North Yarmouth selectman resigns after 1 year in office

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NORTH YARMOUTH — The town is looking for a resident to complete two unexpired years left by the early exit of Selectman Andrew Walsh.

Walsh last week announced he will resign his office after one year.

Town Clerk Debbie Grover said Walsh’s seat will be filled in the June 12 election, creating a small window of opportunity for potential candidates to get on the ballot.

Nomination papers were made available April 20 and are due back Monday, April 30. Grover said the shortened nomination process is authorized by the state for such emergency circumstances.

Walsh said last week that since he sought election last year he has decided to remarry, is building a home, and is trying to help his business, Fat Andy’s Hardwoods, recover from the economic downturn.

“The original time commitment that I was led to believe (the seat demanded) was substantially less than it actually involves,” Walsh said. “It’s a part-time job. It’s about 50 hours a month, plus.”

He added that “if this other stuff wasn’t going on, I’d love to keep doing it. I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s a nice group that I work with. But I just haven’t got the time, and what I’m afraid of is that I will try and stay on, do a half-assed job, and not really do what I was … voted in to do.”

At some point in the future he will probably run again, Walsh said, noting that he will know what kind of time commitment to expect.

Walsh said he will remain involved in the town’s Economic Development and Sustainability Committee, as well as the Safe Bike and Walkways Committee.

Selectman Paul Napolitano’s current three-year term on the board is coming to an end and is also up for re-election. He submitted papers to run again prior to resigning as board chairman earlier this month. Napolitano confirmed Monday that he still plans to seek re-election.

As of Monday, only Napolitano had returned papers for either seat on the Board of Selectmen, Grover said.

The chairman position, meanwhile, remains vacant.

Napolitano stepped down April 3 after discussion of a communications subcommittee’s release of a public opinion survey that sought reaction to a proposal to close North Yarmouth Memorial School. He called for an executive session to be held to address the survey, which he said should have been authorized by the full Board of Selectmen. He resigned as chairman after the board declined to meet privately.

Nomination papers from candidates seeking Napolitano’s seat are due back Thursday, April 26, along with as those from candidates for one seat each on the School Administrative District 51 Board of Directors, Cemetery Commission and Yarmouth Water District; three seats on the Budget Committee, and six seats on a new Charter Commission.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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Andrew Walsh

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.