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MacDonald honored for years of service, making town a priority

Friends, family and community members packed the Senior Center to celebrate MacDonald’s years of service to the town last Wednesday and to congratulate him on his retirement.

Gordon Cushing, recreation department director, led the way through the event as master of ceremonies, introducing speakers and presenting gifts.

David Madigan, Board of Selectmen chair, presented MacDonald with a resolution, honoring his work with the town. The resolution highlights the vast improvements made to the town throughout MacDonald’s tenure, including the reopening of the Tarkiln Community Center, construction of the Percy Walker Pool, Fire Station, Police Station, Senior Center and the crematorium.

“Richard MacDonald did common things uncommonly well,” Madigan said. “He had the greatest commitment to this town. And I want to congratulate him on his retirement.”

State Representative Tom Calter reminisced on how MacDonald “took care” of him right from the start and mused on the impact of a dedicated town manager to a town.

“When I think about Richard, I think about what we are lacking in our leadership in this country,” Calter said. “Think about it. If every person in of- fice, every town manager, was described with the adjectives we used to describe Richard – a person of character, integrity, courage – what a place this would be. What a time this would be to live in.”

State Representative Josh Cutler told a story about how he met MacDonald “at second base."

"It was a town softball game and I was up at bat," Cutler said. "I'm not much of an athlete, but I managed to hit the ball into shallow center field and as I slid into second to stretch it for a double, Richard applies the tag – a little high in my opinion – and I walked off, joking something along the lines of 'You'd be a better coach than second basemen.'"

Cutler said MacDonald proved himself to be a great coach – an “all-star coach” for the Town. Among adjectives Cutler used to describe MacDonald were fairness, straight shooter, decisiveness, good listener, and professional.

“Richard exudes professionalism,” Cutler said. “He has made the town run much more professionally.”

Reps. Cutler and Calter presented MacDonald with a resolution from the state House of Representatives, commending him on his years of hard work and dedication to the town.

As Cushing took the microphone, he commended MacDonald on his ability to make tough decisions and leading the town through one of the worst financial crises in recent memory without laying off any town employees. In addition to his own comments, Cushing read messages from department heads around town. Among the most common remarks were references to MacDonald’s professional attire, holding employees to a high standard and excellent communication skills.

“From me, Linda, I have to let you know golf does not take eight hours to play,” Cushing reminded MacDonald’s wife. “Your application for sainthood has already been approved.”

Fire Chief Kevin Nord and Police Chief Matthew Clancy thanked MacDonald for his support of the emergency services departments and awarded him a plaque and commissioner badge for his work.

After being presented with a framed Duxbury football jersey, complete with the number “1” on the front, and a rocking chair engraved with the Town seal, MacDonald addressed the crowd, introducing new town manager Rene Read and wishing him the best of luck.

“I’m not sure Linda realizes yet that I am going to be home all day, every day,” MacDonald said amid laughs. “I also think I need to make a few corrections. When you represent Duxbury, I feel you should represent the town in the proper clothing and I will make no apologies for that.”

MacDonald thanked his wife, three sons, Jason, Brad and Chris, grandchildren, brother and sisters-in-law for coming to the event, as well as Sue Kelley and Anne Murray for their hard work in his office. 

“I want to thank them for serving on the front lines,” MacDonald said. “When you work in the office of the town manager, those are definitely the front lines. They did a fan- tastic job of supporting me.”

MacDonald said he was very proud of his many accomplishments over the years and said he believes his management team was the best in the Commonwealth.

“I thank this community for their overwhelming support of me,” he said. “Thank you.”