Select Board votes to keep Tedstone as chair; Coutinho receives praise

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The Select Board held a brief Zoom meeting Thursday night primarily for the purpose of reorganizing the board following the Town Election on Monday, when Amy Ritterbusch was elected to the board in place of John Coutinho, who had been the vice chair.

Brendan Tedstone was tabbed to continue as chair for another year. Irfan Nasrullah was selected vice chair. Both were approved 4-0, with the nominees abstaining from their own vote.

Mary Jo LaFreniere had nominated Brian Herr to be chair, but Herr, who has said he will not run again when his term expires next year, declined the opportunity before a vote was taken.

“I appreciate the nomination, but for lots of reasons it’s just not feasible for me to do it this year,” Herr said.

After the vote, Tedstone paid tribute to Coutinho, who was known for being especially visible around town, attending a wide variety of events.

“As chair of the Select Board I would like to note and appreciate the six years of hard work that Mr. Coutinho has put in to the Select Board,” Tedstone said.

Planning Board chair Muriel Kramer, a former Select Board chair, checked in during the public forum portion of the meeting to add her praise.

Kramer recalled when she was first elected to the Select Board she received some advice from the person she was replacing, Paul Nelson, who had stepped down for health reasons.

Said Kramer: “The piece that [Nelson] shared with me that I remember is the way it is important for the residents of Hopkinton for their leaders to be involved and to show up at events that are important to them. And I just wanted to take a moment to specifically thank John for being the best there has ever been at that very task. He showed up for people at events large and small, tirelessly, with great humor, great investment and great support. And I think that I am not alone in thanking him for his dedicated service, but in particular for the ways that he represented Hopkinton in such an enthusiastic and warm and dedicated way.”

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