Dec 17, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Nelson Town Board member Dean Coe has served his town for the past 40 years — and at the board’s Dec. 12 meeting, Coe’s last before his retirement, the board, past town supervisors, and Coe’s family and friends, all showed up to wish him a fond farewell.
“I’d like to recognize Dean for his 40 years of town service. I don’t know if it’s a Guinness Book of World Records [item] or not, but I believe your record of public service is safe. Forty years is more than a rarity,” said Nelson Town Supervisor Roger Bradtsreet at the end of the board’s regular meeting. Bradstreet also presented Coe with a plaque of recognition and thanks from the town. “You are truly dedicated [and] we appreciate everything you’ve done for the town.”
Coe began his town service in 1973 on the town planning board, on which he served for 20 years. He was first elected to the town board in 1993, on which he has served ever since.
Coe, visibly moved by the plaudits and recognition, said he has enjoyed working with the current town board and all the town employees during his long tenure. “I always tried to work for the best interests of the people in the town of Nelson,” he said.
Former Nelson town supervisor and current New York State Assemblyman Bill Magee, who served many years in town government with Coe, also was on hand to honor his friend and to present Coe with a citation from the state legislature honoring Coe’s “steadfast dedication as an outstanding citizen and public servant.”
State Senator David J. Valesky was also scheduled to attend the Dec. 12 meeting in Nelson but was unable to be present due to a last-minute scheduling conflict.
In addition to Bradtsreet and Magee’s comment, town Councilor John LaGorga said Coe has “taught me the good value of working together” in their years together on the board.
Councilor Mike Costello said serving with Coe has “been a pleasure,” and although they agreed on issues as often as they disagreed, Coe “always got things done and worked for the betterment of the community.”
Town Attorney Jim Stokes, who has worked for Nelson for the past 20 years, said Coe “exemplifies public service,” and he never worked for personal glory or attention but simply to help the town. “Your words always had meaning and really added a lot to the process,” Stokes said.
John Dunkle, chair of the town planning board who has worked with Coe for the past 10 years, said, “For us young guys you are an incredible inspiration for what it means to be a community servant and … a community elder.” Dunkle said that after board members discuss and sometimes argue over issues, during which Coe would silently listen, “you would offer two or three words of wisdom. This is what makes us work.”
At the end of the board’s official meeting, Coe, for the last time, called for the adjournment.
After Coe posed for pictures with the town board, with past and present town employees and with his family, everyone enjoyed cake and apple cider, talked with Coe and offered him their congratulations and best wishes on his retirement.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.