Jean Libby holds her Citizen Planner of the Year plaque and certificate from the Maine Association of Planners. Ellie Fellers photo

NEW GLOUCESTER — Jean Libby, a longtime member of the town Planning Board, has been named Citizen Planner of the Year by the Maine Association of Planners.

The award, which was presented at the annual association meeting and conference May 17 in Portland, recognized Libby for her time and dedication to increase understanding of planning principles, promote the organization’s goals and advance the merits of planning.

Libby, 79, has served on many town boards and committees, including 27 years on the New Gloucester Capital Improvement Committee, 22 years on the Planning Board, 20 years on the Land Management Planning Committee, the Comprehensive Plan Update Committee and the Budget Committee.

“Jean received widespread praise from nominators for her dedication to local planning exemplified by her willingness to serve on and lead multiple committees,” according to a statement from the association. “Jean sees the value in long-range planning, taking on critical if unheralded labors such as planning capital expenditures to maintain infrastructure and writing ordinances to maintain a historic overlay district in New Gloucester.”

“I am very honored,” Libby said after receiving the award. “Small towns are made up of volunteers. No one can be luckier than I. My sons have followed my footsteps.”

Her son, Steve Libby, is chairman of the Board of Selectmen and son Donald Libby is chairman of the Planning Board. Both have served on many municipal committees for decades.

Jean Libby said she comes from a family of workers. Growing up in a family of five children in North Yarmouth, she spent her childhood exploring the historic places and roots that formed her love for local volunteer work.

Libby said she sees no retirement from local work for herself. She added that her grandmother didn’t retire until age 85.

Libby retired from the insurance industry in 2007, but continues her volunteer efforts. She is a board member of the New Gloucester Historical Society, secretary/treasurer of the New Gloucester Cemetery Association and member of the New Gloucester Veterans Monument Committee.

This year she stepped down as chairwoman of the New Gloucester Strawberry Festival, but remains involved with the annual event.


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