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Union head challenging Stevens for mayor; Officer Hogan sees lack of leadership.

Byline: Elaine Thompson

MARLBORO - The police union president who backed the candidacy of Mayor Nancy E. Stevens now plans to try to unseat her this fall.

Patrick Hogan, 38, in a news release this week, said he is "compelled to run due to the current lack of leadership and mismanagement of tax dollars."

"There is no leadership. She hasn't done anything ... There's just arrogance that comes from her office and her inner circle. I just want to take Marlboro back to the city I grew up in," Mr. Hogan said in a telephone interview yesterday.

A lifelong city resident, Mr. Hogan graduated from Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in 1986. He has been a police officer since 1996. For the past 3-1/2 years, Mr. Hogan has served as president of the Marlboro Police Patrol Officers Association and was its vice president four years before that. This would be his first run for public office.

Mrs. Stevens announced last month her plans to run for a second term. The married mother of two served on the School Committee and City Council before she unseated former Mayor Dennis C. Hunt in November 2005. In a telephone interview from her office yesterday, the mayor said she is proud of her accomplishments during the past 18 months.

"Things don't happen overnight. But if you look back over the last 18 months, I think people will agree a lot has happened," Mrs. Stevens said. "I'm absolutely proud to serve this community. I love this job. I'm committed to this job and I want to continue to do the best job I can for the city."

One of the first things the mayor did was to reorganize the legal department, including the hiring of an assistant solicitor, to help deal with a bevy of legal issues. She also had the state do an assessment of how the local government could operate more efficiently.

Mrs. Stevens has traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby for federal and state funding to help with millions of dollars of upgrades required at the two wastewater treatment plants. One plant is already beyond capacity. Mrs. Stevens said the upgrades, which had been pushed aside for eight years, are sorely needed for the city to continue attracting business. She also cited the approval of a $10 million capital improvements package, the first in two years; and her fiscal 2008 budget with an increase of 3.9 percent, the lowest since fiscal 2002 when 42 employees were laid off. She said with the cooperation of employees, the city overhauled the design of its health care plan for the first time in 18 years.

Mr. Hogan said the city's contention that there is a $4 million deficit in the health insurance program is one of the main reasons he is running. City unions maintain the deficit is less than $1 million. An arbitrator's decision on the matter is expected next week, he said.

Mr. Hogan also maintains that the fact that he is married to a Brazilian woman and has learned to speak Portuguese has given him a better understanding and cooperation with the immigrant population. He wants to revitalize the downtown and French Hill areas of the city.

"My administration will work closely with immigrant leaders to facilitate compliance with local laws and rapid assimilation. Education and tolerance, along with proper enforcement, are the keys to co-existence and quality of life," he said.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jun 14, 2007
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