Vote John "JJ" McGrath for Selectman in Sharon MA - Vote Tuesday, May 20 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
I met with John "JJ" McGrath and his wife, Kathleen, for 2 hours on Sunday morning. I wanted to really understand why JJ is running for Selectman; what he stands for; what his experience is and what skills he has to be a Selectman for Sharon. What I discovered is what I hoped to hear from a candidate for Selectman.
JJ served for 29 years in the Sharon Police Department with successive promotions from Patrolman, Detective, Sergeant and Lieutenant before retiring as Deputy Chief of Police this past January.
Until this morning, I had a limited understanding of what it means to be a Police Officer. Today, I learned that it is a much broader role than I had previously understood.
JJ has not only been involved in the public safety issues as a police officer, but has also had the business management experiences that we associate with a senior executive in a corporation. He has been involved with strategic development and business planning, budgeting and human resource development. He has interacted with every department and committee in the town and frequently with the Board of Selectmen.
JJ has demonstrated his ability to find creative, non-traditional means of financing numerous purchases for much-needed police equipment. He was able to fund the purchase of a third police motorcycle through donations from the private sector at no cost to the police department's budget. He arranged a swap of antique, obsolete firearms in the police department's possession for new patrol rifles, ammunition, rifle racks for the police vehicles and training costs. No cost to the police budget, no cost to the tax payers. He also arranged to obtain office furniture, printers, laptops and various other office supplies at no cost to the police budget through a special program from Staples, Inc.
Long before the Columbine school shootings, JJ was part of the original School Safe Task Force. The Task Force developed the first school safety response program with a "flip chart" type guide book for teachers and staff to be able to quickly respond to any variety of disasters. As JJ's work on this Task Force became known in the community, he was asked by several local organizations to share these response plans and to evaluate their own plans.
JJ has been instrumental in numerous community initiatives both in an official capacity as a police officer and as an active citizen. He initiated PALS (Police At Lunch with Students) and Community Contacts (officers reaching out to civil groups and local businesses).
JJ understands how to develop and shape policies because he has done that as the Deputy Police Chief. As a Police Commander, he had experience in interviewing and hiring town employees and knows what is required to train and motivate employees so that they desire to increase their expertise and improve their performance. JJ believes the best qualified applicants should be hired for every town position and that performance standards and appraisal systems are critical. There's no room for "same old, same old" in JJ's thinking.
Like me, JJ is a native of Sharon. I know he cares passionately about this town. He's always demonstrated his commitment to this community from organizing clean up days at local parks with the Cub Scouts, to his participation in local events like Square Jam, the Veteran's Day program, 4th of July Road Race, Family Week Activities and much more. Throughout his service to our community he has made himself visible, available and approachable to all.
I'm voting for JJ because of his depth of experience in town government, his leadership of town employees, his knowledge of Sharon's past and present and his commitment to ensure that today's decisions consider plans for our town's future.
I hope you will consider voting for JJ, too!
Voting takes place on TUESDAY, MAY 20 at the Sharon High School gym from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m