CHAMPLAIN - The efforts of Clinton County Clerk and Champlain resident John H. Zurlo have not gone unnoticed.
During the Town of Champlain Republican Party's annual spaghetti dinner June 19, Zurlo was recognized for his accomplishments and contributions to the town, county and surrounding area.
Committee chairman Oliver M. Barie applauded Zurlo, a man whom he has known for several years and has give a great deal to the community.
The committee reflected on Zurlo's 42 years of service to the county, serving first as a Champlain town councilman, then as Clinton County Legislator for Area One and most recently as county clerk. He was also lauded for his numerous contributions to civic and nonprofit organizations, including Rotary International, Kiwanis Club International and the Knights of Columbus, among others.
When the committee was deciding how to honor Zurlo, Barie said the best way they knew how was to name him their Citizen of the Year.
"I have spent the majority of my week trying to contemplate a worthy 'thank you,' or even a worthy reward," said Barie. "And, then I remembered what Jesus said, and I realized the only way of thanking a man like John would be to give him the world."
"The only problem is," Barie continued, "John would look at you straight in the eyes and say there has to be someone more deserving than him."
Barie presented Zurlo with a plaque which read "In Grateful Recognition of your Devoted Service and Outstanding Contributions to the Community."
State Sen. Elizabeth O'C. Little, R-Queensbury, was also among the dignitaries in attendance who applauded Zurlo for his career. Little, who has known Zurlo and his wife, Mary, for several years, presented him with a certificate honoring his service.
"John's done so much for the community, so much for Champlain and so much for Clinton County," said Little. "And, to be here tonight in his presence and in your presence is really important ... He's done a great job and I'm very proud to be able to call him a friend."
Zurlo said he was touched the party set aside the evening to honor him and that so many of his friends - nearly 200 people overall - were able to make it to the event.
"I really appreciated them honoring me for my years of service working for the party and for the people of the area and the county," said Zurlo. "I was impressed so many of my friends came to see me. I never would have expected to see so many people."
In addition to his career with the county, Zurlo was commended for his work as an educator, having served as a high school business teacher for 34 years with the Northeastern Clinton Central School District before his retirement in 1994.