Monday, September 19, 2011

Councilor At-Large 2011 - Clay Walsh continues it's Election series with a Councilor At-Large roundup. I asked each of the candidates 3 questions. Here is the response from Clay Walsh.  To see more on this series, please visit the Lynn, MA Councilor At-Large 2011 Series.

1. Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school? What on your resume or in your life experience makes you qualified for this office?

I was born in the old Lynn Hospital and grew up right here in Lynn.  I attended Our Lady of the Assumption and went to high school at St. Mary’s.  After receiving scholarships I went on to Endicott College and graduated with a degree in Graphic Design.  I like many others faced tough economy changes which put me in a position to change fields a couple of times.  I started out in the industry and moved on to hospitality where I managed restaurants including one on Martha’s Vineyard.  When my father, Bob Walsh, started a small heating oil business here in Lynn, I took on the role of running the office, as well as driving the oil trucks and delivering to residents in the community.

My adaptability in different economic conditions, work experience of overseeing the day to day operations of small business and dealing with the public is what I bring to the City Council.  It is also important to note that I grew up around the Lynn’s waterfront.  My family is well known for the ‘Walsh’s Deep Sea Fishing’ boats on Lynn’s waterfront. I have a lot of knowledge about boating, docks, use and access of the harbor, and the effects of the weather.  Since the city has an agenda to develop the waterfront, I believe that it is important for Lynn to have councilman, like myself, who grew up in that environment.

I also bring to the table my leadership skills with community involvement.  I serve as an officer in the Knights of Columbus and as a board member of The Friends of Lynn Woods.  I am an usher at St. Pius V parish and have taken on a role as a facilitator with their ARISE program.  I am an avid runner and participate in Lynn events including the Clock to the Rock, the St Pat’s Day, and the Lynn Woods races.  Those that know me, see that I volunteer as much as I can, for any community events, whether it is for Item Santa or local neighborhood cleanups.

2. Why are you running for Councilor At-Large?

I am running for Councilor At Large because I want help get Lynn moving forward again.  First, I believe it is important for the sitting council to work with the sitting mayor for any city to gets its wheels turning again.  As your Councilor At Large, I will work to improve the seemingly lack of communication that has occurred recently between the mayor’s office and the council.

Second, I believe it is time for new leadership.  The majority of our council is comprised of members who have held office for a long time now.  I believe that it is important that we elect someone younger, who has a vision and the passion to right some of the wrongs our city has made in its past.  As your new Councilor At Large, I work hard towards fulfilling my vision of a cleaner, more pro business city that is mindful of improving its infrastructure, crime rates and schools.

Last, I see our waterfront, a vital part of our future.  I don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel here.  Seaport Boston and Salem are two examples of successful developments along a waterfront area.  While Lynn’s future design (master plan) looks beautiful on paper, it is critical that Lynn has a councilor who will challenge the current plans so that we build something strong and lasting for our future.  There is no substitute for a candidate with experience on and around the water.

3. What do you see that is in most need of change? How will you change it?

Lynn’s perception is what is in need of the most change.  The problem cannot be solved from the bottom up.  It needs to start at the top with our mayor and city council and trickle down.  We can start by being more friendly and courteous to one another.  We as leadership cannot fold to the negatives that confront us and we all must lead by example.

Attitude is everything.  We need to believe in our city.  If we don’t’ believe in it, how the heck are we supposed to get others to believe in us.  This is not an overnight fix.  This is something we need to do together.  We must start to revisit our downtown.  We must start to revisit our parks.  We must start to participate more in community activities.

Even with 300 police officers, crime would still exist.  The police department has a great crime watch program that all of us could participate in.  The key here is community participation.  Crime will always exist, but if we start to work together, we become stronger in numbers.  The more community involvement we have, the more likely we are to reclaim the proud Lynn we used to be.

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