WILMINGTON, MA — After nine years on the board, Wilmington Selectman Chair Mike Champoux served his final meeting last Monday night. His colleagues — past and present — took time to recognize his service to the Town of Wilmington.
“I want to say thank you for your three terms on this board,” said the Town’s Veterans Director and former Selectman Lou Cimaglia. “A couple words of come to mind — ‘honorable’ and ‘family.’ I’ve known you for over 15 years now and you’ve done nothing but good for this board and this community through your volunteerism… You’re a stand-up guy.”
“You’ve been in town for 20 years. Talk about jumping into a community with two feet! It’s just outstanding what you’ve done,” said Selectman Kevin Caira. “Thank you, Michael, for your dedication and devotion to this position. Every decision that you’ve made has been in the best interest of this community. He goes over and above anything we do — he attends all the MMA Conferences and Breakfasts. He represents the Board admirably. He’s always out there, positive, and giving back… Wilmington is a much better place because of what you’ve done and the decisions you’ve made over the years.”
“I’ve learned so much from you and the way you’ve conducted yourself at meetings and public events,” said Selectman Ed Loud. “I know you’re going to continue [volunteering]… I know I’ll keep seeing you around town… and I’ve got two of your phone numbers, so I’m all good.”
“When I think of you, I think of a lot of things. I think about the work ethic that you have. You’re probably the most tireless worker I can think of and someone who has the biggest heart. The sincerity you bring to this seat goes far beyond politics and professionals. You bring an extreme human element to public service. It’s been a labor of love for you and you’ve always wanted to do the right thing. People with integrity and character, like yourself, lead by example,” said former Selectwoman Judy O’Connell. “There are very few men in my life that have a deeper sense of family than you do. You’re so proud to be a son to your parents, a family member of the Champouxs, and most proud to be a husband and a dad…. You’re very articulate. Certainly very intelligent. You’ve been a gift to the Town of Wilmington. We’re so lucky to have had you.”
“Serving on the board for the past two years, I’ve learned a lot from you. You and I haven’t always agreed on every issue, but you’re always respectful. Sometimes when you take a different side or position, it gives me pause to think I should give it a little more thought. Every time Mike Champoux makes a decision, he always does what’s in the best interest of the community,” said Selectman Greg Bendel. “I appreciate your honesty, your respectful nature, and just how hard you’ve worked. You’ve given a lot of yourself to be out there four, five, and six nights a week serving the community.”
“Mike has his three priorities in order,” continued Bendel. “His family, his faith and his community. Tonight is a culmination of those three things. He has a loving family and he’s a man of strong faith. He should know that this community will also have his back because we really appreciate everything you’ve done for us for the past 9 years, the years prior to that, and what you’ll do in the future…. And I’m not only grateful for WHAT you’ve done, but HOW you’ve done it — you’ve always done things the right way.”
“I was one of the first people who knew you’d be a smash hit because I did your residency background check,” joked Police Chief Michael Begonis. “He’s a true gentleman. I’ve never had a conversation that I didn’t feel comfortable walking away comfortable, happy or pleased with his thought process. You’ve always been supportive of the Wilmington Police Department and Department Heads. I’ve never heard an ill word about you.”
“Mike has always been a true gentleman with an incredible amount of patience. I’m impressed by his fair mindedness, his even keel, his thoughtful decision making, and his desire to really understand the workings of local government,” said Town Manager Jeff Hull. “He’s a bit of a local government geek — he takes a lot of interest and pride in learning the local government workings and going to Massachusetts Municipal Association [events]. He’s been a great individual to work with. I respect him and appreciate this opportunity to have worked with him.”
“In some way, I hope my service to Wilmington served as an example to my children, and other young people, of one way someone can give back to their community,” said Mike Champoux. “This has been a beneficial experience for me, but for my family too.”
After receiving a plaque from the town, Champoux thanked his current and former colleagues, Town Manager Jeff Hull, former Town Manager Michael Caira, and Wilmington Community Television for its coverage of municipal meetings. He plans on spending his free Monday nights by watching the Selectmen’s meetings from home. Champoux will continue to stay involved in town, having just joined the WCTV Board of Directors, as well as his work with the Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce. In fact, he just signed up to help with the Moving Wall coming to town this summer.
“It’s been a heck of a ride. Some things didn’t go as planned, most did,” added Champoux. “I’m proud as I drive around town and look at some of the signs, fields and buildings, that I sat on this board, and together with my colleagues and town management, we made some remarkable things occur.”
(NOTE: Selectman Mike McCoy did not offer comments as he was absent from the meeting, presumably due to the passing of his Uncle Jim Miceli.)
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