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Thank you, Mayor Reid ... your impact is immense: Editorial

Posted 12/25/19

You would think after more than 50 years of covering the political career of Robert G. Reid we might have run out of words.

Well we still are going to offer a few more to mark his official exit …

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Thank you, Mayor Reid ... your impact is immense: Editorial

Posted

You would think after more than 50 years of covering the political career of Robert G. Reid we might have run out of words.

Well we still are going to offer a few more to mark his official exit from public life.

When he first started serving as an elected official, a photo of the Middletown Borough Council appeared on page 1 of the Press & Journal. That was Jan. 4, 1968. He’s smiling, standing straight … much like he looks in the picture on page A6 of today’s newspaper.

Yes, more than 50 years have gone by, but Reid might pass for only 35 or 40 years older than he was in that picture. The years have treated him well.

The Press & Journal has chronicled the man who has had a bigger impact on Middletown than anyone in the last 50 years long before he was a council member or mayor. He was an educator before that, and his picture would pop on our pages then, too. He molded many young minds, and that impact also can’t be forgotten.

How many words have we published about him? How many photos? For years, it was more likely than not you would see his picture in an edition of our paper, throwing out the first pitch of the youth baseball season, dedicating a new phone system, attending community events … one of any hundreds of duties a small-town mayor carries out.

He was a stalwart for Middletown during the Three Mile Island crisis in 1979, but he has done so much more than that. That made him a national figure. But it’s the innumerable other actions he carried out, and his obvious love for this place, that makes his impact on the borough immeasurable. It might not ever be matched.

He most likely finished his career as an elected official Dec. 17 in the same borough council chambers where he started it. While he started and finished as a councilor, he will always be called “mayor.”

We — all of us — owe him a debt of gratitude that words can barely express. We are happy to see that a plaque will hang in those council chambers so no one will ever forget. It also doesn’t hurt that he already has an elementary school named after him, of course, to ensure his legacy.

He never hesitated to speak his mind but also seemed to be able to bring people together — and if you don’t think that’s a rare gift, look at our current political climate.

He has earned his time off, and we hope he enjoys every minute of it. Enjoy your family time. Enjoy your meals at Kuppy’s. Enjoy looking at the walls of your house covered with mementos, memories and honors.

If you forgive us an indulgence during this season, it’s a wonderful life that Robert G. Reid has had, and we have all benefitted from it.

Godspeed to you, sir. And thank you.