While we did not prevail tonight, I thank the voters of Portsmouth and congratulate the new members of the Water Board. I am honored to have participated in this election which set record turnout numbers. As a writer, I’ve learned that if you don’t collect a few rejection slips, you’re not aiming high enough when you send out stories. The work goes on, and you can be sure I’ll continue to pitch in wherever I can to help move Portsmouth forward.
This letter appeared in the Newport Daily News, June 6, 2018
As tax assessor, I will ensure taxpayers of transparency
Safe, clean water efficiently flowing to your tap is something you don't want to have to worry about, and I want to help make that happen. I'm running for tax assessor in the Portsmouth Water and Fire District board election on Wednesday, June 13.
This is a nonpartisan election for a largely technical administrative position, and I'd like to explain why I'm a good fit.
After doing doctoral work in communication theory and teaching at the college level for seven years, I moved to the private sector. In my 22-year career as project manager at a multinational firm, I ran multimillion-dollar software development efforts, negotiated contracts, reviewed technical documents, and worked with teams to analyze problems, generate the data to make decisions, and implement solutions. I would love to put this skill set to work to benefit the ratepayers of the Portsmouth Water and Fire District.
As a proud third-generation Portsmouth resident, I've tried to pitch in where I can. I currently serve
on the Portsmouth Conservation Commission and PSD Technology Committee, and I was an appointed member of the most recent Charter Review Committee.
I'm a freelance journalist, and for more than 10 years I've run a website, harddeadlines. com, providing news and commentary on local issues.
As a practiced communicator, I will always work to ensure transparency. My experience in business will help me be a good steward of both Portsmouth's precious resources and our tax dollars.
And as a parent and proud resident of Portsmouth, I will always be guided by what's right for our town.
I ask for your vote next Wednesday, June 13, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the district office, 1944 East Main Road.
John McDaid, Portsmouth
In 2016, I retired after a 22-year career at a management consulting firm in Boston, where I learned to solve problems, manage projects to time and budget constraints, and collaborate with teams to get things done. I want to put my skills to work for the Portsmouth Water and Fire District.
I love our town and want to give something back. I'm a third-generation resident of Island Park, where I live with Karen, my wife of 30 years, and our son, Jack, a senior at PHS. We own the cottage my grandparents bought in 1925, and we're amazed that they raised four kids here – sometimes it's a bit tight for just the three of us.
My mom, Dot Kirkwood, taught me the value of helping others. She was raised in the toughest economic times, the heart of the Depression. She often told me how she became expert at Whist so she could win china for my grandma down at Cashman's Amusement Park. But she wasn't just a card sharp; she went to nursing school, and worked her way up to supervisor at Newport Hospital, where she claimed to have mixed the first batch of penicillin. My dad was an Irish immigrant who worked long hours at any job he could find to bring his sister, brother, and parents over to America.
My parents worked hard so that I could attend college, and then graduate school at New York University, where I did doctoral work in media theory. I taught communications and writing in college for seven years. I led the team that created one of the first hypertext writing programs in the country at NYU, a program I coordinated for two years, giving me experience in educational administration. I've spoken at dozens of universities and conferences.
But as wonderful as it is to teach, I wanted opportunities to apply my skills beyond the classroom. So I moved to the corporate world, where I spent 22 years as a software developer, IT project manager, and then communication technology specialist for an international consulting firm. I've had experience running everything from small web teams to a million-dollar software development effort. I've worked with distributed teams under tight budgets and timeframes, which has given me a toolbox of skills in communication, coordination, and consensus building.
I've been doing what I can to help out our town and our state. For ten years now, I've run a local web site, harddeadlines.com, where I've provided news and commentary on Portsmouth issues. I'm an appointed member of the Portsmouth Conservation Commission, and for more than five years, have served on the Portsmouth School District Technology Committee.
Now that I'm retired, I want to take the next step in serving our town. My experience in business and education will help me analyze problems and make fact-based decisions. As a proven communicator, I will work to ensure the delivery of timely, accurate information from the District. And as a a parent and proud resident of Portsmouth, I will always be guided by what's right for our families and our town.
I hope sharing a little about my family, my life, and my values will help you decide what's best for you and your family on Election Day. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail or give me a call at (401) 264-0313. I thank you for your time and your consideration, and ask you for your vote on June 13th.
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Friends of John McDaid
65 Gormley Ave
Portsmouth, RI 02871
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