In February, Knowles said taking a break from elected office isn’t new for him. After six years on the Triton School Committee, he left, only to returned to run for selectman. He doesn’t know whether this break will be for one year or 10, he said, adding he’s not counting out another run for office in the future.
At his final selectmen’s meeting on Monday night, Knowles was lauded by his fellow selectmen for his work ethic and his attitude.
“He always fights for the underdog,” Selectmen Ed Hunt said of Knowles, as he praised his performance over the years the two have worked together.
Selectman Donald Beaulieu said even when he didn’t agree with Knowles, the years they spent together were “pleasurable.”
“His input and style has been very good for the board,” Beaulieu said.”He’s always looking out for John Q. Citizen.”
Henry Richenburg, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, praised Knowles for his openness, his willingness to listen, and for his ability to agree to disagree.
“(It’s been) nine years of a real good relationship,” Richenburg said. “The biggest thing was we could leave the meeting with no grudges. It’s been a pleasure.”
Selectman Freeman Condon called Knowles “thoughtful and articulate” and a “very, very good board member.”
In his farewell, Knowles thanked his fellow board members and the public, saying he’s still planning on organizing the upcoming Memorial Day Parade, set for Monday, May 26, and working on the committee helping to re-design Salisbury Green after the new library’s built.
With everything he’s overseen in the past nine years as a selectman, Knowles said, his proudest moments have been family related and took place last week. His son bought his first house, Knowles aid, and his daughter won both a silver and bronze medal in a Special Olympic swim meet, in the 25 meter and 50 meter freestyle races.
And lastly, he said, his wife, Dale, who has battled her way back from a devastating bought with brain cancer that struck in 2008, was able last week to spend a full “13 minutes on the treadmill.”
“The single most impressive thing about Fred Knowles is his commitment to his family,” Condon said.