Councilor Kenneth Shea
Kenneth Shea (Ward 6)
First Elected: 2011
Committees: Economic Development, Chair; REO; Finance;
Education: AIC (B.A.), Western New England (J.D.)
Work: Attorney in private solo practice
Prior Public Service: Springfield School Committee 1986-2009 (est)
Other Elections: Springfield City Council 1983, general (l).
Political Distinctions: Democrat, but no known memberships.
Poll of last contested election: City Council Ward 6 2011 general:
Note: Uncontested Race Included for Reference.
Biomass Repeal: N/A
Police Oversight Board: N/A
For Mayor’s FY2013 Budget: Yes
For Mayor’s FY 2014 Budget: Absent
Tightening Residency Ordinance Waivers: Yes
Pawn Shop regulations: Yes
Tagged stories here.
Shea was unopposed in the 2013 election.
Political Note: It is impossible not to wonder if Ken Shea was recruited to run for the Ward 6 seat for the sole purpose of knocking off Amaad Rivera who had assumed the seat after it was vacated in early 2011. A longtime school committeeman and a member of the bar, Shea could muster the money and name-recognition to counter the technical incumbent. Of course Rivera sought an at-large seat and nobody bothered to run against Shea at all, leaving him to take the seat unopposed. To some extent, Shea has not been on the Council long enough to get a read. If there is one thing that has become apparent, it is that Shea knows that his term is not four years like it was on the School Committee. Despite fears to the contrary, he has displayed some antipathy toward biomass, likely knowing that supporting the plant would be inviting a strong challenge in 2013. More to the point, the Forest Park Civic Association, a powerful organization in Ward 6, voted to oppose the plant. Incurring their wrath could be, for somebody like Shea anyway, like throwing reelection away. At most meetings, based on his public comments, Shea does appear engaged and, most critically, prepared. It is difficult to compare his commitment and effectiveness to his School Committee tenure as the Council and Committee have wildly different powers and places in city government. Shea seems canny enough to know that neither universal deference to the other branches of government (or powers behind the thrones) nor substandard performance at meetings will serve him well with his constituents. After all, the Ward he represents is also a reservoir of potentially strong political rivals. Instead, with one term under his belt, Shea has evolved to be among the councilors most prepared to challenge or at least question assumptions coming out of the executive branch.