Joann Clark Austin has devoted a significant part of her adult life to public service, approximating 25 years of serving, volunteering or in an elected public office position. Her last day in public office will be on November 1, 2017. Joann’s “getting involved” has had a fundamental meaning to her; a genuine concern for her local community expressed in working for its betterment and caring for those in need within it and having the consciousness of a concerned citizen; the consciousness of a town mother or town father.
This idea of hers, being a town mother, incorporates a sense of understanding how one’s interests are reliant upon the community as a whole. Traditionally the town mother or town father concerned themselves with the investment each had made in the community, whether in public office, business or family. Their (town mothers and town fathers) time and energy were tied to a community in some way.
Joann believes the investment of oneself in community requires an individual to see how her/his personal interests relate directly to community and its members and also to have information on the community and how its needs fit into larger political contexts such as the state of Maine or the nation. To have such information about one’s community in these contexts, Joann believes it requires civil practices that allow for shared conversations on what is the common good. This motivation of Ms. Austin, to perform public service, is driven within a moral context to make the world a better place. Indeed, Joan Clark Austin has made this local community a better place over a long and rewarding life of information gathering on community, many conversations, and service to others. Joann, on behalf of all the citizens in the Town of China, we are GRATEFUL.
/s/ Dan L’Heureux, China Town Manager
/s/ Select Board members Chairman Neil Farrington, Irene Belanger, Ronald Breton, Jeffrey LaVerdiere
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