When you are talking with Councillor Brendan Crighton, you are talking with the next generation whose full effect will be felt when that generation is ultimately running this city.
Crighton, 28, is well educated, well spoken, well versed in the lingua franca of government and what’s best, he’s got this city on his mind. In more ways than he’d like to count, Lynn is what this young man’s present and future are all about.
“I love this city. I love its people. I understand its history and its place. I want to do what I can to make Lynn as good as it can be,” he said during a recent interview.
Crighton said he understood the city’s struggles, its strong points, as well as its weaknesses.
“Someday, I like to believe this city will have overcome all its difficulties. It is a great city with a long history. My ambition is to help the city achieve its dreams and I have promised to work hard to do this,” he added.
Crighton grew-up here. He graduated from Classical High School in 2001 where he captained the football team. He said of his Classical experience that it was great, top shelf, memorable and that he would not have traded his experience at Classical for anything.
“Even today, Classical has a solid feeling. You go inside the school and see what is available and what kids are reaching for and the professionalism and intelligence of the teachers – well – it is an experience all about opportunity,” he said.
Crighton went to Colby College, a fine old, small Ivy college in Waterville, Maine. He excelled there as he has excelled at everything else in his life.
After Colby, he earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Suffolk University.
Today, he is the chief of staff for State Senator Tommy McGee.
“My time with Tommy has been a powerful experience. I am grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to learn about government where the rubber meets the road. He isn’t just my boss. He is a friend whom I respect deeply,” he said.
Crighton is the Ward 5 councillor. He’s in his second term and he’s become a familiar presence all around this city during the past two years.
When Governor Deval Patrick recently toured North Shore Community College, Crighton was there representing Senator McGee but soaking in whatever was discussed and applying it to his matrix about this city and where it ought to be heading.
Lynn is all he has known for a lifetime – except for his years at Colby.
He feels comfortable here. He loves his family history here. He enjoys serving the people of this city and he has ambition to do more.
The Crightons have a long history in this city.
His father and his father’s father lived the lifetime Lynn experience. Before that, the family history has its roots in Ireland and he suspects, in England.
“My father has lived in the same zipcode for all his life,” Crighton joked. His father Kevin Crighton is a pharmacist.
Crighton has the look of a tall, fit young man sent down from central casting to play a role as a public official here. In other words, the kid is handsome and he’s smart. He’s the whole-package just you the way you’d want it if he were your son.
He’s got a winning smile and an easy way about people and like his boss in the senate, he has the gift of gab and an ability to make friends.
Crighton is impressive because he is not only the youngest member of the council but rather, because he has a vision of the city in the years to come. He understands nothing comes easily in a city of this size with competing constituencies, internecine political warfare and an older infrastructure and difficult commercial base.
His strength is his vision. His true strength is lending himself to achieving something real for the city.
The times have changed. Lynn needs to change with them.
Brendan Crighton is the new generation to which the torch ought to be passed.