Town Councilor Eamon McCarthy Earls plans to attend the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University in Virginia this fall.
FRANKLIN — After nearly three years on the Town Council, Eamon McCarthy Earls has resigned from his role as a town councilor.
“Drawing inspiration from my experiences helping to craft bylaws and policies for Franklin, in the examples set by some of our leading citizens who work in law, among them state Rep. Jeff Roy, School Committee member Judy Pond Pfeffer or former state Rep. James Vallee, I’m embarking on the process of becoming an attorney,” said Earls, 26, during Wednesday’s council meeting.
His resignation is effective Sept. 6, he said, as he plans to attend the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University in Virginia next month. He told the Daily News that time will tell which area of law he chooses to focus on, but said he’s interested in public policy and municipal law.
According to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 ranking of the nation’s best law schools, the Antonin Scalia Law School was ranked at No. 42 overall out of 198 schools, and fourth for part-time law programs.
Earls, who holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from UMass Amherst and a master’s in business administration, said he had hoped to attend a law school in Boston so that he could continue as a town councilor, but said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go to Virginia once he was accepted.
“Studying close to Washington, D.C., hundreds of miles away would prevent me from giving the full commitment (to the council that) this town deserves,” said Earls, a Franklin native, during Wednesday’s meeting. “We have so much to be proud of in our town — a strong local identity, entrepreneurs and committed citizens, rich history and a belief that thorough community effort we can ensure an even brighter future. So to all my fellow citizens, my fellow councilors and other colleagues in town governments and state organizations — it has been the greatest honor to serve for and with you, for which I will be forever grateful.”
In November 2017, Earls, then 23 and an editor at TechTarget, won a spot on the Franklin Town Council. He was re-elected last fall.
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Earls has also served as an associate member of the Franklin Historical Commission and helped organize the Town Museum in 2010. He also has a history program on Franklin TV.
The Franklin High School graduate has been active in his community since he was a pre-teen collecting bicycles for Bikes Not Bombs.
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Earls is also the author of five books — “Franklin: From Puritan Precinct to 21st Century ‘Edge City’”; “Wachusett: How Boston’s 19th-Century Quest for Water Changed Four Towns and a Way of Life”; “Twisted Sisters: How Four Superstorms Forever Changed the Northeast in 1954 & 1955”; “East Wind: War in the Pacific”; and “Kearns on the Double.”
“Kearns on the Double,’’ a historical-fiction mystery, was written while he was just a sophomore in high school. Earls said he hopes to write more novels in the future.
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“As a friend and a colleague, I’m excited for his next chapter,” said Councilor Matt Kelly during Wednesday night’s meeting. “Go for it, and seize the world, and come back and please be our town attorney when (Current Town Attorney) Mark (Cerel) feels like he doesn’t want to do it anymore.”
An election to fill the seat being vacated by Earls will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, at Franklin High School. Nomination papers for the special town election will be available on Sept. 21, with Oct. 14 being the last day to obtain those papers. Oct. 16 will be the last day to file those papers, Oct. 20 will be the last day to withdraw and Nov. 25 will be the last day to register to vote or change party affiliation.
Lauren Young writes about politics, social issues and covers the town of Franklin. Reach her at 774-804-1499 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @laurenatmilford.