Chairman Skip Pogson spent his last meeting behind the bench Monday night after guarding and serving the town for 25 years as a member of the Town Plan and Zoning Commission.
Pogson, a farmer and independent contractor, logged hundreds of hours behind the bench at Town Hall listening to the concerns of residents about bushes, fences and signs and vetting the plans of developers. His passion for cautious development has undeniably shaped Farmington’s landscape and Monday night several people came forward to thank him.
State Rep. William Wadsworth presented a proclamation from the General Assembly after making his own remarks.
“I went through the Boards and Commissions booklet and there are 128 people who volunteered to serve the town in various capacities. Some last a day, a meeting and some through a term but very few last through four terms plus,” he said. “You’ve done a fabulous job… imagine the dedication it takes to have performed that kind of service for that long. I’m sure his family has suffered to some degree but it was all done for the good of the town.”
Pogson received the proclamation saying, “It’s been a great 25 years. I’ve enjoyed doing it and I’m not going to disappear. I don’t know what exactly I’ll do but I’ve worked with some great people and I think we’ve done a good job for the town.”
Others, including Barbara Brenneman agreed. Brenneman served alongside and often in opposition to Pogson through the years.
“As many times as we’ve argued over things, what you did you did with your heart and belief in the town. To make that commitment, we should have 25 more years... There aren’t many people who’ll make that kind of a commitment and do it with an open heart,” she said. “I’m proud to say I served with you.”
She noted that Pogson brought an important kind of diversity to the commission and was able to spur thinking about various issues.
She specifically pointed to moderation in lighting and the town’s residential feel as part of Pogson’s legacy.
“Skip has a great ability to analyze lumens... and he’s done a lot of work to make sure we don’t have wildly lit parking lots in shopping centers and gas stations,” Brenneman said. “You don’t see what you see in other towns in Farmington. I learned a lot about light splays from him.”
The group of commissioners agreed that the commission, overseen for many years by Pogson, has been successful in preserving the town’s character over years of meetings.
Pogson’s son Matt, who attended the meeting, said his father began serving on TPZ when he was 3 years old.
“I remember many nights when I got woken up at 1-1:30 in the morning because he was rolling in at 1 in the morning. And the next morning he would get up and pick corn. The town is what it is because of him.”