Recently I was listening to a sports radio talk show, and the station was interviewing a college football coach. When asked what he liked best about his team, he responded, “My guys aren’t just interested in listening. They are committed to listening.” I found that to be an interesting distinction, and as I think about it, that’s one of the many things that I admire about Judy O’Connell. She is committed to listening first, thinking second, and speaking third, and we sure could use more people like that in public office.
In political campaigns, we often talk about how passionately someone will fight for constituents. That certainly is an important part of any elected position, and having worked closely with Judy, I have come to know her as a passionate and principled advocate, who has always been ready, willing and able to tackle a variety of constituent concerns. From advocating for specific roadway improvements, to addressing speeding and safety concerns, or from helping an individual student navigate educational alternatives, to explaining the tax abatement process, Judy has always been there for anyone that asks her for help.
What distinguishes Judy from many other public officials, however, is her commitment to listening. This enables her to size up a problem and formulate a plan of action which is not only responsive, but which actually accomplishes something. This commitment was on full display when she served as the Chairperson of the Yentile Farm Committee, balancing a variety of needs, interests and opinions and successfully leading the committee and the Town in a collective effort to bring one of our most successful capital improvement projects to fruition, on time and on budget.
On September 4th, please join me in voting for a person that knows that listening is more than simply waiting for her turn to speak. Please join me in voting for Judy O’Connell.
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