Richard Sheridan wants to set board back on track
ORANGE — Last year, Richard Sheridan stepped down as selectmen’s chairman because he thought the town was on the right track. The community development office was back in swing with a new director and a new town administrator was in place.
But after a year of being “on the other side of the table,” Sheridan is throwing his hat back in the ring.
“Over the last year, rather than seeing progress continue, I saw the town go a couple of steps forward and then three backwards,” he said
He has become increasingly concerned by the current board’s willingness to take on problems “they have no business or authority taking on.” He gives the example of a meeting in which board members listened to a disgruntled customer of Town Line Motors, who claimed the company owners violated forgery laws.
Sheridan said that selectmen damaged the reputation of Town Line Motors just by raising the subject in a public meeting. “We’re going into places we shouldn’t be going … the board should be putting more attention into running the board … instead of getting into other people’s business.” Sheridan said selectmen were “overextending their powers” as such issues are legal in nature and should be left to the courts.
Sheridan also has concerns selectmen have a tendency of “throwing money at the problem which doesn’t make the real problem better.” He said board members recently discussed hiring a facilities manager, but “our buildings didn’t get into the state they’re in now because we didn’t have a facilities manager … that’s just going to be another new employee” taxpayers have to pay for.
Sheridan served on the Planning Board for about 13 years. He also was involved in development of both of the town’s industrial parks. He has long advocated for decreasing the “number of hoops that businesses have to jump through” before they can become established in Orange to encourage economic development.
Sheridan, who will be 68 a few days after Monday’s election, is retired but still manages several rental properties, including seven mobile home lots. Before his retirement, Sheridan was a contractor, a real estate agent and a mechanic.
He graduated from Algonquin High School in Northborough. He has lived in Orange since 1970. Sheridan and his wife have three grown children and six grandchildren.