Pat Scully wasn’t looking for a new job. But on that day 32 years ago, when 2nd selectman Barbara Butler — like Pat, a Parent/Child Center board member — said that the selectman’s office had an opening, Pat figured, why not?
She’d been an administrative assistant in private industry for nearly 15 years. Her current job was with General Datacomm in Danbury. With a young son at Kings Highway Elementary School, the much shorter commute was appealing.
After all, Pat lived within walking distance of Town Hall.
She began work there in 1981 as administrative secretary to First Selectman Bill Seiden. She continued with his successors: Marty Hauhuth, Doug Wood and Joe Arcudi.
Diane Farrell promoted her to office manager. That’s been Pat’s title for the past 16 years. She ran the 5-person selectman’s office — then watched as, with downsizing, it shrunk to 2.
Gordon Joseloff will be Pat Scully’s last 1st selectman. She retires Friday, after 32 years organizing 6 chief executives’ calendars, handling their correspondence and — especially — handling complaints.
Complaints are a huge part of a 1st selectman’s work. But they couldn’t do it without Pat.
“I know where to send everything,” she says proudly. And no, it’s not the trash basket (or, these days, the “delete” button).
Each 1st selectman is different. Some are hands-on; others, hands-off. Hauhuth wanted to preserve open space. Farrell — the “Brown Bag Lunch” lady — was known for constituent services. Joseloff has been very concerned with public safety.
From her perch at Town Hall, Pat has seen plenty of changes. “There is much less of a mom-and-pop atmosphere,” she says. But the Little League parade last August brought some of that feeling back. “It was so home-grown and wonderful,” she notes. “I had tears in my eyes.”
When she lived in Westport, Pat was involved in town affairs far beyond her job. She spent many years on boards of the Saugatuck Congregational Church.
Her 1st husband died 20 years ago. She raised her son as a single parent. Now she lives in the Valley. She’s remarried, with a 3-month-old granddaughter. Pat looks forward to seeing her more often.
This is a good time to retire, she says — “for me, for my husband, and for the town. There’s a change in administrations” — Jim Marpe will be sworn in Monday as 1st selectman — “and new blood is coming in.”
Pat has spent several months training her successor, Eileen Francis.
While she won’t miss the drive to work, she will miss everyone in Town Hall.
“They’re wonderful,” Pat says. “I hope Westporters realize how great they all are.”
Just as I hope everyone who has ever had business in Town Hall realizes how blessed we are to have had her in the selectman’s office, for 32 fantastic years.