After nine years on the Board of Selectmen, Bonnie Phaneuf announced last night that she will resign effective immediately. It’s an announcement not many of us saw coming, including the other two selectmen who shared the table with her.
Selectman Bill Boland said he was “caught of guard” by Phaneuf’s decision, and both he and Selectman John Rooney tried to convince Phaneuf to reconsider. “I wish you would reconsider and continue on the board at least through your term,” Boland said.
But Phaneuf, who was serving as chairperson of the board, said her decision to resign for “personal reasons” was final. She did not elaborate on what her reasons were. “I take no pleasure in leaving this board,” Phaneuf said.
Phaneuf leaves with three months remaining in her term.
Last month Phaneuf pulled nomination papers and announced she intended to run for reelection, but last night said she will no longer run. She thanked those who had pledged to support her reelection bid.
“It’s been a pleasure for almost five years to have sat at the table with you,” Boland said. “I firmly believe your heart is always with the town’s best interest.”
Rooney thanked Phaneuf for welcoming him to the board when he was elected last spring and for sharing her knowledge. “To say you’ll be missed is perhaps one of the biggest understatements I can make,” he said. “I appreciate all you’ve done for me and for the town.”
Phaneuf’s resignation leaves just two selectmen — Boland and Rooney — on the board. Two is the minimum required for a quorum. Boland said they’d discuss how to proceed at their meeting next week.
As of Monday, no residents other than Phaneuf had pulled nomination papers for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. In her resignation announcement last night, Phaneuf encouraged residents to step up and run for the position.
Phaneuf said she hopes to see multiple candidates vying for the spot. “More than one, more than two,” she said. “A public debate must take place in this town for the benefit of the community.”
Residents have until March 18 to pull papers (for more information, see here). Town elections are on May 9.