Michael Caira didn’t leave Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting empty handed.
The outgoing Wilmington Town Manager received a host of gifts during his final Board of Selectmen meeting as board members heaped praise on Caira, who is in his final week before retirement.
In addition to a citation from State Representative Jim Miceli and another from Rep. Charles Murphy, Caira received a long list of well wishes from his colleagues.
“You have shaped the current and future face of Wilmington for many years to come,” said Judy O’Connell, who noted that she was a junior in high school when Caira started as Town Manager. “You have taken a wonderful town, and made it even better.”
The selectmen who has worked with Caira the longest is Michael McCoy, who said they’ve been able to put aside disagreements in order to reach decisions that were best for the town.
“At the end of the day, we’ve always done what’s best for our town,” said McCoy. “Mike Caira has been a great Town Manager. We’ve had many discussions professionally and personally, and I feel that at some level we are friends. You will be missed in that center chair.”
Lou Cimaglia said he is forever grateful for Caira taking a chance on him and hiring him as Wilmington’s Veteran’s Agent. Chairman Mike Newhouse said Caira’s ability to manage every aspect of the town impressed him, and said he was successful because to Caira a half day of work lasted from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Caira said he will save many of his remarks for Thursday at his retirement party, but he did take the time to thank the community, his staff, and selectmen. He also acknowledged members of his family who were in attendance.
The normally poised Caira paused and composed himself during an emotional moment as he spoke about the influence of his late father before continuing his remarks.
“How grateful I am to have had this opportunity to serve the town I have so much affection and so much love for,” said Caira. “Town Hall and town government here is a very special family. There is an incredible work ethic in this community. There are long hours to this job, no question, but those hours are well worth it when we accomplish so many things together.”
Caira remained adamant that he will not disappear when he retires. He plans to remain involved with community, and will be at the town’s disposal if they need him in the upcoming months.
“There is still work to do,” said Caira. “We’ve got a school to build and I hope to continue to somehow be a part of that.”