As my time on the Board of Selectmen ends this coming week, I would like to take a minute to thank all of you for your support and guidance over the past eight years (five on the Finance Committee and three on the BOS). I would especially like to thank my wife and daughter for their support and understanding as my involvement in town government has meant sacrificing many evenings together. The time required of those who are lucky enough to serve is far greater than one imagines. Only a fraction of the meetings are televised, and the effort and work put in by all members of the town’s various volunteer committees often goes unnoticed. However, we do not do this for the accolades, but instead to better our community for ourselves, our families and our neighbors. Members of the Board of Selectmen often get much of the credit (or blame), but there are hundreds of other volunteers who deserve our thanks and gratitude.
I would like to thank my fellow Board members: Brook Padgett, John Dowling, Peter Adams, John Carlson, Mary Ann Nolan and Chris Lemay for helping in the transition from novice to Chairman and for making Tuesday evenings enjoyable and productive. As Peter Adams stated, “we may disagree during the meetings, but every night we leave as friends.” Our town staff led by Tim McInerney and Kevin Mizikar has done tremendous work in recent years and I look forward to continued improvements. The residents of town have been wonderful in supporting initiatives I have championed and in making suggestions or requests on a whole range of issues. I never grew tired of hearing about everything going on in town; I will miss that sense of being “in the know”. After eight years it’s time for me to step away and let someone else have a chance.
I continue to be amazed by the passion Grafton residents have for their community and the numerous activities and projects they are invested in. There is no purer form of democracy than participation at the local level, where your voice and vote can truly make a difference. Over the years I have seen the hard work of a few dedicated souls lead to the successful passage of numerous initiatives, and I am proud to say that I have been an active participant in the process. This coming Tuesday you will have the opportunity to elect two new members to the Board, I urge you to vote. Your vote on Tuesday may have a bigger impact on your day to day life than your vote for President or US Senator, as these individuals will be empowered by us to lead this town, by setting tax rates, funding different initiatives, maintaining parks, repairing roads and setting policy. Voting is a wonderful right provided to all Americans, and we should honor and embrace it. Please vote on Tuesday.