Grif­fin hon­ored for 30 years as com­mis­sioner

Record Observer - - Front Page - By JACK SHAUM jshaum@kibay­times.com

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.

PHOTO BY JACK SHAUM

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.

PHO­TOS BY JACK SHAUM

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.

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