Littleton honors Gregg's contributions to the town


June 03, 2009
LITTLETON—Not only was last Thursday Judd Gregg day in Littleton, it was proclaimed so throughout all of Executive Council District One by Executive Councilor Ray Burton.

"I don't know if I have the authority but I'm going to go ahead and do it," Burton said at a ceremony for Gregg in the Littleton Opera House, coinciding with the grand opening of the newly renovated structure.

The Republican U.S. Senator was being honored by Littleton for all he has done for the town over the years in getting federal funds for one project or another, from the Industrial Park and the bridge leading into it, to the Opera House, to Main Street reconstruction.

Gregg is not running for reelection when his term runs out next year and one of the organizers, Brien Ward, said recently that might have played a role in establishing "Judd Gregg Day."

"The time seemed right," Ward said.

There was standing room only in the Opera House as the town holiday was proclaimed. It was the first event in the historic town structure since its just completed renovation. After the ceremony honoring Gregg, there was a brief ribbon cutting ceremony declaring the building open. Ward noted that those in the room were the first ones to walk on the floor of the just finished structure.

Besides Ward, several other people got up to speak about Gregg, including Joel Bedor, co-chairman of the Opera House Committee, which oversaw the planning for the renovation. He said back in 2005 he and others were appalled that people were talking about razing the Opera House rather than finding a way to reopen it. It was closed in the late summer of 2005 for fire and safety code violations. Now the building is safe, code compliant and can be enjoyed for years to come, thanks to Gregg, Bedor said.

Bob Copenhaver, Greg Eastman and State Rep. Rusty Bulis also spoke. Bulis said he was pleased to note that "New Hampshire's senator" got center stage billing earlier in the year when President Barack Obama asked Gregg to be his secretary of Commerce, a position Gregg eventually declined.

When introducing Gregg, Ward said, "everyone in New Hampshire is proud of your accomplishments, and if there is anyone the town of Littleton appreciates, it's you."

Gregg noted that his wife Kathleen makes the most important decisions, and one of the most important was her choice years ago that they get married in the North Country. He has always had a strong connection to the North Country.

"It's a special place," Gregg said.

Gregg said he was pleased to offer what help he could over the years but noted that the credit for the success didn't really belong with him but with the people in Littleton who make such projects possible through their energy and devotion.

"It's not me but the people of this place that give it its energy," Gregg said. "Project after project succeeds because of that energy."

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