Ken Duffy receives Margaret Grazis Citizen of the Year award

Ken Duffy received the Margaret Grazis Citizen of the Year Award before the start of Athol's Annual Town Meeting Monday night.

Ken Duffy received the Margaret Grazis Citizen of the Year Award before the start of Athol's Annual Town Meeting Monday night. PHOTO BY GREG VINE

By GREG VINE

For the Athol Daily News

Published: 06-12-2024 3:58 PM

ATHOL – Each year, prior to the start of the Annual Town Meeting, an Athol resident is honored as the Margaret Grazis Citizen of the Year, and this year that recognition was bestowed upon Ken Duffy.

In presenting the award, Selectboard member Rebecca Bialecki – on behalf of her fellow board members – noted that most residents know Duffy for his many years as chair of the town’s Finance and Warrant Advisory Committee.

“But over the last 12 to 18 months, he also stepped up to coordinate and chaired the Fire Department Staffing Advisory Committee, which held many public meetings and information sessions to gather information and inform residents about the need for more first responders on shift,” said Bialecki on Monday. “Surely, nobody wants to be the face of a request to increase taxes, but Ken’s calm demeanor and logical approach served the community well, so that folks could share opinions on the subject and make an informed decision when it came time to vote.”

Bialecki also noted that Duffy had served as a member of the Charter Review Committee, which recommended changes to the Town Charter which were approved by voters. He also sat on the American Rescue Plan Act Committee, which recommended the use of federal monies “for infrastructure, public safety and health, affordable housing, and heating fuel assistance to low- and moderate-income households,” said Bialecki.

The anonymous individual who nominated Duffy “said it best,” Bialecki noted, praising him “for always seeking ways to improve the community.”

In accepting his award, Duffy said, tongue-in-cheek, “Being a man of few words, I’ll just say ‘thank you.’”

Greg Vine can be reached at gvineadn@aol.com.

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