Waterman will not seek re-election, lends support to Hoffer

Jan 19, 2022

Marion select board member John Waterman will not be seeking re-election and is instead throwing his support behind Board of Health chair Edward Hoffer.

“I decided it’s time to move on,’’ Waterman said in an interview Wednesday, Jan. 19. “I feel like I want my life back.’’

He has been approached, he said, by many people who have been supportive of his efforts in town. He made the decision “not because I don’t feel appreciated.’’

But there are other things in life he would like to focus on. He said he wanted to make the announcement official, since many people in town are already speculating. 

Dr. Hoffer would make a good select board member, Waterman said. “He’s been great to work with,’’ he said. He praised Dr. Hoffer’s experience on the Board of Health and the Zoning Board of Appeals and described him as having “put in his dues.’’

Dr. Hoffer, 78, is a cardiologist. Although he gave up his clinical practice, he still works half-time at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Dr. Hoffer said he met a lot of people through his service on the  town boards. He also served on the Friends of the Marion Council on Aging and on the Cultural Council.

These experiences have “given me insight into other issues’ ‘facing residents. He praised Waterman’s work and said he would not be running if Waterman was seeking another term.

Dr. Hoffer cited several priorities should he be elected to the board.

The town, he said, needs “more age-appropriate housing.’’ 

There is no shortage of large, single-family homes, which is “terrific for raising kids.’’ But “It’s not so great if you’re older’’ and looking for something smaller and more affordable.

Many older residents want to stay in town, near friends, church and the overall community but “can no longer afford [their] huge house.’’

He described that sentiment as a “dominant comment’’ in a survey several years ago of people 55 and older in town.

He shares concerns of residents about Tabor Academy and what he called its “parasitic relationship’’ with the town. The academy uses the town’s public safety resources and does not offer much to residents, he said. 

“I’d like to see Tabor do more,’’ he said. “They give very little back.’’ He wants the relationship to be “two-way, rather than one way.’’

He also supports bringing “appropriate commercial development’’ to the village area and to Route 6. He said Route 6 should have more of a community feel and should not resemble a speedway.

“When it’s the main road to the Cape, you understand why people want to go quickly, but it’s not,’’ he said.

He want to cut expenses of the harbormaster, calling the need for three full-time, year-round people as “overkill.’’ In the summer, the need may be there, he said, but he questioned the need for so much staff off-season.

He said he is inspired to make a difference.

“I love Marion, I expect to die in Marion. I have the time to give to the town. I really love being actively involved.’’

He shares the philosophy he said he raised his sons with: “If you don’t like things, step up.’’