Former County Commissioner Marge Webster moving to Michigan
Webster resigns from Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen, effective Nov. 30
|MARGE WEBSTER has resigned as Wolfeboro selectman, effective Nov. 30, in order to move to Michigan to “be with the love of my life.” (Courtesy photo) (click for larger version)|
November 24, 2010WOLFEBORO — Since 1974 when she fought for kindergarten to be part of Governor Wentworth School District, Wolfeboro Selectman Marge Webster has served the people of Carroll County. With the New Year comes a new life for this tireless woman in the bright blue PT Cruiser. On Nov. 17 she announced her resignation at the selectmen's meeting and will become a Michigan resident Dec. 1.
Webster's term in office was set to expire in 2012. Wolfeboro voters in March will now be charged with electing someone to finish her term. The Board of Selectmen will need to appoint someone to serve in Webster's place until the March vote.
In her surprise resignation and in an e-mail announcement, Webster wrote, "I have been very fortunate to have been elected to public life for more than a quarter of a century. I have given my life to a county, a community and its people and have loved it, but now I am leaving it for the love of my life. Thus Nov. 30 will be my last day as a Wolfeboro Selectman as well as my last day living in New Hampshire. I want to thank you all for the wonderful experiences, opportunities and privileges that have been given to me. I wish for you all continued success."
"She talked about the possibility of moving in February," said Selectman Senecal, "so the announcement comes as a shock. She will definitely be missed."
"I am happy that Marge has found her true love and will be joining him soon," said Wolfeboro Selectman Chair Murray. "It was definitely a big surprise to the board when she read her announcement at the very end of the Nov. 17 Board of Selectmen's meeting. Marge brought to the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen a large wealth of knowledge from her many years in public office."
During an interview at the Granite State News office in Wolfeboro, Webster became emotional several times when reminiscing about people she has met and projects she helped complete through the years. "If you have the ability to make a difference, it's part of your price to give back. All of the things I have ever done were not for a line in my resume or a line in my obituary. Hopefully I have made a difference," she said.
Webster spent years as the director of the Carroll County branch of Tri-County Community Action Program. Best known for its fuel assistance program, CAP is a community agency that also focuses on connecting people with programs for weatherization, homelessness, substance abuse, hunger, domestic violence, transportation and other needs.
Years ago, those services for Carroll County residents were doled out from a small, cramped, upstairs office in downtown Center Ossipee. Webster was instrumental in gathering funds and support for the new office complex on Route 16 in Tamworth that houses CAP, as well as several other agencies, and has meeting space that can be used by community agencies. She also advocated for the adjacent dental center that is dedicated to her. The clinic accepts NH Healthy Kids and other insurance plans, and offers a reduced rate to low-income individuals who need services not covered by insurance.
Webster was first elected as Carroll County Commissioner in 1986 and served until 2008. The board of commissioners is charged with preparing the annual budget for approval by the legislative delegation and for administering the day-to-day operations of the County, including the nursing home and jail.
From the very beginning of her tenure as commissioner, Webster was focused on the county having a new jail to replace the decrepit and dangerous old building that was fashioned out of the brig of a ship. It took 15 years to get it approved but Webster says that's the number one of four county accomplishments this decade. The others are the hiring of a human resources administrator, a new nursing home administrator, and the construction of a new nursing home that is set to be completed next summer.
Webster has a strong interest in the state of correctional facilities across the country, and was just reappointed to an eight-year term as chair of the American Correctional Association, a commitment that she intends to keep.
Why the seemingly sudden departure from Carroll County, a place that has collected so much of her blood, sweat and tears? "We all have a shelf life. When it's time to move on, it's time to move on," said Webster.
Beyond wishing she had put a few local critics in their place more often, Webster has no regrets from her years of working for, as she says, the common man. "Anyone can make a difference and the effect can be generational. Say hello to a homeless person. Share a sandwich or a smile or a kind word. Just never criticize because it could be you tomorrow," said Webster.
Webster will share a renovated Michigan home with the man who has been in her life for 13 years and who also retired from working in county government. As for her plans for the future, "I would like to not do anything for a while. I know I won't get involved politically but I am moving to a much larger area where I'm sure there will be plenty of volunteer opportunities," said Webster.