NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

March 27, 2013

Alliance's leader has long experience in politics

BY DYKE HENDRICKSON
STAFF WRITER

---- — NEWBURY — State Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, is the co-chair of the Merrimack River Beach Alliance, the organization that has been most active in dealing with erosion and damage to houses on Plum Island.

Tarr, the Senate minority leader, has been the point man at the state level in attempting to solve beachside problems.

Who is he?

Tarr is a native of Gloucester and was a member of the class of 1982 at Gloucester High School. He went on to graduate from both Suffolk University and Suffolk University Law School.

Tarr won election to the state House of Representatives in 1991. In 1994, he was elected to the state Senate.

In 1999, he was named the assistant minority whip of the Senate, and in 2001, he was appointed to serve as the minority whip until 2006, when he was selected to become assistant Senate minority leader.

He is a member of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Rules and the Joint Committees On Children and Families and Persons with Disabilities, Economic Development and Emerging Technology, Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Health Care Financing, Judiciary, Public Safety and Homeland Security, Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy and Veterans and Federal Affairs.

He represents the First Essex and Middlesex District, consisting of the City of Gloucester and the towns of Boxford, Essex, Georgetown, Groveland, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester, Middleton, Newbury, parts of North Andover, North Reading, Rockport, Rowley, Wenham, West Newbury and Wilmington.

As co-chair of the MRBA, he has been an advocate for seaside homeowners and has said they have to “push the envelope” in what they will do to save their homes from storms and erosion.

Several weeks ago, he said that homeowners could do what they had to do to protect their homes and dunes, “but you’ve got to know that the state might eventually tell you to remove that material (stone walls and rock piles) if you don’t have permits.”

The MRBA is composed of local leaders from Newbury, Newburyport and Salisbury, and also state and federal officials who are involved with conservation and environmental issues.