This year’s award winner grew up in Wilton, CT. After serving in the Signal Corp in the Army in Korea, he went on to have a long and successful career with Perkin Elmer here in CT. Upon retiring in 2001, our recipient moved to Washington where his keen interest in town government led him to immerse himself in public service. In speaking to our recipient, he remarked that his primary motivation to serve has been the recognition that life has been very good to him, and now it was his time to give back as much as he could. For the past 12 year’s our winner has done just that.
He began his volunteerism in Washington by joining the Inland Wetlands Commission. He quickly became an active member of the Commission and in his 10 years has served in various capacities, including Chairperson. Our award winner has spent much time attending state training sessions to ensure he was well versed on all relevant state statutes. He has tirelessly worked to improve and restructure the Commissions operations in town, and has helped it adapt to the ever changing landscape of regulations. During his time with the Commission, it has gained a reputation for being professional, unbiased and applicant friendly.
Our award winner has also been very involved with our Region 12 school system for many years. He has served as the chairperson of the facilities committee and has been a full member of the board of education for the last 6 years. During his tenure, he has been a strong advocate for identifying and fixing many deferred maintenance projects at our school facilities throughout the region and has been consistently trying to build consensus on the best path forward for our wonderful school system.
Based on all the efforts of our award winner to bring about positive changes for our community, he was asked to fill a vacant position on our board of selectmen 18 months ago. Since taking on the post, our winner has taken on leading role in the town garage reconstruction effort as well as the rebuilding of the main hall in the town hall after the explosion, among many others.
Although our award winner has lived in Washington only since 2001, his commitment and involvement in our community could fill a lifetime. His endless energy for volunteerism and his leadership in some of the most demanding organizations in town make him an exceptional citizen of Washington. Whether volunteering at the hospital or reading to children at the primary school each week, our winner is consistently looking for ways to give back to our community. And in the same spirit as Major Reich, our winner has made all these contributions in a quiet way, never seeking recognition or the spotlight.
It is my great honor to announce the winner of the 2013 Major Reich Award for Exceptional Citizenship: Tony Bedini.