Barbara Van Duzer Babin, one of the longest-serving members of the Charlestown Neighborhood Council, announced at the Nov. 9 meeting that she will not be seeking re-election to the 21-member board.
“I’ve been a member for so long, and I just think it’s time for somebody else to come on board,” said Babin. “I’ve gotten so many phone calls from people since the meeting, that I almost weakened. But I won’t be running for re-election this time.”
Barbara began her service on the CNC as a non-profit representative for the Boys and Girls Club in 1998 and has served consecutively for 25 years. She said former Charlestown Patriot Bridge publisher James Conway and David Whelan then encouraged her to continue to serve on the board as an at-large councilor.
“James was the chair and Dave was the vice chair, and they both insisted that I run for an at-large seat,” said Barbara. “They thought I would be good at it. Through the years, I was re-elected sometimes unopposed and sometimes with competition.”
Babin said she has enjoyed her work on the council. “I love the Council. I was so impressed with what we’ve tried to accomplish. It [CNC] is a great sounding board for the Charlestown community, because residents can come to the meetings and speak up in a comfortable environment. The Council loves to hear the voices of the community.”
CNC Chair Tom Cunha commended Babin’s service on the Council.
“Barbara was a great councilor,” said Cunha. “She was a very active councilor. We will miss her guidance.”
Babin received her degree in science at Bates College and did her graduate work in medical sciences at Yale University. The mother of three children (who all live in California), Babin worked as the developer of the corporate services department for a Massachusetts firm.
“I moved to Charlestown in 1992 and fell in love with the community,” said Babin. “I’ve lived in so many places, but there’s no place like Charlestown. It’s family oriented. It has wholesome values and ideals – people taking care of each other and being involved.”
Babin’s last meeting as a CNC at-large member will be Tuesday, Dec. 5.