At Monday’s Town Meeting, BOS Chairman Eli Boling said no one serving on any town board could have anticipated the year’s “agenda” would end up managing the community’s response to a global pandemic. Anyone volunteering for town service, he said, indeed deserves credit for leading the town through the events so far in 2019. This is especially true for two BOS members, Margaret “Muffin” Driscoll and Arthur Steinert, both retiring to a well-deserved rest. Steinert has served for three years. Driscoll has been on the BOS for three terms—nine years by “normal” math, but with Tuesday’s election running past its originally scheduled day because of COVID, two months has been tacked onto Driscoll’s tenure. The photo above is from 2019, when Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito visited Manchester for the unveiling of the Morss Pier project. Noonan sent in the following “Thank You” to the town as she steps away. The town is grateful to her and to Steinert for their service.
A Simple Thank You
I write this letter to say thank you to so many people in our town by the sea for their support and encouragement the last nine years. I was elected to the Board of Selectman in May, 2011 and my third term will end with elections being held on June 30.
I chose to run because I felt it was time to give back to a special place that we all call home. I had no agenda and knew that I had a lot to learn. What I learned was that there were and still are so many that give of their time, energy and creativity every day. I joined a board that included Tom Kehoe, Sue Thorne, Mary Hardwick and Paul Barclay. I am truly grateful to them for their guidance and friendship. As the years progressed so did faces on the board. I had the pleasure to also work with Rob Hoff, Susan Beckmann, Eli Boling, Arthur Steinert, Becky Jaques and Jeff Bodmer-Turner. Each member brought their ideas and perspectives to the table and together we solved issues and made the best decisions we could for the good of the town. Being a Selectman also gave me the opportunity to meet so many other people who volunteer for boards and committees. Each and every one of those people always had the best interest of our community so I thank you all.
Manchester has dedicated and committed employees who were asked to truly rethink how they accomplish their jobs and in most cases restructure hours and change their usual routines when Town Hall was closed due to COVID-19. Each employee rose to the challenges they faced every day. You kept our town running when there was so much uncertainty. You all have my personal thanks and gratitude.
Much has been accomplished but there is always more to do. It is work to put a budget together, it is work to develop a financially feasible capital plan, it is work to continue advancing the Master Plan, it is work to build a much needed senior center, it is work to consider new development and a possible Limited Commercial District, it is work to use creativity and produce affordable community housing, it is work to take care of our parks, harbor and open spaces and it is work to develop a climate change plan. But it is all good work. Work that is spearheaded by volunteers, work that is done collaboratively and work that will generate lots of public discussion. Please be part of the work. Please be part of the discussion. Please share your ideas. Please volunteer. I’m so glad I did.
Muffin Noonan Driscoll