Groton has indeed lost a good one with the passing, all too soon, of Fran Dillon this past Saturday.
Fran was an active member of our community and most recently a three-term member of the Board of Selectmen from June 2003 through June 2012. As a member of the Board, Fran was the stabilizing influence which saw Groton’s transition under the charter to our current form of governance. He conducted himself as an experienced statesman (he frowned on being referred to as ‘elder’!) in his dealings and approach to the many issues which came before the Board and impacted the town. And when on the rare occasion he was not on the prevailing side of an issue, he had the grace to move on and accept the consensus of his fellow Board members. He led by example and even after leaving the Board in 2012, individual selectman would touch base with him from time to time to get his view on various issues.
While fiscally conservative, Fran in his political life was not someone who could be cast in any given political mold. He was supportive of open space acquisition projects, most notably Surrenden Farm, as well as our school system. He believed strongly that local government’s primary responsibility was providing the best service to townspeople at a cost that was reasonable and sustainable. So it was appropriate then that when he left this world this past Saturday, the Selectmen and Finance Committee were scrutinizing the municipal budget and making cuts to address the current budget challenges. I have no doubt that Fran was smiling down on us.
His presence will be sorely missed and we as a town have indeed lost a good one.
Peter Cunningham, Chairman
Board of Selectmen