Thomas J. O'Brien
Plymouth County Treasurer Thomas J. O'Brien was unanimously appointed as Treasurer in August, 2006 and was overwhelmingly reelected to the position in November, 2008. During his tenure, Tom has created hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue for Plymouth County, established new procedures for accountability, and worked toward regionalization efforts designed to help local municipalities. Recently, Tom earned his CMMT designation from the Massachusetts Collectors and Treasurers Association.
As Chairman of the Plymouth County Retirement Association, Tom has worked closely with his Board to preserve, protect, and invest the assets of the fund for more than 9,000 members and 3,300 retirees. Under his leadership and direction, the fund outperformed the state retirement fund four of the last five years and is on track to outperform again in 2013. During each year of his tenure, Tom and the Board have adopted cost of living adjustments for retirees. Additionally, Tom worked with the Board to successfully broker a compromise with member units regarding the FY11 assessments which resulted in a decrease in the assessments for most members for FY12. Tom and the Board also host numerous seminars and meetings with local working groups in an effort to keep them up to date on various financial and legislative developments.
As Treasurer for the Mayflower Municipal Health Group, Tom has worked with the Advisory Board, the Steering Committee, and the Finance Committee to create a strong, fiscally secure joint purchase group which provides health insurance for more than 9,800 subscribers and over 18,000 members which processes more than $100 million in claims annually. As a result of his leadership, the Group has maintained a relatively substantial reserve fund which has been used to subsidize rates each of the last three years, reducing the cost of health care for both employers and employees. Tom also attends and presents at numerous meeting of the various insurance advisory committees and has been instrumental in adding new member units to the joint purchase group.
Tom previously served as the State Representative from the 12th Plymouth District, which includes the towns of Duxbury, Halifax, Kingston, Middleborough, Plymouth, and Plympton. Elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1996, he served on a number of Committees including the Joint Committees on Healthcare Financing, Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, and Municipalities and Regional Government. He also served on several caucuses within the House of Representatives, including the Elder Caucus, the Children's Caucus, the Southeastern Massachusetts Legislators' Caucus, the Coastal Caucus, and the Boating Caucus. During his tenure in the House of Representatives, Tom maintained a perfect voting record and cast more than 3,500 consecutive votes.
Tom was named Legislator of the Year by the Massachusetts Town Clerk's Association in both 2000 and 2003, named "Environmental Hero" by the South Shore Recycling Cooperative in 2000, named Legislator of the Year by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Arthritis Foundation for 2002, bestowed the Library Advocacy Award from the Massachusetts Library Association in 2002, and the Legislative Leadership Award from the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association in 2003.
Tom was a chief sponsor and major proponent of the teacher retirement legislation, which was passed in the 2000 legislative session, and was a vocal advocate for full-time kindergarten and early childhood education programs. He was a sponsor of legislation that encouraged smaller class sizes here in the Commonwealth, and was a frequent guest at many school classes and functions across the district.
During his tenure on Beacon Hill, Tom was the lead sponsor of legislation for a new Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, legislation relative to the safe placement of newborns, also known as the Safe Havens Bill, legislation to protect employees who report abuse of disabled persons, legislation to improve the voting process for unenrolled voters, and legislation to guarantee 73% reimbursement to Halifax, Kingston, and Plympton for school projects built or completed as a result of the departure by Pembroke from the Silver Lake Regional School District. Tom also successfully passed a bill which provides for an income tax reduction for certain retirement contributions. In 2006, Tom passed legislation to provide tax incentives for the motion picture industry to film in Massachusetts. This legislation has attracted numerous filmmakers to our state and has provided a significant boost to the Massachusetts economy.
Before his election to the House of Representatives, Tom served as Vice-Chairman of the Kingston School Committee. He is an Eagle Scout and continues to remain active in the Boy Scouts of America. Tom is a charter member of the Kingston / Duxbury Kiwanis Club, a member of the Kingston Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus, and continues to be an active participant in many events sponsored by local civic groups and organizations.
Tom also served as a financial services representative for a Fortune 100 company advising clients about improving their financial situation and future. Before his election to the state legislature, Tom worked as a Senior Litigation Assistant at the Boston firm of Goodwin, Proctor and served as a consultant for a number of businesses on the South Shore. Tom holds a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and lives in Kingston with his wife Kristina.