ROBERT J. O’BRIEN
CANDIDATE FOR HARTWICK TOWN SUPERVISOR
EDUCATION: Graduate New Hartford Central School, Naval Technical Training Center, Meridian Miss.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Navy, Retail Store Mgmt., 911 Dispatcher, Asst. Emergency Services Coordinator, Director of E-911
COMMUNITY/POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT: Active member of the Hartwick Fire Dept. Co. #1 & Emergency Squad. Currently serving in the capacity of Fire Chief. Chair of the Hartwick Field Days Committee, Active observer & participant in Town Board meetings.
FAMILY: My amazing wife Elizabeth and our two girls Abigail (6) and Hannah (3). In September of 2014, we were blessed when our identical triplets, Noah, Hunter & Lucas were born.
IN TWO OR THREE SENTENCES, EXPLAIN YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT:
I strongly believe in the text of Abraham Lincolns Gettysburg Address ; Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. Our elected leaders at all levels of government are there for one reason and one reason only. To represent the people. Every decision that comes down, every conversation that is had, every idea that is discussed, should have our best interests at heart. What is best for our Community.
WHAT ARE THE THREE MAJOR ISSUES THE HARTWICK TOWN BOARD FACES, AND HOW WOULD YOU ADDRESS THEM?
The major issues faced by our current Board in my eyes, are promoting economic development, planning for the future (Zoning? Evaluating Emergency Services etc.) and engaging our Community to be more involved in the direction of our Town. All of these issues can be addressed We come together as a board and as a Community and discuss where we are at now, where we are headed and where we want to be. We need to assess all Town Departments. Make sure that we are providing them with the guidance and resources to accomplish their goals effectively, efficiently and with as little impact on the wallets of our Community as possible. We need to stop pointing fingers and passing blame. Identify the issues, put together a plan and execute. All of this needs to be done, with the best interests of our Town at heart.
WHAT QUALITIES/EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE THAT MAKES YOU THE BETTER CHOICE IN THIS RACE:
I am a proven leader. I have the ability to motivate folks to work together towards a common goal. Our current Town Board is divided and does not work together as a unit. They need a strong leader to bring all members to the table and to tap into each board members special skills and knowledge so that we are always making forward progress and representing our taxpayers in the manner in which they expect and deserve. I hold people accountable for their actions or lack their of. We need a strong leader who is not afraid to say no and is able to bring our Community together to have the tough discussions about where our Town is headed.
IS THERE A STATEMENT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH VOTERS?
Transparency and Obligation. Words that seem to be thrown around quite a bit during this campaign season. I take these two words very seriously and strongly believe that without transparency and without the sense of obligation, there is no point. Our Town Board, your elected leaders, need to take these two words seriously. You need a Board that does not vote down a motion to account for Town employees time. You need a Board that shares information freely as opposed to denying access to information. You need a Board, that takes their fiscal responsibilities seriously and doesn’t wait until the Towns around us have already held public hearings on their budgets before we even begin to talk about ours. You need a Board that isn’t afraid to have tough discussions for fear that they may upset somebody. “Just because we have always done it that way, doesn’t mean we ever did it right or that we cant do better”. We are a Town filled with folks that are so intelligent and so talented. We need to bring these folks together and map out our future.