Easton resident Michael Maloney thinks he can make a huge impact right away.
After moving to town a year ago, the Plainville native said he's "fired up" about getting involved in town government - and not just with any board or committee. The 31-year-old is vying for a spot on Easton's Board of Selectmen.
"I feel I have a quite a bit of experience and I have no hesitation about being straightforward and telling people ‘Hey, I think I can make a difference right here,'" he said. "I think there are some mistakes being made and I think I can address them. I certainly don’t think I can fix them overnight. If anyone said that I think they’d be outright lying. But, I think I have the background and experience and know-how to implement some of these tactics."
Maloney, a criminal defense lawyer, joins a four person list of candidates vying for two Selectmen seats up for grabs in the April 24 Town Election.
Compared to the other candidates he is a fresh-faced newcomer. Incumbent Colleen Corona is defending the seat she has held since 2003 while has spent the last year on the board and the year before that on the Finance Committee. Challenger Patrick Goodman, a current Finance Committee member, has spent time on numerous town boards while living in town for over 50 years.
If there is a challenge ahead of him, though, Maloney says he is not the type of person to back down.
He regularly participates in "Ironman" Triathlons and long distance competitions. Maloney was engaged to his wife, Johnna during an "ultra marathon" through the Sahara Desert.
"If it wasn't a challenge, it wouldn't be worth it," he said.
The Maloneys moved to Easton last year from Providence. Prior to that, Maloney lived in Manhattan running a small marketing company. He is a graduate of Providence College and New England School of Law.
He runs a small law practice in Bristol County and is an elected member of the Bristol County Bar Advocate program, appointed member of the Board of Directors for the Bristol County Bar Association, and an appointed council member by the Massachusetts Bar Association.
His experience in local courts initiated his interest in running, he said.
"I’ve only been in town for a year, but I’ve been working for the county for a few years. I’m a trial attorney by trade and I run into fire department and police department personnel eight days a week," he said. "They are totally under-staffed. That was actually what spawned my interest in trying to get involved and trying to help the community."
Maloney said he hopes to help restore emergency personnel, which have been hit hard during the recession. Last year, the town cut two firefighter and two police officer positions, along with a slew of other town positions. A preliminary budget for FY2013 released by David Colton last month is calling for the restoration of two firefighters and one police officer.
Maloney said much of his concern lies with the Beacon Shovel Shop project. The process, he said, is draining the town's resources.
He said deadlines should be put in place.
"Hard and fast timetables have to be put on that," he said. "We’re certainly not going to sacrifice safety, but in this economy, allowing money to flow out of a town’s limited budget and resources every month, I want it to be done as safely and efficiently as possible, but I also want a timetable as to when it will be completed without sacrificing any of the safety.
"Reading between the lines right now, it seems like it keeps getting pushed back. They don’t really have their heels on the fire, so to speak, so it seems to be – there’s no fire underneath them to make sure it moves along and gets done."
Maloney said he agrees with a decision made by Easton Selectmen to oppose the South Coast Rail, but work with the state in a mitigating process.
"I wouldn’t use the term ‘inevitable’ at this point but I would certainly want to go in saying ‘hypothetically if this comes to fruition, then add sound proofing, safety, the whole nine yards," he said.
He is concerned with the town's traffic flow, as well. Particularly, Maloney is concerned with the intersection of route 138 and Elm Street.
"I can certainly appreciate the down economy but it’s one of those things when there’s an accident, then it’s not too expensive," he said. "Johnna and I plan on having a pretty good sized family. My sons and daughter will not be driving there when they’re 18 years old. I think that’s something that has to be addressed yesterday."
Maloney said he has spent time making door-to-door stops campaigning for his cause and handing out flyers.
"Johnna and I are looking forward to establishing long-term relationships with members of the community as we start our family," his flyers read.
'I’m pretty fired up," he said. "I've spoken to a number of individuals in the community. I grew up in Plainville - not that far away. I used to race Oliver Ames. I know the town. I know the area. I have a very large extended family. I’m not convinced that the issues are being addressed as financially responsible as they can be."
In the coming days, Easton Patch will feature each of the four selectmen candidates. Patch will also co-sponsor a debate on April 2 along with ECAT and the Easton Journal. If you have questions you would like to ask Mr. Maloney or any of the candidates, email Patrick.Maguire@Patch.com