Outgoing Chair Garvin offers closing comments

At the Monday, November 8, 2021 Town Council meeting Chair Jamie Garvin, who will be ending his six year tenure serving on the Town Council in December, offered the following words of gratitude and sentiments:

Tonight is the final regular meeting for three of us whose terms expire next month. Councilor Deveraux and Councilor Gabrielson are marking the conclusion of their first terms, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them both for their contributions to the council and the community. 

Valerie was still a relative newcomer to Cape when she was elected in 2018. She had been active as a volunteer in the schools and other community organizations, but took the chance to become more involved in helping to shape the overall direction of the town by running for a council seat. During her tenure she has twice served as Chair of the Appointments Committee, guiding the important process of reviewing and selecting citizens to our town boards and committees. She has also brought empathy and compassion to her role as a member of the Thomas Jordan Trust Grants Committee, serving our neighbors in need. And she has voiced an important and critical point of view regarding the town’s finances and need to balance competing priorities, specifically during our annual budget process. 

Jeremy is like so many of the more and more Cape graduates that have boomeranged back to town to raise their own families, and then gotten deeply involved in the community. Based on his professional and personal background, he brought a strong conservationist perspective to the council, as exemplified by his important and just concluded stint working with the Fort Williams Park Committee on the recent update to the Park’s Master Plan. Among his other council assignments, Jeremy has also been notable for his engagement at a regional level with the Greater Portland Council of Government’s General Assembly and its Metro Coalition group. And this past year he led the important work on the annual budget as the chairman of the finance committee.

Valerie, while you’ll be joining me among the ranks of former councilors, it seems — for now, at least — that Jeremy’s work will continue on. 

Jeremy — I, for one, am thankful for your willingness to continue to serve, and I think the citizens will continue to benefit from your thoughtful and considered approach to the issues and your openness to listening to a range of opinions before reaching a conclusion.

I know my fellow councilors and fellow Capers join me in thanking you both for the commitment and service you have given to our town, and in recognition of that, I am pleased to present you both with the traditional commemorative chairs, engraved with the seal of the Town of Cape Elizabeth, and personalized for each of you. I hope this will proudly adorn a living room or office, and bring you both fond memories of these last three years.

Would you all please join me in a round of applause for Councilor Deveraux and Councilor Gabrielson. 

As my time as a town councilor draws to a close in the next few weeks, there are a few things I would like to say and a number of people I’d like to thank.

I’ve made note a number of times before that I am not from Cape Elizabeth originally, nor from Maine for that matter. But as many people from away like to say, I got here as soon as I could. And I’ve now lived in this town for nearly 20 years, by far longer than anywhere else in my life. I don’t mean to sound saccharine when I say it, but this place is truly in my soul, and there is no place else I could imagine being. And to that end, serving on the town council for the last six years has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Having the chance to give back to this community that has given me so much has meant more to me than I could have ever imagined. 

Over the course of my two terms, I’ve had the chance to be joined up here by 13 other individuals. I would like to say thank you to my current colleagues Nicole Boucher, Valerie Deveraux, Jeremy Gabrielson, Caitin Jordan, Penny Jordan, and Gretchen Noonan, as well as past colleagues Patty Grennon, Sara Lennon, Molly MacAuslan, Kathy Ray, Jessica Sullivan, Valerie Adams, and Chris Straw. Serving in elected office, even local municipal government like this, is oftentimes a thankless task, and sadly one being made even more so of late. I commend each and every one of my fellow councilors, past and present, for their willingness to serve the community with dedication and in good faith, and I extend that to all of the members of the school board I’ve had the chance to work with over the years as well.

There are also some past councilors with whom I did not serve, but whose experience and advice I have valued immensely over the years. Thank you to Anne Swift-Kayatta, Mary Ann Lynch, Jim Rowe, Jim Walsh, and most especially my friend Joe Groff.

No list of gratitude would be complete without sharing my sincere appreciation for all of the Town of Cape Elizabeth staff and personnel. We are so fortunate to have such a professional and dedicated group of people working here. In particular, thank you to Matt Sturgis and all of the department heads; thank you to former Town Manager Mike McGovern and Former Public Works Director Bob Malley; and thank you from the bottom of my heart to Assistant Town Manager and Town Clerk Debra Lane. Deb, you truly are the engine that makes this town run, and we are so very fortunate to have you.

One of the most frequent things people say to me in regard to the council is what a sacrifice of time it must be. Sure, we have a lot of meetings, some occasional late nights, and there is a lot of work in between. But the real sacrifice is made by our families and friends, who graciously grant us the time to fulfill our commitment. I would not have been able to do this for the last six years without the support and selflessness of my family — my boys Teddy and Charlie, and my saint of a wife Emily — and I will be forever grateful to them.

It has been a privilege to serve the citizens of Cape Elizabeth on this body, one that I have enjoyed tremendously and will truly miss. I will leave the council gratified with the work we have done and with the satisfaction of having made some small difference in moving our community forward. I have great confidence in my fellow councilors whose terms continue, and in the people of this amazing community, and I wish you all well.

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