Former Seekonk Selectman Michael Brady said he had to contemplate for some time whether he wanted to return to his old job because he does not believe people should spend too many years at a political post. What finally made him decide he needed to make a bid for a return was observing what he called disrespectful behavior by Board of Selectmen Chair Francis Cavaco at a meeting last month.
The meeting that Brady called "the final straw" involved a discussion about whether Public Works Superintendent Bob Lamoureux should get a new contract. What bothered Brady were Cavaco's comments directed at Lamoureux and former Selectwoman Carol Bragg.
"When you are in a position of authority, you need to balance that power with discretion," Brady said. "I don't like to see when people in power don't know how to balance that power."
He continued, "What [Cavaco] said at that meeting was inappropriate and seemed very personal."
Brady is one of four people who have pulled papers to run in the April election for Cavaco's seat. Cavaco has also pulled papers and returned them. Paul Buckley and Michael DelRosso are the other potential candidates. Those two, Brady and anybody else who pulls papers have until Feb. 11 to return them to Town Hall. Brady and Buckley told Patch they intend to run.
Brady served two terms on the board of selectmen from 2005 to 2011, and declined to run for a third term. He currently serves on the finance committee, but will step down during the campaign, which he said the town charter requires. Brady plans to return to the finance committee if he loses the selectmen race.
The former selectman said his frustration with the current board began in 2011 when it appointed two selectmen to the board of health, an example to Brady of local leaders extending their power too far.
In June 2012, former Selectman Bill Rice attempted to put an end to this perceived power grab by putting an article before town meeting that would prohibit selectmen from serving on other boards. It passed unanimously.
Selectman Bob McClintock did not resign from the board of health following town meeting's decision (Cavaco, the other selectman appointed to the board of health, had resigned earlier), as he waited for the attorney general to determine if the article was legal. The attorney general issued a decision in September that the article was not legal. Brady said that was not the point, and McClintock should have resigned anyhow because the residents had spoken.
"It seems some people on the board of selectmen have an agenda to do what they want, regardless of what the residents want," Brady said. "You're supposed to be there looking out for the public and not making decisions based on personal axes you have to grind."
He said there have been various decisions made by certain board members that have been based more on emotion and personal agendas than on benefitting the community.
"If you're happy with the way things are going, you can vote for Mr. Buckley or Mr. Cavaco," Brady said. "If you want the town to go in a different direction with somebody more respectful, more reserved and who makes decisions based on facts and evidence, not on personal agendas, then vote for me."