The Tri-Town looks back at 2022
From shake-ups in local politics to community events and town-wide changes, the Tri-Town saw it all in 2022, for better or for worse.
In August, students returned to classrooms with relaxed mask mandates and shortened quarantine guidelines, hopefully lessening the impact that Covid-19 will have in the classroom.
November’s state midterm elections saw longtime incumbent Rep. William Straus (D-Mattapoisett) take a 16th term in office as 10th Bristol Representative, beating out Republican challenger Jeffrey Swift.
Here are some other top stories from Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester:
Marion’s town government saw a new face this May as Carleton “Toby’’ Burr was elected the newest member of the Select Board, defeating opponent Dr. Ed Hoffer 524-397.
In October, Marion Town Administrator James McGrail was unanimously selected as Middleboro’s new Town Manager and left the position he had held in Marion since 2019.
Marion Finance Director Judy Mooney was named Interim Town Administrator, and the search is still on for a new full-time administrator.
The town received $1.6 million in grants from the Seaport Economic Council for the construction of a new harbormaster office, and the town saw $1,250,000 in state funding for a project to line Marion’s lagoons.
This summer, the Kittansett Club in Marion was the site of the 67th Senior Amateur Golf Championship, bringing in visitors from across the country.
In December, Lockheed Martin officially closed its doors in Marion, bringing an end to the company’s 82-year tenure in town.
This winter, Marion welcomed the holidays with the Marion Village Stroll, which saw revelers come out in droves to celebrate the season.
In August, the Tri-Town came together to support the Mattapoisett Boatyard, which burned to the ground in an accidental fire.
The waterfront blaze created billowing smoke that was visible for miles, and drew more than 100 firefighters to the scene.
The inferno was described by Mattapoisett Fire Rescue as “one of, if not the, largest fire(s) that our community has ever seen.”
“There’s never been a thought of getting out of this business,” said Kaiser. “Even with the fire hoses and the smoke and the chaos that was going on, I can say with 100% certainty that the thought never occurred to us.”
With tragedy also came community.
Mattapoisett saw the return of well known and well loved events.
In November, the town celebrated the 100th birthday of one of its oldest residents, Howard Tinkham.
Jordan Collyer will return to the Select Board for his seventh term after defeating challenger Don LaMarr 750-196 in May’s election.
“Well, we’re just going to pick up where we left off, which was yesterday,” he joked after his win.
Rochester said hello to Glenn Cannon, who took over as Town Administrator in March, when former Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar became Town Accountant.
Residents of Rochester also learned that one vote can make a big difference.
That was all that separated Select Board candidates Brad Morse and Adam Murphy, following a recount.
When the final vote was tallied, the incumbent Morse was re-elected by a single vote. The final result was 582 votes for Morse and 581 for Murphy.
Rochester also began a feasibility study into a possible new public safety complex that could house the town’s emergency departments.
Meanwhile, the town of Rochester signed its first agreement with a retail cannabis company.
Megan’s Organic Market, a marijuana retail company based in San Luis Obispo, California, plans to open its operation on an undeveloped lot in Rochester Crossroads, adjacent to Interstate 495 near the Wareham line.
Construction of the 208-unit Rochester Crossroads project is expected to begin in the spring of 2023, said developer Kenneth Steen of Steen Realty.
The Town of Rochester finished out the year with a tree lighting ceremony that brought residents in front of Town Hall for a Christmas carol sing-along.