Sun photo by Samantha Allen. Selectman Valerie Wormell, who is not seeking reelection, sits next to Selectman Kelly Ross, running again for a three-year
Sun photo by Samantha Allen. Selectman Valerie Wormell, who is not seeking reelection, sits next to Selectman Kelly Ross, running again for a three-year term. To her left is a $400 chair town officials purchased for her with taxpayers' money.

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WESTFORD -- With Valerie Wormell not seeking re-election this year for one of two, three-year seats on the Board of Selectmen, officials presented her with a parting gift Tuesday night.

Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Andrea Peraner-Sweet said this was a "bittersweet" moment for her. She said though she and Wormell have not agreed in the past on some topics, she was proud of the work the public official has given. On top of serving on numerous committees in town, Wormell joined the board in 2005 and even argued for the release of about 20 years worth of executive session minutes when she joined the board, Peraner-Sweet said. Wormell said, "I forgot about that," when she heard some of her accomplishments read aloud.

"You've always had what you believe to be Westford's best interest at heart," Peraner-Sweet told her.

Wormell was presented with a chair with the Westford town insignia marked into it and a metal plaque on the back with her name. She said Westford has always been special and she hopes "it stays that way."

"We disagree frequently and we will also come out and argue about them, but the decisions that are made are lasting," Wormell told her colleagues, "and so I appreciate my time with all of the different folks that step up and volunteer."

Wormell left quickly after the brief public meeting. Peraner-Sweet told the board she believed her colleague was not comfortable with "attention."

Town Manager Jodi Ross said Wormell's chair was paid for with town money for $400. Peraner-Sweet said this has been a traditional gift for longtime selectmen for as long as she can remember.

Kelly Ross, who is running for re-election against challengers Jim Jarvie and Don Siriani, added he believed the gift was appropriate.

"Four hundred dollars after 10 years?" he said. "I think that's fair."

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