Amherst's chairman of the board of selectmen resigns
AMHERST - Following months of controversy surrounding the temporary leave of the town administrator, Selectman Bruce Bowler unexpectedly announced his resignation from the board this week.
Bowler, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, was not in attendance when his letter of resignation was read Monday. In the letter, Bowler noted his desire to spend more time with his family after serving 10 years as a local selectman. His resignation is effective April 1.
"This is not something that I anticipated. It completely caught me off guard," Selectman Dwight Brew said on Tuesday. "I had no indication that Bruce was considering this."
Brew was appointed the new chairman of the board.
"I haven't discussed this with Bruce, so I don't know all the reasons behind the resignation. I am sure that Bruce did what he felt was best for his family," said Brew.
Bowler's resignation comes just two weeks after Election Day when local voters elected Brew and John D'Angelo to fill two open selectmen positions. Bowler and his board have been criticized in recent months for not being transparent in their municipal operations, specifically when the board voted to place Town Administrator Jim O'Mara on paid administrative leave without any explanation to the public for weeks.
Following several right-to-know requests, Bowler eventually acknowledged that O'Mara's leave was due to an internal investigation regarding the purchase of a town dump truck, although no town employees were found responsible for any intentional wrongdoing.
Bowler did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Town officials said they will seek nominations for candidates interested in filling Bowler's position. Those individuals will be interviewed within the next four weeks. The Board of Selectmen will then appoint a replacement member to fill the seat until the next election in March 2014, said Brew.
"I did, in fact, throw my name in the ring already," Reed Panasiti said Tuesday.
Panasiti, a former selectman, campaigned for one of the two selectmen seats earlier this month, but lost to Brew and D'Angelo. Panasiti, who was the third-highest vote getter, said he was "somewhat frustrated" that the board wouldn't automatically appoint him to fill the vacancy.
Marilyn Peterman also ran for selectman earlier this month. She could not be reached for comment.
Brew hopes that a few people will show an interest in the vacant selectman's seat. "We were caught out of the blue on this one, but it is important to fill the position. There is wisdom in having a five-person board because you get five different perspectives," said Brew.
Anyone interested in applying for the position should submit a letter of interest to the town administrator by 4 p.m. on April 4. Town officials plan to conduct interviews April 8.
The Bedford Bulletin
100 William Loeb Drive
Manchester, NH 03109
Neighborhood News publications can be found at a newsstand near you here.
News, Obituaries, Sports & Social Announcements
Christine Heiser, Executive Editor
Email ads to email@example.com
Classified advertising: 603-669-1010
Display advertising: 603-668-4321
Print rate card | Digital rate card
Please use our online form at www.nh365.org
Giuliano to be a prime example for Monarchs
Uber concerns remain for city officials
Nashua mayoral candidates make their pitches
Protests target Planned Parenthood
What's next after no-confidence vote?
Manchester mayor vetoes teacher contract