FALMOUTH — The 2014 Citizen of the Year recipient is no stranger to public service or to the town.
William Lunt III, who received the award on June 24 at a volunteer banquet, has served on virtually every committee and board the town has to offer.
He spent two terms on the Town Council, from 1990 to 1996. He served on the Planning Board for nine years, is a three-time member of the Charter Commission, and now serves on the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Ad Hoc Zoning Committee, the Board of Assessment Review, and the Falmouth Economic Improvement Committee.
While it was nice to get the recognition, Lunt said this week, that’s not why he does the work.
“I do it for the love of the town,” he said.
Lunt said he has been involved in town politics since he was a boy and has “always been interested in how government works.”
He said his father was “instrumental in writing the original (Town Charter) in the 1960s,” which gave him his first look at town government. Lunt also said he particularly enjoyed his time on the Planning Board, where he helped create a more structured and smoother system for meetings.
Lunt, a building contractor, has been a volunteer at the Fire Department for 60 years. He said he first started working there when he was 12 years old, and at that time “they looked the other way” to let someone his age serve.
Town Council Vice Chairman Russell Anderson called Lunt’s contributions “extraordinary.”
“There are so many people in this town who volunteer their time and talents, it’s always a hard time to choose (a Citizen of the Year),” Anderson said. “But when you look back at what Bill has done for town over his lifetime … you name it and he’s done it.
“It’s really not an award for what he did in one year, it’s more of a lifetime achievement award,” Anderson said. “When the council came down to looking at all the names, it was a pretty easy decision that he should be the person.”
The Citizen of the Year award has been a nearly annual affair since 1964. According to the town’s website, the award “acknowledges exceptional contribution to the community and positive examples of citizenship.”
Anderson said councilors discuss the nominees “thoroughly” each year. He said while there was consensus that Lunt should be the recipient, he was honestly surprised Lunt wasn’t already a past winner.
“He’s never won it before which surprised me, so it made a lot of sense this year,” Anderson said.
Lunt said he has seen a “tremendous amount of change” in Falmouth throughout his life. He was deputy chief of the Fire Department when it moved to its current headquarters on Bucknam Road, he was one of the original members of the economic improvement committee, and he said he remembers “a time when there was less traffic.”
“I’ve been here for 72 years,” Lunt said. “And I plan on being here 70 more.”
William Lunt III is Falmouth’s 2014 Citizen of the Year.