Town Meeting gave a standing ovation of thanks and appreciation to Jack and Peg Russell, long-time town meeting members, when it convened on Monday, November 13.
Mrs. Russell has been a town meeting member for 37 years. She was member of the League of Women voters, was instrumental in ”studying, probing and changing the way the town conducted its business” and was one of the first to move for a town charter. She served on the finance committee during the years of implementation of Proposition 2 1/2, was a elected to the school committee and recently served on the study committee to make changes to the charter.
Mr. Russell has been a member of Town Meeting for 44 years. He was a member of the board of public works before the town charter was adopted and was instrumental in the sale of the town landfill. He also helped guide the early development of Walker’s Brook Drive, especially the negotiations with TASC in the placement of its office building. When the new charter expanded the board of selectmen from three to five members, Mr. Russell was elected to the larger board and helped with the implementation of the new charter and the hiring Reading’s first town manager. More recently, Mr. Russell has been a member of the bylaw committee, the downtown parking task force, the economic development committee, and was the director of logistics for the first several Fall Street Faires.
Town Meeting Member Russell Graham commented “Their legacy of service to this community is remarkable. Everywhere you look, you see the direct impact of this . . . dynamic duo” Graham continued stating that the couple always “conducted themselves with grace, courtesy and respect.” The Russells are “taking a new direction” and will soon be leaving town.