After many years of community activism, former mayoral and City Council candidate Jacob Tagger said he is leaving Brockton for a job opportunity in Virginia.
BROCKTON – An outspoken community activist is leaving the community.
After many years of community activism, former mayoral and City Council candidate Jacob Tagger said he is leaving Brockton for a job opportunity in Virginia. Tagger, 42, said it was a “bittersweet” decision to move away from a city he deeply cares for, but said he’s relocating to get a better job opportunity in the retail management industry.
“I’m feeling sad, but excited,” said Tagger, noting the outpouring of well wishes he received recently after announcing his move. “It’s been cool, hearing from all the different people I’ve interacted with over the past 42 years here. I’m in love with the city. I’m more in love with the people, though.”
During the last five years, Tagger has been a thorn in the side of Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter, often vocally criticizing the administration. Tagger ran against Carpenter in the 2015 primaries, before Chris MacMillan became one of two candidates who went on to the general election ballot. At the same time, Tagger was appointed by Carpenter to the Brockton Diversity Commission, an advisory group set up to examine issues of racism and proper representation of minorities in the city.
“I hope I’ve inspired people to become involved, and hopefully people will continue to speak up, and challenge the administration,” said Tagger, reached on Friday.
Tagger, who ran an unsuccessful election campaign for City Council last year, said he booked his family’s flight for Sunday, and a moving company came to load up his family’s belongings in Brockton on Friday.
Tagger is not the first adversary of the mayor to leave the city in recent history. Ron Matta, a longtime political gadfly who also ran for mayor in 2013, decided to leave the city for Conway, South Carolina, about three years ago. Dick Zaccaro, who co-founded a group with Matta called Brocktonians for Limited Taxation, left the city a short time after that for a property in Walpole.
Tagger said “I don’t want to leave,” but he had to do so for the sake of his family.
“At the end of the day, I just have to make whatever decision’s best for my family, my wife and kids,” said Tagger, who has a son, a daughter and a granddaughter. “That’s really what it came down to and it’s an opportunity I can’t bypass. That doesn’t mean I won’t be coming back.”
Tagger said he’s going to miss many of the great things about Brockton, including the food at JJ’s Caffe, and pizza from Tinrays Family Restaurant.
“Beyond the politics, I’ve been active in this community since i was a high school student. I love this city,” Tagger said. “It’s an entire great family of great people. … No matter what anybody says, Tinrays is the best pizza in town. I’m going to miss the people. I’m going to miss the craziness. We have a lot of negativity. I just hope people will continue to challenge those in power when they don’t think the best thing is happening.”