WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Board of Selectmen recently honored one of its own — Mike McCoy — who is leaving the board after 30 years (and 2 extra months) of service.
“Congratulations. 30 years of public service to the community is quite an accomplishment,” Selectman Kevin Caira told McCoy. “22 meetings a year x 3 hours a meeting x 30 years = 1,980 hours. It’s an incredible feat… I’m sure you’ll continue to serve the community in one capacity or another.”
“You’re a family guy… I appreciated the focus you hand on your own family. You talk about your wife like you two just got married,” said Selectman Jonathan Eaton. “You always treated me fairly. I wish you nothing but the best in the future.”
“My first year was your 30th year. I never expected my first year to feel like 30 years,” Selectwoman Jomarie O’Mahony told McCoy. “I appreciate all the things I’ve learned from you… And I appreciate you tolerating the new kid asking a lot of questions.”
“Growing up in this town, I’ve known of Mr. McCoy my whole life. I’ve had the opportunity to work with you these last couple of years,” said Selectmen Chair Greg Bendel. “You always treated me with respect. And I always admired most how much of a family man you were.”
“I served with you for 9 years. I know how much time goes into service on the Board of Selectmen. I have an admiration and respect for you and the years you’ve dedicated to the Town of Wilmington,” said former Selectman Mike Champoux. “We didn’t always agree 100% on issues., but we were always able to disagree without being disagreeable with each other…. Your name will live in the history in the Town of Wilmington.”
“30 years is an incredible commitment for anyone to make when it comes to public service,” added Town Manager Jeff Hull. “We didn’t always and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. You can disagree without being disagreeable. I was struck by your passion for constituent services.. and your dedication to your family. Your children reflect well on you…. You’ve given more than enough to this town. It’s time to dedicate some time to yourself.”
Selectman Mike McCoy Says Goodbye
Selectman McCoy thanked his colleagues for their remarks and then read from a prepared statement:
“I have to admit, last night I didn’t sleep well because I was thinking about what I wanted to say. I wish I was sitting in room 9 at the town hall talking to everyone in person and live on WCTV. Zoom meetings are okay, but very impersonal and while I’m grateful that they are an option, I hope they become a thing of the past. I sit here tonight at my last meeting with mixed emotions because it’s been a great ride, and an interesting journey. I’ve always enjoyed helping people because I’ve always been in the people business as a selectman and the owner of a very busy restaurant.
During my 30 years and two months tenure as selectman, every single vote I made, was made with the intention of doing what was best for our town and the residents who live here. At the end of each election when I was running for office, when the votes were tallied and the winners were officially announced, at the Town Hall I thanked the residents who voted for me and the residents who didn’t vote for me because I wanted to be their selectman too.
As your selectman, I’ve served with three town managers, four different town counsels, and to the best of my recollection I’ve sat on the board with 24 different selectmen. I believe as selectman, we should be in the people business and not just cater to the few elite in the community. Many of you who know me know that I am 100% pro-resident and keeping our community a nice place to live. I believe we should keep Wilmington, Wilmington. Many people who live here moved away from a big city with the intention of raising their families in a smaller town and the long-term residents want the same. I assure you I gave it my all to keep the small-town feel.
Throughout the years and dealing with various issues in town, I was blessed to have made a lot of friends along the way and I also made some enemies with those who did not agree with my vision. I’m actually very proud of those enemies because in the words of the great Winston Churchill ‘You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something some time in your life.’
As a public figure, people don’t realize that it’s necessary to perform a balancing act between town business, constituent needs, running a busy restaurant and family. I was a selectman before I got married and became a dad. Being involved in politics doesn’t require the attention of just one person in the household—it involves everyone. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank my family and I especially want to thank my wife Danielle for her undying support and belief in me. My wife was my sounding board, my voice of reason, my campaign manager, my secretary and so much more.
At my departure tonight, I want residents to remember me as the selectman who listened and more importantly, the selectman who cared about the town of Wilmington and the people who live here.”
Bendel is delivering a commemorative plaque with a gavel to McCoy on behalf of the Board.
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