Governor makes the Vineyard rounds

Baker lauds Lake Street Landing project and visits with Ernie Boch Jr.

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Gov. Charlie Baker visited the rebuilt ramp and docks at Lake Street Landing Saturday afternoon for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito came to the landing a year earlier and presented Tisbury with a $680,000 grant to rehab the bulkhead and pier, paid for with a Seaport grant.

Baker told those gathered that the Community Compact Program made funding the Lake Street Landing project possible, and the program has been popular statewide. Among other things, municipalities have been able to seek guidance on best practices on subjects of their choosing, he said.

“As I stand here today, all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts have signed a compact agreement to work on at least on best practice, and all in we’ve had over 850 best practices that local communities have pursued,” he said.

“That was the first executive order I signed when we took office,” Baker said of the Community Compact program.

Later in the afternoon, Baker attended a cocktail party at Ernie Boch Jr.’s estate in Edgartown. Dozens of people sipped cocktails and ate appetizers as the governor worked the crowd, posing for photographs.

The governor and his wife, Lauren, even posed with Boch with one of his llama statues.

Boch called Baker the “best governor that has ever been in the state of Massachusetts, and the greatest governor in the history of the United States.”

Baker thanked Boch and then used a little self-deprecating humor before noting that he is the “most popular governor” in the country. “When I came home and told Lauren I have great news, I have a 70 percent favorability rating, highest rating of any elected governor in the United States, wasn’t that great? She said in our house a 70 is a C. We don’t ever worry about getting full of ourselves.”

Baker pointed out that he and Polito got their start in local government, and even gave a shout out to Grande, the Tisbury town administrator, who was also in attendance.

Massachusetts was ranked as the 25th best state to do business in when Baker took office. “Today, Massachusetts, according to that same survey, is eighth,” he said. There have been 160,000 jobs created, and the unemployment rate has fallen in every county in the state, Baker told the crowd.

His brief talk also touched on the state’s education test scores and progress on prevention in the opioid crisis. “We don’t just say the word collaborate, we actually mean it, believe it, and work it,” Baker said.

He also touched on the political climate, noting that his mom was a Democrat and his father a Republican. “When my parents talked politics, they were having a conversation. It wasn’t about winning or losing an argument, it was about trying to understand where the other person was coming from, and trying to figure out how to get something done based on where they stood,” Baker said. “One of the things we are very proud of is here in Massachusetts, we have great relationships with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”

George Brennan contributed to this report.