Montague Selectboard candidate wants to continue town’s momentum, focus on infrastructure

  • LORD

Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2021 4:35:02 PM

Editor’s Note: This is the first in four profiles of the candidates running for election to the Montague Selectboard. The election will be held Tuesday, Sept. 21. Polls will be open from noon to 7 p.m. at the Franklin County Technical School, the Gill-Montague Senior Center and the Montague Center Fire Station.

MONTAGUE — Selectboard candidate Matthew Lord may have been the last of the election hopefuls to move to the Pioneer Valley, but after four years in town, Lord feels he’s developed a good rapport with his fellow residents.

A Lexington native, Lord, 40, moved to Montague Center in July 2017 with his wife, Kathleen Berry, and their now 13-month-old daughter, Saoirse. Almost immediately, Lord got involved with both the land and its people, buying a farm and joining the Planning Board within the year. In running for Selectboard, he hopes to make a “limited impact,” complementing leadership that he feels is moving the town in a positive direction.

Lord became interested in moving to the region after his wife got a job at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After careful consideration, he said Montague stood out.

“We were searching up and down the Pioneer Valley to accommodate her new job at UMass,” Lord recalled. “It’s a beautiful town. ... We thought it would be a great place to have a home and start a family.”

Lord said his personal attraction to the area is largely rooted in a deep appreciation for the outdoors. Two decades after spending high school living amongst New Hampshire forests, Lord and Berry bought 8 acres of farmland that he continues to maintain.

“We’re slowly trying to work on some permaculture installations,” he said.

In addition to investing his time into his orchard, vegetables and chickens, Lord joined the Planning Board in 2018, where he has served since. He also became a Town Meeting representative in 2020. If elected to the Selectboard, Lord said his recent town work would allow for a smooth transition into the new position.

“Working with the people in Town Hall and the Planning Board especially ... really gives me a lot of confidence running for the Selectboard that they’ll be a good team of people to work with,” he said.

Lord declined to highlight specific town projects that draw his focus, but said if he is elected to the Selectboard, he would want to give serious attention to general infrastructure matters.

“My hope is that Congress passes a massive infrastructure bill and that I can be helpful getting Montague ways to work on local infrastructure,” Lord said. “Making those choices in infrastructure development is something that can get people in the town excited ... for decades to come.”

Lord said he’s been impressed so far by the improvements Montague has undergone in recent years.

“It’s really nice to run as a candidate for a place that’s on the upswing,” Lord said.

For this reason, he said if he is elected to the board, he wouldn’t want it to be a matter of “cleaning house.” Lord hopes this election will equate to a decision to “maintain having high-quality staff for residents, and people who want to visit the town, too.”

“One of the things that’s important for me being a candidate is that I think Montague is in a good place,” Lord said, “and I want to make it even better.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or

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