“I’m totally surprised that this should happen,” Westport Island Second Selectman Gerald Bodmer said Monday night. His fellow town officials had just surprised the 12-year board member with the annual town report, dedicated to him.
The cover has a collage of photographs of him over the years. Inside the report, the dedication states in part: “Three words best define Jerry as a community leader: service, commitment, and fairness – listening to everyone.” It notes he has been the plumbing inspector 47 years and is going for 50. He served in the Navy, worked at Bath Iron Works and has lived in town 53 years and shown “unflagging” support for friends, residents and town office staff, the dedication notes.
Bodmer has been a great guy to work with, First Selectman George Richardson said. Tuesday, June 8, voters pick Bodmer’s successor. Citing health reasons in March, Bodmer did not run. Monday, taking part in the selectmen’s meeting over the phone, he explained his surprise over the honor was “because there are a lot more people on the island who deserve (this) for the work that they’ve done ... Thank all you guys, for doing this for me.”
Meeting participants, some in-person at the town office, praised his service. “Congratulations, Jerry. We appreciate all you’ve done for the town,” Richardson said. Deputy Municipal Agent Gaye Wagner, who went to Bodmer’s home for the surprise, told the meeting, “I was worried that Jerry would either cry or throw things at us. And I’m happy report that he didn't throw anything but he has cried.”
The meeting was the last one planned with a remote element. The board recently resumed in-person meetings and is ending the UberConference calls it has used in the pandemic.
The board agreed to meet June 15 with a professional negotiator on the Albert Greenleaf-Baker Road matter; and noted a June 23 mandatory kickoff workshop broadband committee members will attend for ConnectME grant award winners.