Attleboro Mayor

FOR ATTLEBORO CENTENNIAL PUBLICATION Attleboro Mayor Raymond Macomber. 12th Mayor. 1972-77.

After Thomas A. Piggott decided three terms as mayor were enough and chose not to run for reelection, the city turned to a three-term city councilor to replace him.

Raymond L. Macomber, a World War II Navy veteran and a lineman for the Massachusetts Electric Company, beat Thomas Leedham with 56 percent of the vote and took office in January 1972.

It was the second try at winning the corner office for the former city council president, who served on that board from 1962 through 1967.

He challenged Piggott in the election of 1967 and lost, leaving him without a spot in city government for four years.

Macomber, who built his council reputation in part with his dedicated representation of the Dodgeville and Hebronville neighborhoods, which were blighted by the deadly Thompson Chemical Plant explosion of 1964, campaigned for mayor on the pledge that the only thing campaign donors would get in return for their money was "good government."

Macomber succeeded the hard way.

He dropped out of high school, but earned a high school diploma in 1969 by going to night school after he was off the council and had lost a bid to become mayor.

Then, he earned a bachelor's degree in management from Bryant College while serving as mayor in 1975.

A Sun Chronicle editorial after his death praised him for keeping tax increases minimal in the tough economic times that afflicted the 1970s.

With unemployment high, he hired people through the federal government's Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA) program.

He won approval for a new wastewater treatment plant, as well as new sewer lines in South Attleboro.

Plans for two new schools made in the Piggott administration were fulfilled under Macomber, who built the Hill-Roberts and Hyman Fine schools.

Macomber also played an important role in the establishment of the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority.

He's also credited with moving the city toward the construction of a new City Hall on Park Street.

Macomber was described as a gentleman, and all around nice guy.

He lost a bid for a fourth term to longtime City Councilor Gerald J. Keane.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 12th in 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.