Ward 2 City Councilor Rick Starbard stunned the community when he wrote in his January newsletter that he would be stepping down at the end of 2023.
Starbard is in his sixth year as a city councilor. He served for six years on the Lynn School Committee and was an automobile collision teacher at Lynn Tech for close to 14 years.
A 1981 graduate of Lynn Tech where he is a Hall of Fame inductee and served as emcee of the 2022 dinner, Starbard founded Rick’s Auto Collision in 1983, a business he still owns and operates.
Reflecting on his decision to retire from political life, Starbard said, “I just want to step back and spend more time with family and focus in on my business. Those were the reasons I had given up teaching back in 2010, but then I jumped into politics.”
Starbard will not leave the spotlight entirely. “I’ll still be involved in a lot of things at Lynn Tech and the Lynn Youth Street Outreach board, and the Chamber of Commerce, so I still have a lot on my plate,” he said.
Starbard enjoyed the associations he made in city government. “I love the people that I worked with. I met a lot of great people and I am going to miss it.”
Rick and his wife, Lois, have two daughters, Jessica and Stephanie.
Praise from Councillor LaPierre
Starbard said he let his colleagues on the Council know about his decision before releasing it in his newsletter. He has received many positive messages from councillors and constituents.
Councillor-at-Large Brian LaPierre lauded Starbard’s service to Lynn.
“I’ve known Rick for a lot of years, and he’s a tremendous colleague,” said LaPierre. “I have a lot of respect for Rick and his wife, Lois and their daughters, Jessica and Stephanie. I think he’s one of the most generous councilors to ever be elected in the City of Lynn for not only what he does volunteering across the city, but he’s also very generous with donations to organizations. He really steps up.
LaPierre said he’s enjoyed working with Starbard for the past three terms. “Knowing him from the School Department many years prior to serving with him on the Council, Rick’s just a heck of of a guy, and he’s going to be sorely missed because he brings a very level-headed perspective that’s very common-sense driven. We need to replace that mindset with someone who gets back to constituents in a timely manner, which is Rick’s hallmark, and has this broad sense of a small business mentality, coupled with an economic development lens on where we should be heading. His vision for the city has been unparalled.”