Name: Sharon Birchall
Address: 8 McKinley Ave.
Occupation: Business development officer, Metro Credit Union
Education: Lawrence High School, Northern Essex Community College
Personal: Widow, daughter Kelly, sons Charles and Scott, grandson Gianni; Chairperson, Lawrence Municipal Airport; Board member, YMCA; Board member, Greater Lawrence Community Action Council; past president, Exchange Club
Why should people vote for you?
I’m a new voice with fresh ideas and no ties to any current city employee or official. I’ve spent many years in the finance field and feel I have the experience and ability to contribute to our community in a fiscally responsible manner and a positive influence for needed change.
What’s the biggest issue facing the city? Why?
We need a fresh look at how we can creatively reduce expenditures without impacting the quality of life issues that affect our residence. Examples such as exploring outsourcing in appropriate areas and looking at new growth potential and helping that growth be realized will help reduce the current trend.
What specific aspect of city government will you work to improve?
I would like to focus on making government access and communication better for my constituents. Being a voice for concerned citizens is an important issue for me. We all have the need to be heard and feel our concerns and issues are being addressed in a positive and respectful manner.
Which, if any, city services should be privatized? Why or why not?
Consolidation and privatization in certain areas of government make sense. Legal services and IT are two departments that are good examples that could work if implemented appropriately. Consolidating city and school IT Departments could also be an area of substantial savings.
How would you rate the current council’s performance? How would you improve it?
Being an elected official is always a difficult position. I feel this council has done a respectable job and has made every effort to vote their conscience for the betterment of Methuen.