SANDOWN – The board of selectmen is unanimous in its decision to wait until May’s election to fill the board with a fifth member, but at least one member of the public has questioned the move.
After the resignation of Brenda Copp in early November, the board decided not to seek her replacement and to keep to the remaining four members. And according to those members, they’ve heard little to no disagreement from the public.
But at their Monday, Dec. 23 meeting, resident and former selectman Jon Quevillon took issue with the decision. In a letter to the board, he cited the voters’ support a few years earlier of a warrant article that moved the board from three person membership to five and stated that by not adding the fifth member, the board was not supporting that decision.
Quevillon also cited the potential for deadlocked votes with an even number of members, and offered his services as a member until the vote in May. Quevillon ran for a selectmen’s position in 2012 against current member Hans Nicolaisen.
Chair Tom Tombarello said that so far the board had avoided any tie votes and noted the board was in the middle of a time when important decisions had to be made. He questioned the ability for a newcomer to make those decisions without knowing all the background.
Selectman Jim Devine said there wasn’t much pressing business, and with the deadline to sign up for the March election just weeks away, it didn’t make much sense to rush someone onto the board now.
Nicolaisen said the board had not yet had to deal with any tie votes and that talking with those around town, he had not heard any displeasure among voters.
“If there had been an outcry, we would have addressed it,” said Tombarello.