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The latest success for longtime public servant Arthur Isaacson is the affordable housing property at 8 Liberty Place. Arthur’s volunteer service goes back two decades in Clinton. (Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
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When the new affordable housing property at 8 Liberty Place officially opened in Clinton last month, project leader Arthur Isaacson called it a “very proud moment” for him. The 21-unit building was the culmination of several years of work from Arthur and others to bring more affordable housing to Clinton.
For Arthur, the inspiration to add affordable housing came from the connections he’s made living and volunteering in town for more than two decades.
“A lot of people told me they couldn’t afford to stay in Clinton when they retired,” Arthur says.
Arthur, who graduated from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now part of New York University) with a bachelor of civil engineering degree in 1960 and worked for several years in the construction business, says the development is “very well done” and applications for tenants are being processed every day.
Arthur, who is now retired, may be known to Clinton residents who have long followed Clinton town affairs. In the 20 years he has lived in town, Arthur has served on the Board of Selectmen, the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Economic Development Commission, and Clinton Housing Authority, just to name a few.
“As you can see, I don’t sit around,” Arthur says with a chuckle.
Arthur says that he initially had no plans to enter the town’s political arena, but things changed quickly. Arthur says that about a month after moving to Clinton, he went for a walk one day and noticed the beginnings of a new development being built in an area he didn’t believe was legal for them to be building in.
Arthur joined up with several neighbors to form a coalition to oppose the development, and that was his first foray into Clinton politics.
Arthur eventually became a three-term Republican Board of Selectmen member, a period of service he enjoyed.
“I worked hard and had a good relationship with the people on the board. We had a real good time,” Arthur says. “It’s hard work, and it’s a lot of work, [but] it’s enjoyable.”
Arthur says the members of the board he worked with all got along and were able to agree to disagree civilly.
After three terms, “I decided it’s time for someone else,” Arthur says.
Arthur says that during his life before he retired he regretted that he didn’t always have time to donate his time to serve. However, as he became more involved in Clinton, Arthur says he felt like he was able to give back by getting involved in the town.
“Maybe it’s time to give back,” Arthur says. “I can’t think of any committees I was involved in where we didn’t accomplish what we set out to do.”
Arthur originally hails from Long Island. After his career began in construction, by chance Arthur found himself working for an art business.
“A company asked me to give assistance and one thing led to another,” Arthur says.
Arthur says he enjoyed his time in the art business and calls it “a whole different world.”
“I met a lot of interesting people. That’s the best part of anything, meeting interesting people,” Arthur says.
Arthur moved in Clinton in 1998 when he married his wife, Liz. Arthur says he enjoys several aspects of living in Clinton, in particular the harbor area. Arthur says he and his wife can be spotted bringing their coffee or breakfast down to the harbor and just talking. In his spare time, he enjoys taking photographs and writing poetry.
Arthur also says he appreciates the quality of the people in the town.
“When someone is in need in Clinton, people rally around them,” Arthur says.
The 2020 guide to the Madison Chamber of Commerce has arrived!