Dubow honored for ‘lifetime’ of service
For his years of service to the Wilton community, the Wilton Democratic Town Committee will honor Selectman Dick Dubow with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the committee’s annual breakfast Saturday, April 2.
Now three years into a four-year term on the Board of Selectmen, Democrat Dubow, who describes himself “as a fiscally conservative and socially liberal person,” moved to Wilton from New York City in 1978.
A year later, he began his first of three four-year terms on the Board of Education.
“I always felt it was important to give back to whatever community I lived in, and I continue to feel that way,” Dubow said.
Term-limited after eight years, Dubow’s service on the Board of Education ended for a time.
Several years later, Dubow said he got a call asking if he would co-chair something that would be called the “Committee of 70.”
“It was a group of  parents, teachers, administrators, and townspeople, who were tasked with developing a long-range plan for building utilization in Wilton.”
The committee “developed a set of recommendations that led to the renovation of Cider Mill School, the renovation of Middlebrook School, and the Wilton High School addition,” Dubow said, adding that he served on the building committees for these capital projects.
After Dubow co-chaired the Committee of 70, he filled a vacancy on the Board of Selectmen — selectmen’s terms lasted two years back then — and then got elected for another two years.
From there, he ran for election to the Board of Finance, on which he served two consecutive four-year terms, “several as vice chairman, and the final of the eight years as chairman.”
Then followed four more elected years on the Board of Education, before Dubow ran again for the Board of Selectmen.
He was elected to a two-year term, and then re-elected to the four-year term now underway. The Wilton Town Charter was revised in 2009 to make terms on the Board of Selectmen four years instead of two.
“This term, my primary area of concern has been the Miller-Driscoll renovation,” Dubow said. “I’ve been a member of that building committee, and that’s where much of my time, energy and effort has gone.”
Though Dubow is being honored by the Wilton Democratic Town Committee, “I strongly believe in bipartisanship, and that once elected, you govern in an entirely nonpartisan fashion,” he said.
“I took it with pride, as a compliment,” Dubow continued, “that over the years, people have said to me, ‘Sometimes I can’t figure you out. Sometimes you’re on one side of an issue, and sometimes you’re on a different side of that issue.
“I’m not driven by ideology; I’m more driven by what I call principles of good government.”
That brought Dubow to one of his hot buttons: governmental process.
“How decisions are made sometimes is as important, or more important, than the actual decision itself,” he said. “Sometimes making an ill-informed decision is worse than making no decision at all.”
Speaking on the current state of affairs, Dubow, though he is a taxpayer, worries that knee-jerk budget cuts have become the status quo for Wilton.
“Budget constraints can sometimes limit our vision, and frequently represent a step backwards,” he said.
“I pay the same taxes as everybody else does. I want government to be efficient and work well, but I think this notion of just saying, ‘we have to cut, cut, cut,’ is a prescription.”
As Dubow continues to serve, he’s “trying to instill a sense of trust and confidence in Wilton’s government” and hopes to remain “an advocate for kids in Wilton.”
“If others believe I can help contribute, I’d like to continue doing so for as long as I’m able,” he said.
Commenting on his award, Dubow told The Bulletin, “I want to thank the Democratic Town Committee for their confidence in nominating me over the years, and the people who elected me over the years. It truly has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Town of Wilton,” Dubow said.
“We have been fortunate to have raised our family in Wilton. What attracted us to Wilton initially — the strong family values, good education — are still the values that keep us here today.”
Lastly, Dubow expressed his feeling that, “Over the years, it continues to impress me, the quality of people who volunteer to serve the town. We’re extremely fortunate to have that.”
Dick Dubow graduated from Williams College with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University through a leadership program offered there.
During Dubow’s decades of service to the town of Wilton, he spent 30 years as a trustee of the Jewish Home for the Elderly, now called Jewish Senior Services. He also chaired its board of directors for two years.
Dubow is “pretty much retired,” but his career was in political, educational, financial, and senior housing consulting, on the side of market research and strategic planning.