Candidate profile: Joe Zora
Joe Zora is running to be a Marion Selectman because he doesn’t “want what I had as a kid to go away.”
He grew up in Marion and graduated from Old Rochester Regional High School, so he knows the town well. After attending Wentworth Institute of Technology, he served in the Navy for four years, spent most of his career working for Sippican Corporation as an electrical engineer (now Lockheed Martin) and retired two years ago.
With his technical skills, he has insight into many problems that Marion faces today.
Zora believes that with the sewer project, the town “could have made a deal a long time ago” to resolve the problem. He said the lagoon connection, the town’s overdue project to revitalize its wastewater treatment plant, would require digging up land from Tabor Academy to Route Six in Wareham and cost $35 million to dig it up by his research. He said when the sewer project started, it was valued at $2.4 million.
The perceived mismanagement plays into his issues with the way the town runs its finances.
He pointed out Town Meeting expenses now cost millions of dollars in approvals instead of hundreds of thousands and thinks there are “too many special interests with no love for the town” on its board.
To help improve Marion’s financials, Zora said it should own the entire sewer system, keep plans simple for changing the configuration of Route Six and be wary of letting a 40B apartment complex start construction in town without having the proper sewer infrastructure in place. He also believes there is no concern in town for residents on fixed income.
He’s passionate about his issues, and believes that the town is not transparent enough to give more people the chance to be involved in local government to solve them.
Zora said that he doesn’t like the current open meeting law and wants to give residents more time to speak before Selectmen at meetings. He would also look to find a better way to schedule municipal meetings because he said, “it isn’t like it used to be.”
With two daughters, one of which lives next door, and four grandchildren in Marion, he cares a lot about the place he grew up in.
A fisherman, a home mechanic and gardener, Zora is expressing his right as an American citizen, veteran and taxpayer to run for public office.