Boothbay Harbor planning board chair resigns

Sat, 02/17/2024 - 8:15am

    The Boothbay Harbor selectboard accepted a resignation from Planning Board Chair Tom Churchill during its Feb. 12 meeting. In his resignation letter, Churchill said he is unable to follow planning board rules for attendance and decided to resign.  

    “Tom has been a long serving member, over nine years,” Selectboard Chair Michael Tomko said. “He has given a tremendous amount of effort, even as of this evening. His impact has been felt for a long time and he will be missed.” 

    According to Churchill’s letter, planning board meetings do not accommodate remote participation, and members who miss four consecutive meetings automatically create a vacancy. Churchill said he has been out of state since late December and would only be able to attend one meeting until his term ends June 24.  

    He said he anticipated the conflict but stayed on to participate in a series of joint ordinance review workshops with the selectboard. Those workshops allow remote participation. He said those sessions likely ended Feb. 12 and, although he wished the planning board well, he saw little reason to remain on it given the situation.  

    “Over the past nine years on the planning board, I have enjoyed my volunteer time with the town and the many people with whom I have worked,” he said in his letter. “We have made much progress in updating the town land use code to reflect changing economic times and to become more compliant with the town’s comprehensive plan. The current members are dedicated to continuing this work and I hope they are given the support necessary to continue, particularly by the addition of professional planning services.”

    Planning Board Vice Chair Tom Minerich stepped into the chair position at the planning board’s Feb. 14 meeting. The vacant planning board voting seat was temporarily filled by first alternate Ronald Cohen. Selectmen are expected to vote on permanently filling the vacancy. In addition, the town has issued a call for applications to refill the board, which consists of five regular members and two alternates.