Griffin honored for 30 years as commissioner
CHURCH HILL — It’s been 30 years since John P. “Mr. Jack” Griffin Sr. was first elected as a Church Hill town commissioner, and he’s still at it at the age of 87.
Prior to the town commissioners’ regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 1, Griffin was recognized by colleagues, friends, and family members for his uninterrupted service to the town. For 27 of those years he has been president of the board of commissioners, a post he still holds.
“We, his fellow commissioners, are filled with admiration and gratitude for his outstanding, generous
citizenship,” said Commissioner Ed Raffetto as he read a resolution honoring Griffin. Raffetto said his service to the town has been “faithful, diligent, and compassionate.” He presented Griffin with a star-shaped pin for his 30 years of ser vice.
Commissioner Charlie Rhodes recalled that over the years the board has dealt with a number of important issues, such as the building of the town sewage system and the possibility of a Walmart store locating in town, and said “Jack has been through many, many of these complicated issues, and done an excellent job.”
Those sentiments were echoed by a number of people who spoke at the recognition event held in the hall of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. About 40 people attended, including former town commissioners, present-day volunteers for the town, and a number of elected officials, in addition to family members and friends.
Four generations of the Griffin family were there. In addition to Griffin and his wife Rettsy, their daughter Jane Jensen, grandson John Beville, and great-grandson Mason, 8, attended. Their son John Jr., who is with the Maryland State Police, was unable to attend.
A red, white, and blue cake with an inscription thanking Griffin for his many years of “dedicated service” was served, and there were also other refreshments.
Tributes were presented from elected officials on the state and local level, beginning with a proclamation from Gov. Larry Hogan, presented by Del. Steve Arentz, R-36-Queen Anne’s. In it, the governor spoke of Griffin’s “positive contributions” to the town and the state and expressed his “highest admiration, gratitude, and sincere best wishes for the future.”
Arentz also read a proclamation from Sen. Steve Hershey, R-36-Upper Shore, who was unable to attend. In the proclamation, Hershey recognized Griffin’s long tenure of “faithful, focused, and excellent service” as a town commissioner. The proclamation, also signed by State Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, extended the Senate’s “best wishes on this honorable occasion.”
“We can’t tell you how much we appreciate ever ything that you have done,” Arentz said, after reading a proclamation from himself, and Dels. Jay Jacobs and Jeff Ghrist, of the 36th District. The delegation offered “sincerest congratulations” to Griffin for his long record of public service.
Commissioners Jim Moran and Jack Wilson represented the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners in presenting Griffin with a proclamation stating that he is “deeply respected by all” and has worked together with the county commissioners “for the common good of all the citizens.” Moran also said he has enjoyed serving with Griffin on the Queen Anne’s County Council of Governments for three years, saying he learned a lot from working with him.
Jake Romanell, presidentelect of the Maryland Municipal League, which represents 157 municipalities across the state, presented Griffin with an MML Presidential Citation. “You’ve done a lot of wonderful things here, and you’ve worked tirelessly over these last 30 years to improve ever ybody’s quality of life in these parts,” Romanell said. He also pointed out that Griffin is a “distinguished member” of MML’s Hall of Fame, which recognizes officials for 20 or more years of service.
Griffin’s wife of 66 years, Rettsy Griffin, said she and the family very much appreciated the honors accorded to her husband. She told how, over the years, “he used to patrol the streets” to stay on top of issues in the community, and she called him a “wonderful father, and grandfather, and greatgrandfather.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Griffin said also he appreciated the efforts of everyone who made the evening possible.
Jack Griffin was born in 1929 and has lived his entire life in Church Hill, except when he was on active duty with the Army during the Korean War. He is a longtime member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He was a member of the last class to graduate from Church Hill High School in 1946, and spent 40 years in the construction business, retiring as a painter. A great fan of baseball, his hobbies include gardening and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The evening concluded with a prayer by the Rev. Shane Moran of Church Hill United Methodist Church.
Del. Steve Arentz, left, presents Church Hill Town Commissioner Jack Griffin with citations from the Governor, State Senate, and House of Delegates, recognizing his 30 years as a Church Hill town commissioner.
Rettsy Griffin, Jack Griffin’s wife of 66 years, tells those attending a tribute to her husband’s 30 years as a Church Hill town commissioner, that the family appreciates the work done by those who made it a reality.
Four generations of the Griffin family at a ceremony recognizing Town Commssioner Jack Griffin’s 30 years on the town board. Left to right are grandson John Beville, great-grandson Mason Beville, Commissioner Griffin, and his daughter Jane Jensen. His son, John Griffin, Jr., was unable to attend.
Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Jim Moran, right, presents a proclamation from the county commissioners, to Church Hill Town Commissioner Jack Griffin, stating that Griffin is “respected by all” for the work he has done in three decades as a town commissioner.
Church Hill Town Commissioner Jack Griffin, left, and Jake Romanell, President-Elect of the Maryland Municipal League, right, display an MML Presidential Citation presented to Griffin in honor of his 30 years as a town commissioner.