, Salem, MA

September 11, 2013

O'Brien: Wants to give back

Bethany Bray
The Salem News

---- — Note to readers: Sean O'Brien is one of three candidates running for Ward 4 city councilor in Salem. The Sept. 17 preliminary election will narrow the field to two.

SALEM — As an intern in Mayor Kim Driscoll’s office, Sean O’Brien saw firsthand the day-to-day demands of public office.

O’Brien said his main takeaway from the summer 2010 internship was the need for accountability. Citizens called the office with a myriad of issues, from the city swimming pool to potholes, all of which needed to be addressed.

“It’s up to you (in public office) to do the research, know what’s going on, know the issues and get back to people,” said O’Brien. “Citizens, not the politicians, are what drive the government. That’s what I learned firsthand from the mayor’s office. It’s up to elected officials to get back to people with solutions.”

O’Brien, a lifelong Salem resident, said he’s running to bring accountability to the office and to give back to his hometown. He graduated from Salem State last year with a degree in political science.

He ran unsuccessfully for School Committee in 2011, as a college senior.

“I’m really proud to be from Salem. ... I care about this community deeply and will do anything I can to make Salem a better place,” he said.

“I want to make sure there’s someone (on the council) that’s going to listen to the people, take people’s calls, do research, respond to questions and call them back. ... I believe everyone here in the city deserves the best quality of life possible. I just want to be able to give back to my community that has given me so much.”