Candidate for three-year term on the Southbridge Town Council
Southbridge Town Council candidate David Adams, 48, retired as a U.S. Marine in 2013 and is currently a part-time history and computer teacher at Trinity Catholic Academy in Southbridge. Mr. Adams is a self-described moderate Republican who successfully ran in June 2015 for a seat on the Southbridge Redevelopment Authority, a post he still holds. In December 2016, Mr. Adams was approached to sit on the Board of Health, a position he was appointed to by the Town Council in January 2017.
Mr. Adams feels the main issues in this town that he would like to address are identity, town perception, blighted property and holding those who own them accountable, bringing businesses back to the town, and helping veterans within the town.
The Citizen Chronicle: What prior experience do you have that makes you qualified to serve?
David Adams: I bring a unique perspective and experience to the table. Serving almost 26 years in the Marines Corps put me in contact with, and responsibility for the education and training of, different personalities from all walks of life. My largest unit consisted of approximately 1,200 Marines and sailors. I was responsible for ensuring the morale, welfare, and discipline of these individuals were always at the highest level regardless if they were in the States or in a combat environment. I was responsible for making some of the hardest decisions anyone could ever ask of someone. Most of these decisions were not acted on in haste but rather being able to gather the facts, listen and learn from others regardless their stance on the situation, and make a sound decision that was for the betterment of the individual and group. This leadership experience that I have gained has given me a better perspective than most by allowing me to concentrate, study, and calmly make decisions not based on what someone else says or what stance someone takes on an issue. It has given me leadership skills and confidence to know that it is not the one who thinks they are the smartest in the room but rather the one who studies, listens, and ask questions who becomes the most effective in the room.
Another area of experience is budgeting. I am not going to try and tell you I know how everything works in this town as far as budgeting, but I am learning as this process goes along. I am willing to listen and learn from those that have done this before but it does not preclude me from asking questions or questioning those whose job it is to provide sound answers. During my time in, I was responsible for a few budgets worth tens of millions of dollars’ [of equipment and goods]. I wasn’t handed the budget, but rather I had to plan, prioritize and then explain in detail why we needed it and where and what it would be used for. I was responsible for ensuring that I stayed within that budget unless unforeseen entities [such as natural disasters] changed that.
I have also have the privilege of sitting on two boards within the town, one voted in by the citizens of Southbridge, and one appointment by the Town Council. I have gained valuable insight and have been part of passed items that will be beneficial to this town. For example, the renovation which will start this year on the Central Street Parking and the push to hold those irresponsible individuals for their blighted properties. This has been a huge undertaking which takes time.
Lastly, I have the patience to learn. I have the leadership and managerial skills of thinking outside the box, I listen to new ideas, I think and lean forward, I’m willing to take a risk for the betterment of the town, and I am not a follower. I come in with no hidden agenda besides trying to turn this town into the potential it holds.
The Citizen Chronicle: What do you think makes a good Town Councilor?
David Adams: To be an excellent Town Councilor you better understand some decisions you make will upset some vocal few, and you have to be willing to sleep with decisions you make even when they are not the most popular. You have to give the citizens of Southbridge the dignity and respect that they deserve, act your age, and make sure you communicate with them. You have to listen to the issues at hand and be willing to work with others that may not see your point of view. You have to understand you will not change the world overnight but know those decisions you do make will be for the betterment of the town. You have to come prepared and sacrifice your time to understand the issues at hand. Be a leader, set the example, and whatever you do don’t be a follower.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the future of the fire station?
David Adams: Obviously, I am in support of the study on a new fire station. Those men and women deserve and rate a state of the art facility that allows them to properly train and prepare for the worst-case scenarios. These firefighters don’t ask for much, so it is our responsibility to treat them with utmost respect by providing them with a building they can be proud of, that gives them a sense of home while being away from their loved ones, and a place in which they are able to exercise and hone their skills. Fiscal responsibility is a factor when doing this study, but I don’t want it at the expense of those lives that volunteer to save ours.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the status of the public school district?
David Adams: I came to this town when, I guess, the education in the district was at its lowest. Since the state took over we have no real choice besides giving it time to work, which I hear is slowly improving. The only thing I ask is those that are currently at the top — receiver and the principals — please continue to dedicate yourselves to your schools, teachers, and students. You are the starting point, the managers, and the leaders which direct us in down the right path and we look to you for comfort in times of need and distress. Once we take our district back from the state, we have to continue to grow and hopefully we are already thinking of ways to do that. This great town of ours is continuing to change, so if we refuse to recognize that then all the advances that have been made in the district will be for not. Please don’t tell me how “we used to do it,” that hasn’t really worked.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the status of the landfill?
David Adams: Unfortunately, because I am still on the Board of Health, I cannot answer this question.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the hotly debated riverside park proposal?
David Adams: I am for the riverfront park and believe it was a step in the right direction for this walking town and I am sorry to see that the Town Councilors failed to let it work its way through to the end before the decision was made. This, I believe, would have been a great venture for a business owner and the town.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the reputation of the town and its leadership?
David Adams: My point of view on the reputation of the town and its leadership is that its dysfunctional and can’t get out of its own way. There seems to be a bitter split between the Town Council members, in some cases it has turned into some very humiliating and unprofessional scenes. I do not think for once that any councilor is up there purposely trying to do harm to the town, but unfortunately when you see and hear about these events it is quickly forgotten how much good is actually being done. I wish more people would attend the subcommittee meetings.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the future of Town Manager Ron San Angelo?
David Adams: At this point I want him to stay on, I have told him that personally. Stability and consistency is key right now for this town, and in order for us to continue to move forward we have to have a town manager who is dedicated to do as such, and I believe he has demonstrated that.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is Southbridge’s greatest asset?
David Adams: This town has so many assets, but I believe the biggest one is its people. Since moving here I have met so many remarkable individuals and groups of people who really do care about this town, even though I have met a few naysayers (slowly shrinking). There are so many giving people here who have dedicated their lives and have made it their mission to improve the quality of life of others. They have selflessly improved their corner of their world in order and it is only growing. I have been welcomed with open arms since moving here a few years back.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is Southbridge’s greatest problem?
David Adams: This is a tough question. The greatest problem, I would say, right now but is slowly improving, but succeeding, would be those individuals or businesses who own property but fail to ensure its cleanliness and maintenance. It’s not difficult to maintain the property but you have to be consistent and actually be responsible for it. I hope in the near future those property owners who have blighted property take an interest in the beautification of the town.
This week, The Citizen Chronicle will be publishing interviews with the current candidates for a seat on the Southbridge Town Council. This year there will be four seats on the general election ballot on June 12. There will be three three-year seats decided on by the voters, and one one-year seat to fill a vacancy made by the resignation of Wally MacKenzie.
Interviews with the current Town Council candidates will be published in transcript-form. The publication schedule is as follows:
- David Adams, candidate for three-year term — Wednesday, April 25
- Kristen Auclair, candidate for three-year term — Thursday, April 26
- Esteban Carrasco, Jr., candidate for one-year term — Tuesday, April 24
- Joseph Cotrona, candidate for three-year term — Thursday, May 10
- John Daniel, candidate for three-year term — Wednesday, April 25
- Jack Jovan, candidate for one-year term — Friday, April 27
- Scott Lazo, candidate for three-year term — Sunday, April 29
- Mike Marketti, candidate for three-year term — Thursday, April 26
- John Pulawski, candidate for one-year term — Friday, April 27
- David Smick, candidate for three-year term — Sunday, April 29