I am deeply honored to take the oath to faithfully serve as your Mayor. I first want to thank my loving, patient, and understanding family. Ted, Ashton, Riley, and my whole family always stand by my side and are always there to support me. Their love lifts me up, and I am truly blessed.
Thank you to the wonderful people of Taunton. Today we commence on a new beginning for our beloved city. We are taking this journey together because we see possibilities, not obstacles.
I know that change can be challenging. But without change we remain stagnant, and we have the mandate from the people to move forward. We all know that Taunton is too great for small dreams.
So I stand before you today as your Mayor, ready to roll up my sleeves and go to work for you to bring in this new era for our city where the possibilities are endless.
As a mother, I know how important it is that we invest our time in Taunton’s tomorrow so that our children have better opportunities. We want to keep our families together and see the next generation of Tauntonians prosper.
We create this future while honoring those who have helped build our city. They deserve to enjoy their golden years here. I will be the helping hand they need at City Hall.
We know that our city is facing many longstanding challenges. Dealing with pressing issues, such as waste disposal and water, will require a thoughtful and decisive approach that serves the people in the best manner possible.
We will not put off issues and let them simmer on the back burner, costing taxpayers additional dollars. Like true Tauntonians, we will tackle them together, head-on.
For Taunton to be a leading city in Commonwealth, we must work together on a strategic plan that unites us as one and ensures City Hall is a consumer-friendly resource that will allow the revitalization of our neighborhoods and make downtown a destination. We will be a partner and not a barrier.
I’m committed to growing, while preserving the character and traditions we all love and hold dear.
One vital component for building a beacon city is public safety. It is not only our basic job, but most important one. Reinvigorating our neighborhoods cannot happen if our streets are not safe. I will faithfully support our police and first responders who care deeply about our community and put their lives on the line to serve and protect us.
This will not be an easy journey, but it is one we must take together.
The voters have clearly spoken that they want a new, positive vision and they want our elected officials to put people ahead of politics, working in cooperation for the greater good and best interest of our city.
I will be reaching out to our citizens, our dedicated city employees, and our elected officials to seek their input and to build a united consensus for achieving results. Ideas all the across the board will be welcome, and my door will always be open.
I know that by working in cooperation, we can achieve our shared goal of building a strong and better Taunton, a community of opportunity for all.
We have the positive vision. Now let’s go implement it together. Thank you for this incredible opportunity to serve you.
God bless, and I wish you all the best for the New Year.
Shaunna is a Taunton native proudly raising her family in her hometown. She has been married to her husband, Ted, for 24 years, and their greatest joy is raising their two children, Ashton and Riley. The family is honored and proud their daughter Ashton is attending West Point Military Academy.
Nothing has ever been handed to Shaunna. Her parents divorced at an early age. Her family ended up on housing assistance to make ends meet. Shaunna worked two jobs to earn enough money to put herself through college. Upon graduation from college, O’Connell immediately became self-employed as a professional freelance court reporter and worked in many different areas of the legal system for 15 years.
In 2010 Shaunna ran for the Massachusetts House of Representatives and successfully defeated an 18-year incumbent. As State Representative, she distinguished herself as a hardworking and determined leader and fiscal watchdog for the people she represents.
As a legislator, Shaunna was a leader in fighting for welfare reforms. Due to her persistence, the Commonwealth has saved millions of dollars in stopping fraud. She also led the fight for transparency within the MBTA pension fund and stopping illegal immigrants from getting state housing assistance.
Shaunna is a strong advocate for the veterans and passed legislation helping to honor their memory.
With a passion for serving the community she loves, Shaunna ran for Mayor and was elected by a wide margin in 2019. Within three months of taking office in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Shaunna and her team worked on multiple fronts to keep the community safe and combat COVID-19. To assist individuals, non-profits, and local businesses impacted by the shutdown of the state, emergency funds were created to help families keep food on the table and businesses keep their doors open. Her team created the COVID-19 Hotline, re-vamped the city website to include the most current COVID-19 information, provided COVID-19 testing and vaccines, and engaged the community.
Determined to move forward and keep promises, O’Connell worked to implement a strategic plan to reshape City hall to a more consumer friendly resource, improve roads, revitalize neighborhoods, and make downtown a destination.
Over the past two years, O’Connell moved operations back to City Hall, streamlined city departments for efficiency, put an additional $4 million into road improvements, moved forward Charter revisions, provided seniors with tax relief, created a fund to begin the process for a new public safety facility, re-established the Taunton Redevelopment Authority, began construction on the airport administration building, and started implementation of fully online permitting.
Shaunna is grateful for the hard work of city employees and the support of the community, and looks forward to the opportunity and progress the future brings.
City of Taunton: http://www.taunton-ma.gov/Pages/index
Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce: http://www.tauntonareachamber.org/
Downtown Taunton Foundation: http://www.downtowntaunton.org/
Old Colony History Museum: http://www.oldcolonyhistorymuseum.org/
Disabled American Veterans Ch. 57: http://www.davma57.org/
Taunton Area Vietnam Veterans Assoc: http://www.tauntonareavietnamvets.com/
Senior Citizens: http://www.mass.gov/portal/home-family-veterans/senior-citizens/
Voting Information: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/
US Government for Kids: https://kids.usa.gov/
US History for Kids: http://www.historyforkids.net/american-history.html
Bristol County Sherrif's Office: http://www.bcso-ma.us/index.htm
Bristol County District Attorney: http://bristolda.com/
Paid For By The Committee To Re-elect Shaunna O'Connell
56 Worcester St, Taunton, MA 02780