The announcements this week by Town Council President Thomas Reilly and fellow council member Richard Gill that they won’t be seeking re-election in November will leave a void on the council that will be difficult, if not impossible, to fill.
It is fair to say that during their long careers in town government service in which Tom and Richard both have served in a wide variety of roles, they have brought a degree of level-headedness, fairness, and integrity that has been matched by few others in the past 40 years.
Tom and Richard never engaged in hyperbole or personalities. They stuck to the issues and always could be counted upon to do what they felt was best for the town.
Their wisdom, common sense, and experience have been invaluable during these initial years of Winthrop’s conversion from a Town Meeting form of government to that of a Town Manager/Town Council. That both of these men were elected to the first Town Council by their fellow townspeople is a testament to the high regard in which they are held by the people of our community who have recognized that their 80 years of combined service to the town were greatly needed during these pressing times.
Both Tom and Richard are from among the best known and most respected longtime families in Winthrop. Their many years of outstanding service have contributed to the high esteem in which their family names are held in Winthrop today.
We wish both Tom Reilly and Richard Gill a happy “retirement” from the political spotlight. They truly have exemplified the ideal of what a democracy is all about in a small town such as ours – our best people stepping forward to serve their community of friends, family, and neighbors.