The week of Thanksgiving is a time where families and friends come together to reflect on what is truly important.  The same can be said for our “work family.”  I work with a great, hardworking group of town employees who are dedicated to our mission of providing exceptional public service to all residents of Manchester.   And I know that I speak for most in expressing sincere gratitude to these employees who work tirelessly each day for the wellbeing of our community.

A good example of this was during the October 16 storm when Mother Nature caught most people (including weather experts) off-guard, sending extreme wind and rain through our town. Countless trees and debris fell across Manchester bringing down power lines and leaving most residents in the dark for several days and creating unexpected damage to homes, vehicles and boats. The cumulative efforts of the Police Department, Fire Department and DPW during this time were greatly appreciated as they worked relentlessly to ensure the safety of all residents and provide assistance to those in need.

The harbor was simultaneously impacted during this time. The Harbormaster along with the Police Department, Manchester Yacht Club and many concerned residents came together to diligently and swiftly rescue over two-dozen boats that were affected.

The town of Manchester-by-the-Sea shows great strength when rallying through such challenges as well as during happier times. Recently, the local community and public servants came together to unanimously appoint our new Police Chief, Todd Fitzgerald, who has demonstrated commitment and pride in our community for his entire career. The positive support of everyone involved through letters, phone calls and meeting attendance facilitated a clear-cut choice.

Town Meetings reflect another poignant moment where we celebrate coming together as a community to discuss, constructively debate and vote on essential decisions that keep the town running smoothly. We consistently rely on the indispensable input from residents at these meetings to ensure positive outcomes.

Highlights like these should not cause us to overlook the regular day-to-day work of our town employees.  A smile as you check out a book at the library, a hearty laugh from an after-school program instructor, or a “Let me find out and get right back to you” from an office staff person all reflect the good work employees are doing.

Yes, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving with family and friends. And join me in appreciation of our town employees who help all of our lives run smoothly in a town for which we all care.