Attleboro Mayor

FOR ATTLEBORO CENTENNIAL PUBLICATION Thomas A. Piggott. 11th mayor. 1966-71.

Running for mayor was not the life-long dream of Thomas A. Piggott, who in 1965 was 42, a self-employed businessman and a Marine veteran of World War II who survived the horrors of Iwo Jima.

But, when the city failed to get timely property revaluations, resulting in sky-high tax rates for residential property owners, lightening struck.

He found himself leading a group called the Attleboro Association for Fairer Taxes, and soon afterward launched himself into the mayoral campaign against popular eight-term incumbent Cyril K. Brennan.

Fueled by intense anger over the tax situation, voters propelled him into office, giving him 61 percent of the vote just a few months later.

A political neophyte, the first thing he did on his first day on the job was find out what everybody else's job was at City Hall, then set about to learn his own.

And for a rookie chief executive, he had many accomplishments in his three terms, and left office voluntarily, going 3-0 in elections.

Planning for the Hill-Roberts and Hyman Fine schools and the expansion of Attleboro High School began in the Piggott administration.

The move for a new city charter came out of the Piggott tenure, as did a major update of the master plan.

Piggott also had an eye for talent, and appointed Judith H. Robbins to the planning board, which started a more than 40-year career in municipal government for the California transplant who was to leave an indelible mark on the city, serving as a city councilor, mayor and chairwoman of the Attleboro Redevelopment Authority.

While the ideas never went anywhere, Piggott was a creative thinker and proposed the reunification of Attleboro and North Attleboro, urged the construction of a new City Hall through public subscriptions and tried to stimulate voter turnout by awarding road repair funds based on a formula connected to voter participation.

He mulled runs for Congress and even president, but in the end decided to return to business and did not seek a fourth term.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 11th a series of profiles of Attleboro's mayors since the city was incorporated 100 years ago in 1914. The Sun Chronicle will print a special section Sunday celebrating Attleboro's 100th anniversary as a city.

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