Karen Armour, who stepped down as Darien Representative Town Meeting moderator and didn't run for re-election, was given a warm farewell by the RTM Tuesday during its first meeting after the November election.
Armour was presented with flowers, a silver plate hugs, kisses and accolades from RTM members and First Selectman Jayme Stevenson who told Armour from the podium:
"A few words could never sum up how grateful I am, we all are, Darien is for your years of service." Stevenson said Armour could be relied on for "grace, wisdom and a healthy dose of a sense of humor." She also told Armour she was "a role model of public service."
RTM Member Eugene Coyle recalled suggesting to Armour one day at the Darien Nature Center that she run for moderator.
"I'd like to say it's been a pleasure working with you," Coyle said, "but it's been more like a privilege working with you."
RTM Member Seth Morton recalled learning the ropes with Armour during their early days in office, attending meetings of various boards and studying up and then realizing they were some of the most knowledgable public officials in the town's government.
Armour accepted a bouquet of flowers and a silver plate which read (see attached photo): "Town of Darien / Founded 1737 / Presented to Karen A. Armour / With Appreciation from the Town of Darien / RTM / 1984-2012 / Moderator / 2002-2012 / Thank You!"
Armour struggled to retain her composure at several points.
Here are Armour's remarks Tuesday to the Representative Town Meeting:
Thank you very much. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as moderator.
Year after year, it is the RTM's responsibility to vet budgets and enact appropriate legislation to thelp the Town arrive at satisfactory resolutions that insure unbroken delivery of the essential services that define the quality of life we prize in Darien.
Some of you may be less familiar with the Charter, which is the umbrella under which the town oerates. It is a primary resonsibility of the RTM that the Charter be effective Following the failures of two Charter revision commissions, the RTM has committed to revising the Charter. We have been making steady progress, and have a priority plan to bring this project to a successful conclusion.
As we so often here: Democracy is not a spectator sport. We shoul be proud that we have a tradition of aprticipatory government that actually works. We study the issues and come to fact-based conclusions.
You are all the next links in the chain of commitment and accomplishment.
I have every confidence that you will continue in the tradition that has worked so well for the past 50-plus years. I am proud to pass the baton to you.