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SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – In an announcement that no doubt stunned many, in and out of the political realm, Worcester Town Manager Michael O’Brien submitted his resignation to Mayor Joseph Petty, effective on January 5th, 2014. Mr. O’Brien will be moving to the private sector, where he will joining the Executive Management team at the Winn Companies, a national real estate management and development firm.
O’Brien has been at the helm in Worcester through some pivotal times, from the tragic fire that claimed the live of Jon Davies, to the inner city blight that came with the real estate crash of a few years ago, to the dynamic revitalization that has spread up Shrewsbury Street and into town center, and Main South. He has endured the same budget shortfalls as we have, and helped Shrewsbury time and again, being open to things such as regionalization of services.
“It is hard to put my feelings into words,” he said. “Life is precious and short. We are reminded of that every day. I want to live life to it’s fullest. Serving the City Council, and the citizens of Worcester, has been the opportunity of a lifetime, and this next chapter of my career is also an opportunity of a lifetime. I strongly feel that I am leaving at a good time in our city’s history – where we have hit a positive stride. It has been a heck of a run and I am a much better person, with an improved soul, for having served this city and it’s citizens. I love you all (well, there are a select few that I only “like.”
I have had the opportunity to get to know many of our regions, leaders, but Mr. O’Brien I know only from reputation. He has had to make some tough choices – many of which were unpopular – as all leaders do, but I have always heard only good things…that he was fair and balanced, and honest as can be. Hopefully, his next adventure will prove to be that opportunity of a lifetime he talks about, and I wish him all the best in his next journey.