Officials give thanks as longtime Planning Board chair steps down

Apr 6, 2021

After three decades of service, Planning Board Chair Lorri-Ann Miller was recognized by Dartmouth officials on two different boards as she held her last meeting in town government on April 5.

Miller is stepping down from her longtime role as two new candidates, Jane (Kirby) Pansire and Kevin Estes, are running to fill her seat in the April 6 town election.

“My very first meeting went to one o’clock in the morning. One o’clock in the morning!” Miller laughed. “We had like three or four public hearings that night, and they just went on for hours. ‘Oh my God,’ I thought. ‘What have I gotten myself into?’” 

Members of the Planning Board — and even Dartmouth resident and Sitec engineer Tom Hardman, who said he has brought many plans to the board over the years — thanked Miller for her service.

Hardman and Planning Board member Stephen Taylor commended Miller’s professionalism and dedication to the town.

“I have disagreed with you maybe 70% of the time about certain things,” said Taylor. “But you have run these meetings brilliantly. I truly appreciate it.”

“You’ve taught me a great deal,” he added, a sentiment echoed by board member Margaret Sweet and vice chair Kevin Melo.

“We’re gonna miss you,” said Sweet. “I’ve learned a lot from you.”

“Thank you for being a good role model,” added Melo.

At a joint meeting, Select Board Chair Frank Gracie III recognized Miller for her service, asking that she be given a commemorative plaque or certificate.

“Thank you very much,” Miller said. “It’s been a journey. I’ve enjoyed all thirty years of it.”

“I will still be active, so you’ll still be seeing my face every once in a while,” she added with a laugh.

“The town is better for you being on the board,” Select Board Vice Chair Shawn McDonald told her. “It’s been an honor serving with you.”

“It’s been a pleasure,” Miller told the board before heading into her final Planning Board meeting.

At the end of the night, she gave some final words of advice.

“Good night, good luck. Have fun. Be serious, but not too serious,” she told the board members. “You have to enjoy what you’re doing. And I need a motion to adjourn the meeting.”