Editor's note: With this issue, we welcome Tyler Hadyniak as our new town columnist for Freedom.

Happy beginning of spring! I recently moved back to Freedom and will assume writing this column. After 14 months, Nate McCann has decided to move on. My thanks to him for thinking of me when seeking a replacement.

A little about me: I grew up in Freedom and graduated from Mount View in 2011. After high school I graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington in 2015, and the University of Maine School of Law in 2018. Between 2019 and February 2021 I practiced veterans disability law at a South Portland law firm. Ask any of my friends, though, and they will tell you that I never really “left” my hometown.

As such, an almost instinctual desire to return home took root soon after my law school graduation. Shortly before our August 2020 wedding, my wife and I decided to sell our Sidney house and move into my grandmother’s old house on Beaver Ridge — where I grew up and, come September, will start raising a child of our own.

My grandmother was Sallyann Hadyniak, a name familiar to you dedicated readers as the “Voice of Freedom” — this column’s author for the 18 years preceding her death in November 2019. More than because of this history, however, I wanted to take over this column because I think it will be a fun way to stay involved with the community.

Coupled with my move back home is a new job. On Feb. 1, I started as an associate attorney at Mailloux & Marden in Belfast. I am thrilled to join the firm and am enjoying my time so far. I focus on family matters, criminal defense, civil litigation, and my specialty, veterans disability.

I see this column as a chance to update the community on the previous week's happenings, and bring a sense of togetherness. As such, I envision the first part of my future columns to be a concise summary of what happened in town government. The second half will be more personable and social. For that, however, I need your input as community residents. For example, do you have a relative who made the honor roll? Let me know! Did someone you know open a business? Help get the word out! There will be times, as well, where loss will be felt and the community needs to heal and help heal. We have to take the good with the bad — even if we always hope there is more good.

I’ll get us rolling. Congratulations to Steve Bennett and Cindy Abbott for winning reelection to their roles as selectman and town clerk, respectfully; and to Dyann Anderson for being elected town treasurer. Further congratulations to Cindy, to whom this year’s Town Report was dedicated. Copies of the report are currently available at the Town Office.

In the March 12 election, 124 votes were cast. I think this is great turnout for a race where only local offices were on the ballot. In comparison, 474 people voted in the November 2020 presidential election.

Finally, I would like to give a shout-out to Jennifer Neves, a former Freedom resident who has written a book, "Freedom Farm," about growing up on her parent’s farm on Greeley Road. Jennifer’s book is available on Amazon, and was published in February by Unity’s North Country Press. I love how her unique writing style so richly complements her nostalgia. I highly recommend the book to anyone, particularly if you grew up in a similar rural setting.

Please feel free to contact me with any tips, suggestions, or thoughts you have about this column.