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Redd resigns selectboard seat, leaves second vacancy

WILMINGTON- The Wilmington Selectboard will feature a few new faces following Town Meeting this year, with the departure of long-time member Michael Penson, and the announcement Wednesday night of board member John Redd’s resignation.

Redd announced his resignation Wednesday, citing time constraints which he said have made it difficult for him to fulfill the obligations of the board. He is currently completing the first year of a three-year term, his second with the board.

“I just don’t have time for what this has evolved into,” Redd noted. “I’ve enjoyed working with everyone here and with the town’s staff…But it’s a time issue for me.” Redd cited board meetings which he has been unable to attend, and added he is not available for town business before 5 pm on most days. “It’s not fair to the town and it’s not fair to my business,” he said. “There are other people out there who have the time and energy to go after it.”

Redd noted the town’s battle with the state over Act 60 continues to be an additional time draw. “It’s very important, and it needs to be focused on by the town, but I just don’t have the time for it,” he said.

It took a bit of maneuvering for the board to accomplish Redd’s intent of allowing candidates the opportunity to run for the Town Meeting day election. Redd initially said the resignation would be effective on Town Meeting day. But when asked by the board, town clerk Susan Manton said she was unsure whether candidates could file nominating petitions for a position which won’t be vacant until election day.

“I will call the secretary of state and confirm that people can run despite the resignation being effective March 5,” Manton said.

But eventually the board members, with help from Manton, decided on a different route. Redd made his resignation effective immediately, instead of March 5, and board members proceeded to accept it with regret, by a three to one vote (member Rob Wheeler voted against accepting the resignation). The board then moved and voted in favor of appointing Redd to the seat through Town Meeting day.

“Very clever,” Manton said.

Penson, whose two-year term expires in March, announced recently that he would not seek re-election to the seat. Wheeler’s term also expires in March (he was elected to fill the remainder of a term,) but he has indicated his intention to run for the three-year seat.

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