Monday, September 19, 2011

Councilor At-Large 2011 - Dan Cahill continues it's Election series with a Councilor At-Large roundup. I asked each of the candidates 3 questions. Here is the response from Dan Cahill.  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?
Though I grew up in Lynn for the majority of my childhood and entire adult life, I actually lived in Stoneham, Massachusetts for my first seven years.  My parents, both born and raised in Lynn, moved to that community following my father's military career.  It was not long before my parents decided to move back to Lynn, to be closer to family and provide me and my two older brothers a more diverse community in which to learn and grow in.  I grew up on the beach in Lynn, one of the most amazing environments for a young person.  I attended the Brickett Elementary school before going on to graduate from Eastern Junior High (now Thurgood Marshall Middle School), and Lynn English High School in 1997.  My secondary education includes a BS in Political Science from Northeastern University, a Masters in Political Science from Suffolk University, and a law degree from Suffolk Law.

My academic background in political science studies, as well as my law degree, may appear to be the strongest qualifying factors for my candidacy.  However, I feel my personal experiences working with people and within government has produced a skill set well suited for elected office.  Working at my parents' small business from a young age and well into my adult life, I was able to sharped communication skills by dealing with a vast array of different personalities and issues.  My mother was responsible to getting me involved early in political campaigns throughout Lynn, holding my first sign on a street corner for Robert Dugas, candidate for Ward 2 Councilor in the early 1990's.  Since then, I have involved myself on many campaigns at all levels, worked at the Massachusetts State House, the Essex County District Attorney's Office, and currently work as an attorney focusing on public policy and government relations at municipal, state, and federal levels.

Along with my two terms on the Lynn City Council, I also served two terms on the Lynn School Committee, and currently serve on two school committees for two regional high schools, both gubernatorial appointments.  I have a firm grasp on government at all levels and continue to stay involved in many different capacities, all producing the necessary experience to best serve the residents of Lynn.

2. Why are you running for Councilor At-Large?
I derive a tremendous amount of enjoyment being your Councilor-at-Large.  The events I experience and the people I meet, make this position a rewarding adventure.  It is the desire to help residents, fix problems, and improve our community that drives me each day to do my best.  I continue running for Councilor-at-Large because in this capacity I can utilize my knowledge, experience, and skill in a manner that positively impacts the lives of Lynners.

That being said, I also see a need for strong leaders in Lynn that can do what is right instead of what is convenient.  I have the best interest of the City when making decisions, not the best interest of one particular group or person.   We need to make practical decisions for our City's future and stop continuing to miss opportunities for the padding of someones ego or personal gain.  Be rest assured, when a resident is left scratching their head after an errant decision made by our City, I am scratching my head as well and will go the extra mile to question that decision and hold those accountable for the choices made.   

3. What do you see that is in most need of change? How will you change it?
I am not quite sure if we can point to any one specific issue that needs changing in Lynn without affecting or addressing a multitude of other topics.  At the macro level, the three biggest challenges we face as a community are public safety, economic development, and quality public education.  Aside from these core issues, I believe what also needs improvement is the  public perception outside our four corners.  Lynn offers quality amenities that people look for in a community.  We are fortunate to have beautiful beaches, expansive woods, clean ponds and streams, a municipal golf course, access to public transportation, and a diverse community with worldly experiences.  Changing Lynn's perception as a gritty old mill city starts with making wise improvements that residents can be proud of.  In an effort to promote Lynn, I personally utilize its amenities and often do so with people from neighboring communities, leaving them with a positive perception of the City.  The most effective way to change Lynn for the better, is to do so from within, utilizing its strengths and embracing its weaknesses. 

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