MARLBOROUGH – John Irish is about to begin his fifth term serving on the City Council.
He represents Ward 5, where he has lived most of his life. He knows his neighbors, and his neighbors know him – not just during election season, but every day.
“The amazing thing [about being on the council] is that you’re part of the community,” said Irish.
That point really hit home last October, when he attended the reopening of the Marlborough Public Library, which is in his ward. Irish served on the building committee.
“This is what we do as a community,” said Irish about the library.
Irish, who ran for re-election unopposed, will join a council with several new faces, along with a new mayor.
“It’s going to be different,” said Irish.
He added that he’s gotten along with the incoming mayor, J. Christian Dumais, and he hopes to have the same good working relationship as with outgoing Mayor Arthur Vigeant.
Irish showed “the long list” of roads and other infrastructure within Ward 5 that need attention. He would meet with Vigeant – often before or after meetings – to see what could be done.
The results – roads, such as Ash Street, that got attention.
“There’s so many ways to thank him [Vigeant],” he added. “He helped me become a successful city councilor.”
Development, office park vacancies and traffic will be among Irish’s top issues.
Several projects are underway along Lincoln Street – including Alta Marlborough and Armory on French Hill – to help revitalize that part of the city.
“That’s a big one,” said Irish.
He would like to work with the Marlborough Economic Development Corp. to help fill the vacancies at office parks along Route 20.
“You fill these up – that’s revenue coming in,” he said.
While Irish would like to get the west side fire station built, as well as renovate or rebuild Richer Elementary School, he knows it will be a “tough balancing act” to obtain the funds without risking the city’s AAA bond rating.
Whatever the challenges, Irish said he is looking forward to serving another term on the council.
“I want to thank the residents of Ward 5 for their vote of confidence,” he said. “I don’t take it for granted.”