As Watertown prepares to inaugurate the newly elected officials on Jan. 2, 2018, two familiar faces will not be among the Town Councilors sworn in – Susan Falkoff and Aaron Dushku.
Their colleagues paid tribute to the two Councilors stepping down this year during the final Council meeting of 2017. Each received a proclamation from the Council along with a framed print of Town Hall.
Falkoff served as a Councilor-At-Large for a dozen years. Her run was interrupted after her first term, but she returned two years later to serve on the Council for the last decade.
Looking back, she said she is happy to be leaving the Council on her own terms.
“I am really glad that I got to work with great people,” Falkoff said.
District D Councilor Ken Woodland said serving on subcommittees with Falkoff was always enjoyable, in part because she was able to lighten the mood.
“I think I would say definitely say Susan is my favorite person to be on a committee with,” Woodland said. “There is always a level of humor that is intelligent and allows us to move the meeting forward.”
Town Council President Mark Sideris noted that Falkoff’s work on town boards started well before she became a Councilor. She served on the Conservation Commission and the Watertown Arsenal Reuse Committee. Town Manager Michael Driscoll said he remembers meeting Falkoff in 1992 when she was on the Multi-Service Center’s Board of Directors.
Dushku was elected to two terms as Councilor-At-Large, each time receiving the most votes. His colleagues pointed to Dushku’s tenacity, as well as knowing when to say when.
As chairman of committees, including the Public Works and the Ad Hoc Transportation committees, Dushku worked hard, said Sideris.
“You really, really moved the ball forward,” Sideris said. “You served the committees well.”
Woodland said one of the most important things he has learned on the Council is a quality that he has seen displayed multiple times by Dushku.
“When he brings something forward he follows through, but if something doesn’t fit, then say ‘OK,’ and move on,” Woodland said. “There is a level of humility, respect for the process, and wanting to do what’s best for the town.”
Dushku thanked the people who elected him and said he enjoyed working with constituents on issues. He also thanked those on the Council and on the town staff who he worked with.
“Thanks to the people for putting up with me always wanting to push forward,” Dushku said. “And for teaching me to be a better Councilor and a better person.”
He also wanted residents to know that, even if they disagree with their decisions, the Town Councilors work very hard to serve the people of Watertown.
Finally, he thanked his wife and three children.
“I am looking forward to spending more time with them,” Dushku said.