Candidate profile: Tyler Macallister for Mattapoisett Select Board

Jul 20, 2021

MATTAPOISETT — Tyler Macallister is making another run for it.

The former Mattapoisett Select Board member is making another bid for his old seat in the town’s July 27 special election, after resigning from his position on the board in fall 2019 to pursue the then open Town Administrator role. He ran again for the Select Board in 2020, but was defeated by the late John DeCosta.

Macallister, a man of many ventures from managing solar arrays to commercial fishing to telecommunications, said his expertise in business helps qualify him to take back the position.

“Town is a business,” Macallister said. To boot, Macallister has a Master’s degree in business with a concentration in finance.

Macallister said his first term on the board was a “complete re-learn” of finance, noting the complexities of municipal finance like budget forecasts, state aid and a fiscal year that runs from July to June.

“Basically it’s a business, and the Selectmen are the ones elected by the town to execute the will of Town Meeting,” he said.

Much of Macallister’s platform relies on his financial knowledge. He said among the most important tasks of the town is keeping Mattapoisett’s AAA bond rating.

“We put a lot of work into that rating,” Macallister said, noting that it has saved the town “several hundred thousand” dollars in interest.

On affordable housing in town for the elderly and young families, Macallister said “there’s no quick fix — no easy answer,” but added that the solution “starts with zoning.”

He said there have been “great projects of density” in town, and that it’s the Select Board’s responsibility to hear out viable proposals for housing.

“That’s going to be up to us,” Macallister said.

Another pressing issue to Macallister is the funding and support of services and programming for the town’s aging population.

“That population is going to grow,” he said. “We have to keep a close eye on that and figure out how we’re going to fund that.”

Macallister said he’d like to see an expansion of the Mattapoisett Council on Aging shuttle service.

“That’s a very good service for those people who need rides,” he said.

Another measure that could benefit the Council on Aging, Macallister said, is the consolidation of Mattapoisett’s elementary schools.

He said that “through a transition process,” operations in Center School, where the Council on Aging is located, could be moved to Old Hammondtown.

“It would be a long process — three to five years,” Macallister said, noting that much of the transition could occur through the retirement of teachers.

Then, Macallister believes operations in Town Hall, which he said is “almost obsolete,” could be moved to Center School, fixing what he sees as a problem of disjointed town departments.

“When you think about going to Town Hall,” Macallister said, community members expect to be able to reach all town departments. With departments like the Council on Aging held in separate buildings, Mattapoisett’s departments are split across town.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to do all your business in one spot?” Macallister said.

Not to mention, consolidation may save the town a few bucks.

“If we consolidate into one building, that’s a lot of rent,” Macallister said.

As Macallister looks to continue what he started on the Select Board, he’s hopeful for the town’s future.

He said that as the Town comes out of covid, Mattapoisett is in a place “to make important and well thought out changes that benefit everybody.”