WHITMAN – The Select Board said farewell to colleague Brian Bezanson during his final meeting on the job Tuesday, May 10, presenting him with a gifts from the Board and a small reception after the meeting.
“I know we’re all very appreciative of Selectman Bezanson’s 18-years of service on the Board,” Town Administrator Lincoln Heineman said. “We wanted to make sure, collectively, that we recognize that.”
“Brian Bezanson, this is your life,” Selectman Randy LaMattina joked.
State Representative Alyson Sullivan’s General Court Citation and a gift – of a gardening stool and pads to kneel on for weeding – were presented to honor what Heineman described as Bezanson’s many years of selfless service to the town.”
Sullivan apologized for her rough voice, which had been giving her trouble, but added that “it never stops me from showing up, especially for a friend like you, Brian.”
“I can’t really put into words how thankful I am to you, as a member of this board, over the last three and a half years, for myself up at the state level, and prior to that, while running for office,” she said. “I know this [decision to retire] was not a decision that you made lightly.”
She said that, while he may no longer be on the board, she does not believe his service to the town is done in any way, shape or form.
Her citation noted his exceptional public service for the town.
“I really appreciate that,” Bezanson said after the citation presentation, saying it was a complete surprise. “It’s been an honor and privilege to serve the community this long, and it’s been an honor working with you all.”
He credited the support of his family and the citizens’ “keeping me going, knowing that we do good here” with his longevity.
“On to gardening,” he said. “It’s been a wild ride.”
Board Chairman Dr. Carl Kowalski thanked Bezanson for his years of service to the town.
“I will miss you all,” Bezanson said. “It’s probably been, other than my family, one of the highlights of my life.”
Bezanson made the motion to adjourn his final meeting, heard saying as it concluded, “Whose idea was this…?”
The board had earlier approved the town’s security camera policy governing park cameras, approved at town meeting the previous week, with very little discussion.
The Freedom of Information Act requirements on how long camera recordings must be kept on file will be followed.
With Town Meeting approval of a full-time facilities manager and Robert Curran’s looming retirement, hiring for the nonunion position will follow the personnel policies now in place, Heineman said.
The vacancy announcement and job listing would be made public via advertising in the newspaper and online as well as posting at Town Hall for 10 business days.
After applications are in, interviews will be conducted with specifics about the interview process to be decided when the application window closes.
It is a separate position from the building commissioner for which interviews were already underway.
Kowalski had also read a letter from Whitman Housing Authority Executive Director Eileen Gibson, expressing appreciation for the work Covid Coordinator Danielle Clancy and the Whitman Fire Department did in providing vaccine and booster clinics for its elderly and disabled residents.
“We are blessed to have such a great team on the Fire Department who took such good care of our residents during the administration of the vaccines and who provide life-saving care for our citizens every day throughout the year.”
She gave special thanks to Danielle Clancy, who has managed the needs of the town as health agent while working tirelessly to organize clinics, maintain staffing and inventory and to register patients, “all while taking care of people unable to leave their homes and some of the town’s most vulnerable citizens,” Gibson wrote.
Fire Chief Timothy Clancy also provided a Covid-19 update to the board, reporting reported there was still 43 positive cases in town, “although a few more have come in during the last day.”
Whitman’s positivity rate is 5.2 percent – the last time the positivity rate was that high was the third week in February.
“This was not unexpected with the Easter holiday,” he said, pledging to continue monitoring the rates. The vaccination rate is now at 68 percent.
The fire department is ready to restart vaccination clinics at a moment’s notice as soon as the CDC says it should be done again.