By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – State Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury) and State Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury) both attended the July 14 Board of Selectmen’s meeting to honor retiring Town Counsel T. Philip Leader.
All present had congratulatory words for Leader, who served in that capacity for 37 years. Moore and Kane presented Leader with a citation of achievement issued by the Massachusetts Legislature in his honor.
Leader was first appointed Town Counsel on June 30, 1978. According to an additional citation presented to him by the selectmen, “Mr. Leader’s work on behalf of the town will never be duplicated by another individual.”
Selectmen Chair Moira Miller stated that Leader’s efforts on behalf of the town had gone “above and beyond” the duties of his position. Selectman Henry Fitzgerald added that “the great way he had cut through so much clutter from before the time I’ve been a selectman” was one of Leader’s accomplishments. Selectman Maurice Depalo mentioned a very lengthy suit in which the town had been involved in for six years that had come to a satisfactory conclusion because of Leader’s work and that he had “kept the town out of court on many occasions.” Selectmen John Lebeaux, physically absent but participating through speaker phone, said that he was grateful for all of Leader’s advice and help over the years.
Leader, in return, thanked the selectmen and the state representatives for their kind words and added that it had been his privilege to serve for so long as town counsel. He also agreed with Miller that he was fortunate to be retiring while he still had the health to enjoy it.
After the ceremony, the selectmen chose Atty. Stephen Madaus, of the Worcester-based firm Mirick O’Connell, to be the new town counsel.