Neil believes it’s imperative we elect people who understand budgets, personnel management, problem solving, goal setting, and long-term strategic planning. These are the skills he brings to the table; these are the skills he’ll use to get Methuen back on track.
Neil’s committed to building a new process – an inclusive, multi-year, and fact-based financial planning and budgeting process. He’ll stop pitting one essential city service against another and he won’t make critical decisions without all the facts.
He is uniquely qualified to meet the current needs of the city. Neil earned a Master of Business Administration Degree (with a concentration in Accounting) from Southern New Hampshire University, and he’s served as an adjunct professor of accounting at Northern Essex Community College. At Raytheon, Neil serves as Director of Supply Chain Operations and Business Transformation. His team includes over 10,000 suppliers across the globe, and his responsibilities include successfully negotiating and managing multi-billion-dollar contracts.
Neil will work to restore Methuen’s financial strength, to re-establish the community’s trust and confidence in city government, and to build a five-year plan based on community input and our shared priorities.
As Mayor, Neil will:
▪ Conduct a top to bottom review of spending. As a businessman who’s accustomed to managing multi-million-dollar budgets, Neil is uniquely qualified to objectively review Methuen’s budget from top to bottom. Neil will work with every municipal department to evaluate their priorities and current resources. He will look for waste throughout city government and explore every opportunity to increase efficiency, all the while establishing systemic training that will enable all City employees to use facts and data to identify and be rewarded for process improvement and waste reduction. And, when Neil proposes new spending or contracting to the City Council, he will provide a comprehensive financial impact analysis that fully explains the proposal to the Council and to the public.
▪ Establish a Revenue and Budget Task Force. Neil is deeply committed to ending the annual cycle of budgets which pit one essential service against another and force decisions to be made with little time for community input and frequently without all the facts. Neil will establish a Revenue and Budget Task Force comprised of city officials and private citizens to develop a multi-year revenue and spending plan for the city. Working with the Task Force, Neil will reach out to the community to share information and to solicit input about current obligations and long-term priorities. Neil’s goal is to establish a transparent process that will allow Methuen to adopt a five-year plan built on facts and embraced by the community. Neil’s vision for Methuen: Driving Accountability in Financial Management and Planning
▪ Actively engage with all the City’s unions to negotiate collective bargaining agreements and health care benefits that balance the needs of our workforce with the community’s ability to fulfill those obligations. Former president Harry Truman was famous for the expression “The Buck Stop Here” … Neil shares that sense of obligation and intends to live it every day as Mayor. While the City’s new CAFO brings important new skills to the executive branch of our city government, we’re electing a Mayor who must be fully engaged in all fundamental management and leadership functions. Whether it’s a budget, a collective bargaining agreement, a service contract, a health benefit, or a pension promise, Neil will be at the table and will accept responsibility for the results.
▪ Work with the School Administration to improve communication, cooperation, and coordination between municipal government and the school department regarding budgeting, accounting procedures, and financial reporting. Like most Methuen residents, Neil is deeply disappointed – even angry – that our school department accumulated a multi-million-dollar deficit before anyone in city government became aware of the problem. While he respects the independence of the school department, he’s committed to working with school department officials and the new Chief Administration and Financial Officer (CAFO) to implement a fully transparent accounting and reporting system that will prevent future deficit spending and facilitate cooperation, communication, and coordination.
▪ Propose an annual budget based on facts… no gimmicks… no politics. Neil works in an environment where budgets are balanced based on facts and that’s exactly the practice that he intends to bring to our City Hall. He will propose budgets that are fully transparent to the public, consistent with his long-term revenue and budget plan, and sensitive to the limits of Methuen taxpayers. Neil is listening to the residents and understands the desire for quality services that don’t break the bank.
▪ Immediately engage the leaders and members of the Methuen Police Superior Officers’ Union to negotiate a fair, affordable, and transparent long-term contract. Neil has negotiated multi-million-dollar contracts throughout much of his professional career at Raytheon. He knows how to read contracts and he fully understands what they cost when he signs one. Neil knows that it’s his responsibility to end this contract dispute and that’s exactly what he’s going to do.