O'Connell serves as Metro Council Member from District 19 where he resides. He received a bachelor's degree from Brown University. His professional experience includes working as a software developer at Rustici Software. Other experience includes serving as president of the Salemtown Neighbors Neighborhood Association, board member of the Nashville MTA and member of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. He was a co-host of a public affairs radio program from 2005 to 2010.