Marion Selectmen honor residents, chairman says goodbye
The Marion Board of Selectmen meeting had a bit of an end-of-the-school-year awards ceremony feel on Tuesday night, as Fire Chief Brian Jackvony, Council on Aging driver Paul Garib and resident Pete Smith were given awards, and Select Chair Jody Dickerson said his goodbyes.
Jackvony was recognized for his completion of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer course.
“I’m very happy with how you’ve run the department,” Dickerson said. “Congratulations on this great success.”
Jackvony thanked the board for its support as he took a couple weeks off to complete the course.
“I appreciate the opportunity to carry on with my studies,” he said. “It’s important that we continue to learn and continue to be life long learners, especially in the fire industry.”
Garib is a longtime driver for the Council on Aging, and Dickerson wanted to recognize him for his service and presented him with the first-ever Chairman Award.
“He’s someone I see on a daily basis who really stands out,” he said. “We’re very proud you work here.”
Garib said it was nice to receive an award for something he enjoys doing.
“I love the people and everybody,” he said. “Thank you so much.”
Next up was Smith, who was named "Honorary Town Historian," and commended by Selectman Norm Hills for his “encyclopedic knowledge” of the town.
“If there’s something you need to know about the town, either Pete knows it, or it’s not worth knowing,” Hills said.
Smith said his family has always been part of Marion, and growing up in the same house as extended family had immersed him in the town’s history.
“I’ve been a resident for almost 83 years,” he said. “So when people say “how do you know that? Damn it, I lived it!”
After the awards, Dickerson took a moment to thank the town, as Tuesday marked his final board meeting as a selectman. His term ends with the election on May 18, and he chose not to run again.
“I want to thank the townspeople for their support over the years,” he said. “I was a selectmen in the 90s and then these last two terms. I joke that people who have committed murder have done less hard time.”
He also thanked Town Administrator Paul Dawson and Administrative Assistant Deb Paiva.
“[Debbie] thank you for all your hard work, and keeping me in the right meetings at the right times. Your dedication to this board and town is remarkable,” he said. “[Paul], over my years as selectmen here and in New Hampshire, I’ve worked with nine town administrators. [Paul] is a complete class act and a joy to work with. He has a lot of knowledge and probably the most thankless job in town. [He] always puts the town first and I appreciate that.”
The only candidate for Dickerson’s seat is Randy Parker, while four candidates (Joe Zora, Michelle Ouellette Smith, Dale Jones and John Waterman) are seeking a one-year term created by the early resignation of Steve Gonsalves. The election is May 18. Registered voters can cast their vote from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Benjamin D. Cushing Community Center.