A large group of Easton Town Hall workers and friends gathered under sunny skies on the library lawn to mark the retirement of one of their own.

They munched on pizza from the Big Green Truck, chatted and laughed as they recalled good times with Phillip Doremus, wetlands and zoning enforcement officer and longtime Easton resident. Everyone revelled in being together after the long Covid shutdown. 

First Selectman David Bindelglass gives remarks at the retirement party for Phil Doremus on July 30. — Nancy Doniger Photo

Doremus left his desk in the Land Use office for the last time as an employee on July 30. Although he won’t report for work anymore, he also won’t be a stranger. An Easton resident for more than 70 years and active in many local organizations, Doremus plans to continue his involvement. He’s not the only one who feels that way, as First Selectman David Bindelglass made clear.

“I have about seven commissions I’m going to appoint you to,” Bindelglass said in his remarks. “The number of people here today are testimony to how much you’ve done for this town, how much you mean to everyone of us,” Bindelglass said.

“As a new first selectman, you look around and say, ‘Who really knows what’s going on here, who is the real repository of everything you need to do the job,'” Bindelglass recalled. “The answer very quickly was, there was absolutely no question. It was Phil. No offense to Ed, who’s a close second.”

Bindelglass was referring to Ed Nagy, public works director and town engineer, another and longtime Easton resident with vast local knowledge. Nagy was among the many town employees in attendance at the retirement party.

In addition to his work in the Land Use Office at Town Hall, Doremus served on the Town Hall Building Building Committee and Library Building Committee. He is chair of the Church Council at the Congregational Church of Easton and a member of the Cemetery Committee and Republican Town Committee.

Since moving to Easton with his family as a young lad, Doremus and both of his parents made community involvement a central part of their lives. Doremus still lives in the house where he grew up in on Westport Road. He walked to school at the old Samuel Staples Elementary School, now the Municipal Building at 650 Morehouse Road. 

Phil Doremus and some of the “Greiser’s Gang” who have been meeting up at Greiser’s on Center Road for decades . — Nancy Doniger Photo

“Thank you, David, and everyone who came here today,” Doremus said. “It’s been an honor to work in Town Hall, it’s been an honor to be in Town Hall. 

“This was a fantastic way to end the employment part of that participation. As I’ve said to you, don’t expect much to change until I’ve worn out my welcome. If people don’t find me at Town Hall they’ll find me at Greiser’s.”

To which Bindelglass quipped, “We’re going to have to get a shuttle bus to take you back and forth.”

Dick Greiser, a longtime friend, was among the many well wishers who look forward to seeing a lot more of Doremus as he begins a new chapter in the book of his life in Easton.

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By Nancy Doniger

Nancy Doniger worked as a journalist for three decades and was a founding editor of the nonprofit Easton Courier in partnership with the School of Communications, Media & the Arts at Sacred Heart University (SHU). She served two years as executive member and is now a contributing editing of the Easton Courier. She was a former managing editor of Hometown Publications and Hersam Acorn Newspapers covering Connecticut's Fairfield and New Haven counties. She was a correspondent for the Connecticut section of The New York Times from 1995 until the section was discontinued in 2006. Over the years she edited The Easton Courier, The Monroe Courier, The Bridgeport News and other community newspapers. She taught news editing as an adjunct professor at SHU and served as coordinator and member of the Community Assets Network for the Easton, Redding and Region 9 schools. She was a member of the Newtown Community Center Commission, member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), board member of the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA), and past president and board member of the Barnard Club of Connecticut. She has won awards for her writing from SPJ and NENPA.