“The law belongs to you, and unless you own it, someone is going to run away with it,” he said. “And, people in Danvers, I want to help them to continue to know that this Danvers belongs to you, this government belongs to you.”
Mills said he was at a recent Finance Committee hearing on the school budget and noticed tension between young families with children who favor more school spending and older residents who are also footing the bill for the schools. Both groups, he said, want students to succeed but may have different ideas of how to get there.
Mills said he wants to be careful about how the town spends on education.
Also, the cost of government nowadays “is astronomical to people who may be on Social Security, who may be on a fixed income, a modest retirement income.” Mills said he also understands the needs of government and wants “to try and listen carefully to try and let everyone in that mix know that their interests are being heard and respected.”
Growing up, he attended the former Tapley School and Richmond Junior High, then went on to St. John’s Prep and Boston College. He still visits his 99-year-old sixth-grade teacher, Ethel (Mack) Lee.
In 1965, his father, Frank, ran for moderator and held that post for 23 years.
Mills gets choked up when he thinks about the “private tutorial” his father gave to each of his five children with a three-day trip to Washington, D.C., when they were juniors in high school. There, father and son saw the sites, monuments and the Smithsonian, and it was from this trip that Mills gained an understanding of what government means to him.
When he was accepted at Boston College Law School, he was ambivalent about a career as a lawyer.