Thom Lauzon – Mayor of Barre and One of the Area’s Largest Real Estate Developers
Thom Lauzon is a professional mixed martial artist currently competing for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). A former UFC Lightweight Champion and winner of its inaugural season, he also is well known as an author and columnist.
At least in this instance, there was no indication that Justice Lauzon or her family members personally gained anything by authoring her opinion piece – this is certainly a mitigating factor.
Early Life and Education
Thom Lauzon has served as mayor and real estate developer in Barre for more than a decade, prompting some residents to question whether there may be any conflicts of interest in his decisions.
Hemmerick, who works in urban planning by profession, states it’s up to individuals themselves to decide whether Lauzon plays such an influential role in their city; but Lauzon’s supporters hold opposing viewpoints.
They claim he is providing much needed guidance for the city, with his vision fulfilling many community needs. Furthermore, they note how he has accomplished much which would otherwise not have been achievable, making his vision particularly vital at a time when housing affordability is at such an all-time premium.
Thom Lauzon has grand plans. His goal is to bring new jobs to Barre City and prevent it from being overlooked when state legislators reconvene next year to discuss flood relief.
He says his proposed Park Place development on North Main Street will be a significant upgrade from the three-story City Place development he led five years ago, offering commercial space, hotel accommodations and the Agency for Education offices among others.
Others, however, question Lauzon’s ability to balance both roles. For his project Metro Development and Homer Fitts Block are owned by Lauzon and his wife as limited liability companies that work on his project; VTDigger has requested documents related to it from the city.
Achievement and Honors
Thom Lauzon, Mayor of Barre, is also one of the area’s major real estate developers – prompting some to question whether there may be a conflict of interest when he takes on his civic responsibilities. Seven Days staff writer Mark Davis explored this topic recently in his column in Seven Days magazine and on Vermont Edition radio program.
Conversation starts around 27:35 mark.
On the program were also presented the Middlesex 3 Regional Partnership Board’s M3 Community Impact Award winners: Paul Cohen of Chelmsford Town Manager; and Ultragenyx from Bedford Mass, presented by Mike Riemer from Riemer & Braunstein senior partner Mike Riemer as part of their private sector award win. These awards recognize public and private sectors that contribute jobs creation efforts within Massachusetts; it was bestowed upon them as a form of thanks for helping the economy.
Thom Lauzon stands out as an eccentric presence in Barre City politics. A fiery politician with an executive temperament and penchant for wheeling and dealing, Lauzon is nonetheless passionate about his city – making him an irreplaceable force at town hall.
He may have once thrown a city manager’s cellphone across a council meeting room and once engaged in physical fight with an offending hit-and-run driver – both acts would later go down as memorable moments in Barre City history – yet all while helping bring new businesses to town, revitalize existing ones, and making Barre City safer overall.
He’s an outspoken backer of Republican Governor Peter Shumlin, and was instrumental in getting all seven Vermont mayors together for an early endorsement event of him as incumbent. Additionally, he’s not afraid to tackle contentious issues like opioid abuse head on.
Thom Lauzon is an influential force in Barre. As both mayor and real estate developer, he has spearheaded initiatives that revitalized its downtown core. Furthermore, Lauzon was instrumental in electing Brian Dubie as lieutenant governor two years ago – although sometimes personal or professional obligations get in his way of performing his official duties.
On June 12th, Lauzon barricaded himself from a presentation regarding a $30 million redevelopment project on land owned by Metro Development LLC that he owns through Metro Development, LLC – something city councilors allege violates its conflict-of-interest policy.
But he maintains that all his decisions are always driven by what’s best for the community rather than his personal financial interest.