concerned about beautifying the center of town and are more worried about the roads that lead to their homes. Not to say there aren’t issues with the center of town. We can all see that the trees that were planted a long time ago. Have done considerable damage to outside walks, I know those issues need to be addressed. But I’m skeptical that the tune of $3-5 million dollars is the answer.

What sets you apart from other candidates?   

I hope what sets me apart is that I’m a fresh face with more questions than answers. I want to do what is best for our town in a way that allows the people of this town to have a say in what happens. It is, after all, all of our taxpayer money that funds the bulk of these projects.

What are some areas that the town has improved upon and what, in your opinion, remains to be done?

Some of the areas the town has improved on, is of course the section of the Ten Mile River that has been rejuvenated. But it still falls short of what needs to be done. Putting a new roof on one of the schools is also work in the right direction, along with making improvements to Community School. Looking at upgrading the fire station is long overdue. We just need to make sure we continue to spend the towns money wisely.

Being part of a board requires one to be a team player. Does your background lend you to working well in this environment? 

Am I team player? Yes, I work for a private neurology office in Foxboro where I am the office coordinator. I work with the staff, the providers and the pharmaceutical reps. I hope that I help the office team work like a well-oiled machine. But being a team player does not mean that I am at all sitting on the sidelines. I am always looking to make thing better for our office and its employees. I want to bring those skills to my town and helps us work smarter not harder to make our town something that we can all be proud of.

Andrew Shanahan—Candidate for Town Council

Please list any experience on other boards, committees or organizations.

Town Council, Bylaw Subcommittee and Planning Board

Why are you running for this position?

After years of stagnation, the town is finally moving in the right direction over the past several years. I think the current council has been instrumental in that and I want that momentum to continue. We have big decisions to make in the next two years and I think I can help the town through the upcoming challenges.

If elected, what issues would you like to focus on?

Economic development has become the cliche answer, but with good reason. We need to increase our tax base to pay for the upcoming expenditures that have been thrust upon us, and no one wants to see another override. Therefore, we need to widen the tax base through economic development. We have a solid strategy that we need to be diligent in implementing.

What sets you apart from other candidates?

I would say I understand the challenges ahead and understand how past poor planning has gotten us in this position. We don’t have the option to put our head in the sand. No one is excited to have this many expenses hitting all at once but that is what happens when people look short term for decades. We own many buildings that need constant investment. Things don’t get less expensive if you ignore them. We need councilors that can look at the big picture and focus on growing this community so we can remain a desirable place to live. 

What are some areas that the town has improved upon and what, in your opinion, remains to be done?

Our government works well together. We have assessed the full picture and come up with a strategy to handle the challenges inherent in a achieving our goals near and long term. We have invested in our kids and our seniors while making the overall community stronger, more fiscally sound by investing in our future by leveraging federal and state funds. We now need to stick to the plan and continue to invest in our town without further tax increases.

Being part of a board requires one to be a team player. Does your background lend you to working well in this environment?

I have proven that I am a team player over my previous terms on the council. I know the current council and the Town Manager have managed to get a lot done and that is because we share a common vision for the town. However, when I have concerns about the specific paths taken, I do not hesitate to make my concerns known in a professional way that makes for constructive conversations, without grandstanding. I think that is respected and appreciated.