From the contentious topic of taxes to preserving Dedham's unique identity, Dedham Board of Selectmen Candidate Dennis Teehan has wide variety of issues he said he'd like to focus on if elected this April.
"I have a lot of ideas," said Teehan, who announced Friday that he has secured office space in Dedham Square for the duration of his campaign. "I think plans are difficult to promise to people because the reality is I'm only one cog in a larger democratic process, and I don't want to make promises I might not be able to keep."
A lifelong Dedham resident, Teehan is currently a board-certified physician in occupational medicine and primary care for several private practices in the Taunton-Raynham area, he said. He received a Master's degree in public health at Harvard University and was a Political Science major at Northeastern University.
Having previously served on the Dedham Youth Commission, Teehan said he's worked closely with other board members in town in the past.
Teehan held his campaign kickoff event last Sunday in Dedham Square, an event that welcomed the majority of the current Board of Selectmen members, as well as members of the Dedham School Committee and other local organizations.
"The best part was people I didn't even know were coming off the street, and that was really the highlight for me, personally,"said Teehan, who plans to announce other upcoming events in the coming weeks.
As for what he would focus on if elected, Teehan said he's planning on pursuing several ideas he's posted to his Facebook page, such as preserving social and cultural aspects of Dedham in future development, as well as focusing on efficient in the town's spending and getting the most back to residents with future developments. He said he also wants to focus on the opportunity for a new senior center.
"First and foremost, whatever future development comes down the road, we need to make sure that we're preserving the unique social and cultural elements of town," he said. "It's important to me that Dedham does not lose its identify and unique feel in whatever comes down the pike."
Moreover, the revitalization of East Dedham is of importance to him, as well.
"I'm a big proponent of whatever we can do for East Dedham," he said. "It's time. That neighborhood is ready to take off. And I predict that no matter what we do, no matter what's there, I think as a town we have all the things in place to facilitate the revitalization of that neighborhood."
Teehan said that he's certainly planning to approach the issue of taxes in town, as well, and would like to gather with other officials and residents to analyze the current tax situation before seeking a solution.
"Taxes are high," he said. "You need to be careful about how we approached this problem. I think we need to be more scientific. We really need to be sure we're not causing more problems long-term than we're solving."
Teehan will be running against fellow-candidate Dan O'Neil for Board of Selectmen in the April 12 election.