ABOUT MAYOR O'CONNELL
ABOUT SHAUNNA O'CONNELL
Shaunna is a Taunton native proudly raising her family in her hometown. She has been married to her husband, Ted, for 26 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. She grew up with her mom and two siblings, and the family received 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 a long-time incumbent. As State Rep, Shaunna 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 over local families, seniors., and veterans.
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, she created emergency funds 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, to improve roads, revitalize neighborhoods, and make downtown a destination.
Over the past four years, O’Connell moved operations back to City Hall, streamlined city departments for efficiency, increased the City’s bond rating to AA+, put an additional $17 million into road improvements, created economic development iniatives, 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.