Inaugural Colleen Haag Public Service Award

Colleen Haag 
In September 2016 at the Shelburne Museum, we honored and thanked a legend, Shelburne Town Clerk Colleen Haag.  Colleen was a magnificent public servant, genuinely kind and universally respected. 

We recognized her 35 years of continuous, professional and faithful service, and we extended our deepest and most heartfelt thanks for her devotion, loyalty, honesty, integrity and for being the face of Shelburne every day for almost 35 years.   

Colleen, of course, spent most of her time in the Clerk’s Office serving all of us with kindness, professionalism and non-partisanship. The Town Of Shelburne’s Clerk Office is now Haag Hall. 

With recognition that we are a town of volunteers and public servants and that our strength lies with our residents, our volunteers, and our staff, the Selectboard with great community support, decided beginning March 2017, at Town Meeting and every Town Meeting thereafter, that Shelburne would recognize one of its own with a Public Service Award to be presented to someone who by his or her actions exemplify the spirit of public service, who has shared his or her time, talent and energy for the betterment of our community, who inspires purpose, who drives lasting solutions, someone who makes a difference.  We named that award The Colleen Haag Public Service Award. 

The design of The Colleen Haag Pubic Service Award itself is symbolic and special.  In 1963 the 9th Earl of Shelburne – a direct descendant of the 2nd Earl of Shelburne for whom this Town is named – visited Shelburne in celebration of the town’s 200th Anniversary. 

He was 22 at the time and brought with him a silver bowl as a gift.  This silver bowl is currently living in the Town Vault.  Town Manager Joe Colangelo recently has been in contact with the 9th Earl of Shelburne who is thrilled to have the Colleen Haag Public Service Award designed in tribute to the silver bowl.

Jim Brangan - March 6, 2017 Recipient

We now present the First Colleen Haag Public Service Award.  Many in town offered superb candidates from whom to choose.  It was a difficult decision, one made with careful thought.  It is a great honor and privilege to invite tonight to the stage as the first recipient of the Colleen Haag Public Service Award, a person who has given much of his life to help others, a volunteer in so many venues, a man who helps so many people, never taking, always giving, a man who exemplifies the enduring values of respect, integrity and honesty, a man who has served for more than 12 years in our Fire Department and continues to do so with Fire Fighter 1 Status.  He has led our Scouts of Troop 602 as Scoutmaster since 2012, he served on our Path’s Committee, he has led the Color Guard at Town Meeting and other events as needed, he works with our Veteran’s Committee, he cleans up invasive species along the river, he has built a path at a campground, he participates in book sales, he works with Veterans, he visits Park Service Headquarters with his troop, he has taken the Scouts to the unique Scouting Program Florida Sea Base, every year he takes Scouts to Tuckerman’s, every year he backpacks, camps, hikes and bikes, canoes with his Troop, he has taken the Scouts to a wonderful, meaningful trip to Normandy, Paris and London that allowed the Troop to carry 300 names of soldiers with them that were read while at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in a Boy Scout Ceremony, he has led trips to the Lassen Volcanic National Park, Crater Lake National Park, Redwood National Park, Washington D.C., last year he led a 10 day trip to California and Oregon visiting three National Parks where the troop on two occasions were able to perform service projects for the parks.  

Many of these trips are paid for by fund raisers from the community and through the Shelburne Boy Scouts Tree Sales.  

There’s more.  Within the Fire Department, he serves or has served on the following committees: 75th Anniversary, Elections and Staffing. He often leads wildland firefighting training for the department.

He’s been a Shelburne Little League Coach.

Under his and other Scout Leaders, Troop 602 has given much to the Town of Shelburne. 

In the time that he has been Scoutmaster of Troop 602, there have been 7 Eagle Scouts whose projects include the Press box/concession stand at the Little League Field, the picnic shelter at Davis Park, a bridge in the LaPlatte Nature Park and the shed at the Dog Park, a Bike rack at the Sailing Center in BTV, blankets for those in need, and Carnival games for Camp Ta Kum Ta. 

Every trip led by this man comes with large educational & community service components, for example, before the Normandy Trip, the troop first learned from WWII veterans (some Shelburne residents) about their experiences in the war. 

And in preparation for the National Parks trip, the troop spent an April vacation in Washington, DC, where they met with the head of the National Park Service and helped with conservation related community service projects. 

Giving back to our community is paramount to this man and his role as Scoutmaster, he ensures the boy scouts are available to help when needed.  From moving lots and lots of boxes of books for the annual Library book sale, to performing Color Guard duties (here tonight and many other town events) Troop 602, under the guidance of this man, is here for our community.

This man works a day job too - as the Cultural Heritage & Recreation Coordinator with the Lake Champlain Basin Program.  He was integral in the success of the Quadricenntial (Celebrate Champlain events in 2009), Shelburne’s 250th, and the Fire Department’s 75th anniversary.

With our thanks to the recipient of the First Colleen Haag Public Service Award, on behalf of the Selectboard, on behalf of our Town, I ask you to recognize with me a man who exemplifies the spirit of public service, who has shared time, talent and energy for the betterment of our community, who inspires purpose, who drives lasting solutions, someone who makes a difference.  Please join me with thanks to Jim Brangan.  

Presented by Gary von Stange, Chair, Shelburne Selectboard

Jim Brangan

Jim Brangan