NORTHBOROUGH – It’s been over a month since Tim McInerney began serving as town administrator.
“There are great people who work for this organization. It makes my job so much easier,” he said. The staff carry themselves with professionalism and are courteous and aware of democratic principles and the New England form of government. Those attributes are critical, he said.
Since he joined the town, McInerney has been introducing himself to the various Northborough boards and committees. He said the level of volunteerism in town was “impressive.”
“Going around and meeting the boards and committees has been amazing just because of the level of commitment,” McInerney said.
Meet Tim McInerney
McInerney grew up in Lowell. As a child, his father would watch City Council meetings on local cable.
“I grew up watching local cable with my father yelling at the TV about the manager and what he did or didn’t do, what City Council just said or the mayor just said,” he said. “I think he inspired me in a lot of ways to have a common sense approach to things and not to lie.”
Many of his family members have connections to government in some capacity. His father worked for the state and his sisters worked for a public university, the Internal Revenue Service, the department of public health and the department of public welfare.
McInerney received his degree in political science from Suffolk University and his master’s in public administration from the University of South Carolina. His education background is important as McInerney says it gave him the underpinnings for real life. McInerney did an internship for Sen. Ted Kennedy, which he called an “adventure.” He also worked with learning-disabled adults in London and went to Westminster College in Oxford.
While at the University of South Carolina, McInerney was a South Carolina fellow and was assigned to the house Ways and Means Committee. He also worked for Lexington County during which McInerney said he learned the “ins and outs” of management from the perspective of local government.
McInerney said he loved the fact that staff worked to run an organization, not thinking about profit, but thinking about how to minimize the impact to the people who paid the bill.
“I think that’s the motivation; that’s what inspires you to do the things that need to be done, but do them as efficiently as possible. That’s not always easy, and you can’t always do it. There are so many competing interests every day,” he said.
McInerney said he’s had some forays into the private sector.
He owned a Coldstone Creamery for a while in Seekonk. A large storm resulted in the store losing power and all of their product. The Coldstone never reopened, he said.
These different work experiences have helped McInerney become aware of where people may be at, be open and see situations from the whole proverbial field.
“I have these levels of governmental experience that has made me, I guess, the leader that I am today,” he said. “All of those practical learning experiences helped shape me, mold me.”
While McInerney has worked at many different levels of government, he said that one can make the most impact working at the local level.
He said the core philosophy is striving to be good stewards of the community’s money. “We want to provide transparency and provide good information so those people can make a good decision,” McInerney said. He said the community should go through a visioning process and formulate its core mission statement and values. The process may make it easier to make decisions about situations, such as the future of the White Cliffs mansion, when the community agrees to underpinning beliefs.
“That is not an easy thing to do, but it would be a good thing to do,” he said.