Whittier to resign from North Yarmouth Board of Selectmen

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NORTH YARMOUTH — With one seat on the Board of Selectmen already up for election in June, another will be vacant soon after voters go to the polls.

Selectman Clark Whittier, whose service on town panels stretches back more than 30 years, announced at the April 7 Board of Selectmen meeting that he will step down June 30, a year before the scheduled end of his term.

“After 32 years, I found I didn’t have the passion for it anymore,” he said, noting that the continuing controversy surrounding the December 2014 firing of firefighter-paramedic Bill Young weighed on him significantly.

Whittier, elected to the board most recently in 2013, said he supports redevelopment of North Yarmouth Memorial School as a municipal and community campus, with the existing Town Hall to be sold for housing or commercial development, and creation of a municipal sewer system to help facilitate new development.

Critical reaction and lingering questions from the public about that proposal delayed it from a Town Meeting vote Saturday until at least June. If it is defeated, Whittier said, “I just don’t have the passion to start over again.”

Whittier’s service includes three prior terms on the Board of Selectmen in the 1990s and early 2000s, and terms on the Budget Committee, Planning Board, the personnel and fire department subcommittees of the Board of Selectmen, the Charter Commission and the Foreclosure Committee. He has also served on the Events Committee and Zoning Board of Appeals.

Town Clerk Debbie Grover said April 9 that the election for the year remaining in Whitter’s term would not be on the June 9 ballot.

Since his resignation is effective June 30, the Town Charter dictates that the Board of Selectmen call a special election within 90 days of that date, Grover said.

Selectman Paul Napolitano’s seat on the Board of Selectmen is on the June ballot. Only Keith Thompson of Strawberry Lane had returned nomination papers by Monday afternoon.

Nobody has taken out papers for one School Board seat, or for two Budget Committee positions. Two incumbents, Cemetery Commissioner Richard Baston and Yarmouth Water District Commissioner Stephen Gorden, have returned papers for re-election.

Papers must be returned to Town Hall by the end of business Thursday, April 23.

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

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Clark Whittier

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.