Francis "Enzo" Barile (Courtesy Photo)
Local Government and Politics, News

Nahant selectman vice-chair Enzo Barile resigns

NAHANT — Citing a desire to spend more time with his family, vice-chair Francis "Enzo" Barile has resigned from the Board of Selectmen. 

"I've found that being a selectman is taking more time and energy than I am currently able to give," Barile said at last Thursday's Board of Selectmen meeting. "The demands of being a selectman has caused me to put my business and personal life on hold."  

In his remarks, Barile, 64, referenced the impact those demands have had on his plans to pass down his auto repair business, Enzos Nahant Garage, to his youngest son and on time he could otherwise spend with his family, particularly his granddaughter.  

It's unclear who would be interested in vying for his seat on the three-member board, which will likely be decided during a special Town Meeting next month, according to Barile.

Barile told The Item his resignation, which became official last Friday was a "very difficult" decision, citing his love of the town and a desire to help people. He's been on the board for more than four years, and his second term wouldn't have expired until April 2021. 

He is particularly proud of his environmental efforts during his time in office, which have included contributing to the revamp of the town's FEMA flood map; the town's acceptance into the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, which provides support for cities and towns to plan for climate change resilience; and its designation as a Green Community, which resulted in an initial $175,000 grant and makes Nahant eligible for annual grants for the purpose of energy-efficient projects. 

His only regret, Barile said, is Nahant has not been able to join FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System, which provides flood insurance discounts to the town based on its successful mitigation efforts. The town still has some work to do to qualify, he said. 

"I think I've accomplished an awful lot," said Barile. "I see the town — the town is different. I think the town is going in a different direction. I tried to make a difference in the town and I think I did."

Part of what Barile was alluding to is the controversial proposed expansion of Northeastern University's Marine Science Center, which would see the school construct a 55,000 square-foot building on East Point. 

Throughout the process, he's been a vocal opponent of the expansion, which is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2021 and has come under fire for its potential environmental and traffic impacts. 

Along with needing to focus on Northeastern University, whose brass he said is willing to "come to the table" with town officials, he considers Nahant's biggest issues to be its infrastructure — the town is currently under contract with an environmental engineering firm to study the condition of its sewer — and its vulnerability to rising sea levels. 

Barile said he has mixed feelings about leaving his post. Although it was time-consuming, he said he loved the job and found it exciting. He plans to continue attending meetings and working to keep the town accountable. 

"I'll still be willing to help," he said. 

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