Seven months in, Mattapoisett Town Administrator looks towards town’s future
MATTAPOISETT — Town Administrator Michael Lorenco started in the position on March 16 — the day that schools closed for what would be the rest of the year, town buildings shut, and officials were preparing for what was to come with coronavirus.
Since then it “hasn’t been the easiest seven months, but the staff and Board [of Selectmen] has been supportive in tackling covid,” Lorenco said.
Through the circumstances, he looks to use his role to give back to the community.
“Being able to find ways to serve is rewarding,” Lorenco said.
When March 16 hit, he knew there was a lot of change coming.
Past that day, Town Hall was closed, the Council on Aging and Library was closed, and the town had to then focus on cutting its budget for the 2020 fiscal year in the face of predicted drops in state aid.
“We’re trying our best to make conservative decisions,” Lorenco said. “Hopefully we’ve done our best to respond to the town’s issues and concerns.”
Many of the people in the town are those who have known him since he was young.
Lorenco’s family moved to the town when he was in the first grade, so he went through the schooling system in the town and experienced life on the South Coast.
After his time at Bentley College, he worked for the Budget and Finance Manager in the business department of Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown. There, he worked under a former CFO for the city of Boston who piqued his interest in local politics.
Working in the nonprofit sector for seven years, “You always kind of want to give back,” he said.
Before he came to Mattapoisett, Lorenco was the Assistant Town Administrator and Finance Director in Eastham.
What helps him in his current position is familiarity with Mattapoisett.
The town was his home for a majority of his life, his father owns On The Go, his brother was a Mattapoisett police officer, and many of his relatives still live in the town.
“Coming back and seeing people that I haven't seen in a long time is special,” Lorenco said.
Helping those in the community through issues with covid has been a major part of his role now.
Mattapoisett was one of the first communities in the state that had its Town Hall doors open this year. Fielding questions from residents, hiring staff, and helping oversee projects like the Fire Station construction are many aspects of the job he works with on a daily basis. Not to mention handling over $30 million worth of the town’s budget.
And Lorenco is doing this in some unusual conditions. The Town Administrator said he has not had an in-person Board of Selectmen meeting since the start of his tenure, and there are still many town employees he hasn’t seen.
Despite the circumstances, he is already looking towards the future.
Some of his goals for the town include improving communications between the town and residents, creating a 10-year master plan to map out the town’s trajectory, seeing the Fire Station and bike path projects to their completions, and taking a hard look at the budget for the coming fiscal year to see where the town can save money.
“This role is not so much about me as it is about the town,” Lorenco said.
And waking up to go into Town Hall everyday, “I know my job is to give back to the community that’s given me so much.”