Ferrante wants ‘more time to get things done’

Photo by Rossana Ferrante

Rossana Ferrante aims to keep the status quo as a member of the Recreation and Parks Commission. On the heels of her inaugural year, she is seeking reelection to keep working on her long-term initiatives. A west coast native, Ferrante earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She came to Massachusetts to study law at Suffolk University, and 28 years later has never looked back. She has spent the past 12 years settling in with her family as a Marblehead resident, with her only daughter currently a student-athlete freshman at the high school.

A licensed attorney, Ferrante manages an engineering firm focused on telecommunications, fiber, and electric-vehicle infrastructure development. She explained how her background has been beneficial to her role on the Recreation and Parks Commission.

“Having a legal background is helpful in driving a thoughtful and methodical decision-making process,” Ferrante said. “In law school, you are trained to take into consideration all the facts and be able to see both sides. We are often faced with many financial and operational decisions that involve multiple interests.”

She said that the current board worked well as a group this past year, as they challenged each other to collaborate to make difficult decisions.

Ferrante listed the top-five areas she wants the commission to focus on in the coming year. The first was managing the budget with the goals of minimizing expenses and maximizing revenue. She proposed a few ideas that would contribute to doing so.

“For example, we may want to consider an increase in certain fees such as the Dev (Devereux) Beach parking fee for non-residents,” Ferrante said. “I also support finding alternative funding opportunities through grants or fundraising initiatives. Finally, finding ways to operate more efficiently can decrease costs.”

At the League of Women Voters Candidates Night, Ferrante acknowledged that budget obstacles are common in virtually every workplace and said she has experience dealing with them at her place of work as well.

“The money isn’t going to come out of the sky,” Ferrante said. “I think it’s part of our jobs, that’s what we owe the community and we need to be creative and figure it out.”

Another noteworthy focus area of Ferrante’s is the usage of the Larz J. Anderson Trust. Anderson passed away in 2003, and in 2016 the Recreation and Parks Commission was notified that the late hockey enthusiast left them $2 million to contribute to Marblehead winter sports. Ferrante wants to finally figure out the best way to use the funds.

“We need to propose the highest and best use of trust funds, consistent with the intent of the fund and available town property, for the maximum benefit to the overall community,” Ferrante said in her candidate statement.

The logical assumption is that Anderson wished the funds to be used to create a modern sports-complex in Marblehead, however logistical uncertainties such as location and future maintenance have stopped that project from becoming a reality thus far.

When it comes to the departure of long-time Recreation and Parks Chair Derek Norcross, Ferrante is confident the commission will not face any setbacks despite such an important position change.

“Derek was an outstanding chair and fellow member,” Ferrante said. “Given we all worked collaboratively, I do not see an issue as to who sits as chair. I anticipate the board continuing to work in the same way.”

Ferrante hopes the people of Marblehead will grant her a second year on the Recreation and Parks Commission on June 20.