Long-range outlook lands leader top Falmouth honor

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FALMOUTH — This year’s Citizen of the Year is being honored for his work in looking towards the town’s future.

Samuel Rudman, chairman of the long range planning advisory committee, was named the 2015 Citizen of the Year at a June 22 banquet for his service on the committee, as well as his work developing and guiding implementation of the 2013 Comprehensive Plan.

“It’s truly an honor,” Rudman said, adding that since the banquet was held for volunteers, there must have been “hundreds of hours of volunteerism” around him.

“One of the great things about Falmouth is the spirit of volunteerism that exists here,” Rudman said.

Town Council Chairwoman Karen Farber said developing the Comprehensive Plan – a 230-page, multi-volume document that outlines how to best grow the town – was “very labor intensive; it really takes a long-term commitment.”

Rudman, she said, “really led that effort from the very beginning.”

She said Rudman was able to keep the members of LPAC and others engaged and working on the document over the three years it took to craft, calling it “a big, sustained effort for a volunteer group of people.” Farber said Rudman “led the charge and kept spirits up” to produce “an incredible piece of work.”

“Sam really kept them going,” Farber said.

Rudman said the award wasn’t just his; it also belonged to the other members of LPAC with whom he served.

“It wasn’t just mine, I was accepting this on behalf of men and women I’ve served with,” Rudman said. “Everyone put in hundreds of hours of hard work to produce a good (Comprehensive Plan).”

Farber also said Rudman’s award was a reflection of what a great volunteer committee LPAC has been.

While the Comprehensive Plan was completed in 2013, LPAC has continued to work on implementation strategies, specifically how to steer growth into designated areas in the town. Farber said Rudman has continued to lead LPAC  in that time in developing and implementing strategies.

“It wasn’t just, do the (Comprehensive Plan) and wash your hands,” Farber said. “He has continued to be on LPAC and continues to be selected chair for good reason.”

Rudman, a trial lawyer who has been on the committee since 2009, said LPAC has been collaborating with the Town Council to work through the 77 action items the committee proposed.

He also thanked Theo Holtwijk, the town’s director of long range planning and economic development, for his guidance as staff liaison to LPAC.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

Samuel Rudman, chairman of the long range planning advisroy committee, was named Falmouth’s 2015 Citizen of the Year for his work on the committee.

Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.