Jack Perry

The long time ‘former’ councilman Jack Perry is not with us anymore.

Early this morning, I received an email from our City staff that brought the sad news. The email read:

It is with deep sadness that we report that Councilman Perry died this morning.  Sean Perry called Joe [City Manager] shortly after 7:00 a.m. to tell him that his Dad was in the hospital.  Before Joe could get there, at around 9:00 a.m., he had passed away.  Joe visited with Jack at home on Friday afternoon.  It was Sunday afternoon that Jack took a turn for the worse and was taken to the hospital.

For those of you who know Mr Perry, I’m sure the news of his death brings immense shock and sadness. He had been a hard working councilman who always looked after his constituents. It’s true at times he was critical towards his colleagues on the Council, but his opposition was all about the well being of his constituents.

There are many lessons to learn for me and my colleagues on the Council from the legacy of Jack’s long and dedicated years of service.

The main one is his tireless and consistent constituency services. It has become a legend how Jack used to drive around his neighborhood every weekend and made a list of issues that needed to be addressed. Our City manager Joe Nagro told us how Jack used to report to him every Sunday evening with the list of issues he found during his weekly neighborhood trip.

The other issue for which I have deep respect for Jack is about his fearlessness in speaking out against the issues he did not agree with. Often on the Council session, he did not go with his colleagues and thus gave his lone negative vote. He did not fear the consequence of being “singled out” among his colleagues. His reasoned opposition to issues made the council under check. He helped our council stay away from becoming a “rubber-stamped” council.

Jack has left us, but his legacy must live among us for years to come.