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Martin wants to continue serving ‘the greatest town in America’

Photo by National Grand Bank

Matthew Martin has no shortage of involvement in his hometown. The National Grand Bank’s business development officer grew up by Redd’s Pond in the same home as his father. He felt no urge to relocate when he later started his own family, and his two grown daughters now have the same Marblehead experience. He is seeking reelection to the Recreation and Parks Commission for a seventh consecutive year.

One passion that led Martin to join the commission was coaching sports. He has been involved in Marblehead Youth Football on a volunteer basis since 2006. He aimed to help provide a safe and fun environment on the field.

“I’m always trying to do what’s best for the kids in town,” Martin said. “A father once told me, it’s not about your kid, it’s about all the kids. That kind of opened up the way I thought about things.”

Martin wants to remain on the board to continue addressing situations he has been dealing with over his tenure. If reelected, he wants to prioritize being more thorough with projects so each gets completed quickly and properly.

 “What I’m going to try to do this year moving forward is, as a department, focus on a smaller list and knock things off one at a time,” Martin explained. “In the past we’ve taken on a project list and then we’re spread so thin and we’re only halfway done before starting another project.”

One project Martin plans to use his new problem-solving strategy on is the completion of the Stramski House. He attributes the long duration of the project to the Prevailing Wage program, in which third-party companies bid to take on construction projects. He would like to explore multiple options for finishing the house’s construction soon.

At the League of Women Voters’ Candidates Night, one question posed to the Recreation and Parks Commission candidates was about the growth of pickleball and how its presence in town affects residents. Martin and his peers recently made a motion to limit the hours the game can be played at the middle-school courts during the summer. He also said getting courts set up at Seaside Park is will help keep the loud volume away from residential areas.

Another topic Martin and the other candidates were asked about is the mainstreaming of organic and “green” materials.

“For the last 10 years or so we’ve been full organic in our fertilizing,” Martin said. “I’m all for it because it’s safe and better for the environment.”

Martin would have no issue if the current panel of commission members remained intact, as he feels the working chemistry between himself, Rossana Ferrante, Linda Rice-Collins, and Karin Ernst is very strong.

“When something comes to the table, I can count on one hand the number of times we weren’t all in favor,” Martin said. “99.9% of the time we all come to the same conclusion.”

One change that is certainly coming to the Recreation and Parks Commission this year will be a new chair. Current Chair Derek Norcross announced he would not seek reelection to the board after 18 years. 

“Big loss, huge loss,” Martin lamented. “Derek was a wealth of knowledge. Extremely fair, approachable. Smart guy who will be missed without a doubt.”

While Martin is uncertain who will fill the position of chair moving forward, he would be eager to accept the challenge himself if nominated by his fellow Commission members. However, his first focus is on keeping his status on the board by earning Marbleheaders’ votes on June 20.