Marion voters will elect two selectmen after Gonsalves resigns

Feb 26, 2018

Two Board of Selectman seats will be on the ballot at Marion's annual Town Election, after former Selectman Steve Gonsalves resigned his post with a year left in his term.

On February 26, Marion Town Administrator Paul Dawson said that Gonsalves had not spoken with him or the other members of the Board of Selectmen before issuing his notice of resignation to the Town Clerk's office. "He didn't give a reason [for resigning], as far as I know. It was a one-sentence letter, 'I am resigning from the Board of Selectmen, effective immediately...'"

Dawson told remaining Board of Selectmen members Norm Hills and Jody Dickerson that they could either authorize a Special Town Election—which would be held, at the very earliest, on April 30—or include the position in the town's regular annual election, to be held on May 18. Hills and Dickerson opted to "save the confusion and expense" of a special election, and agreed to move forward with finding a replacement in the regular election.

The motion means that a one-year selectman position will be available on the ballot, alongside the three-year-term, held by Dickerson, already on the ballot.

Dickerson has said he will not be returning to the Board of Selectmen, which means that two new faces will join Hills after the election. Currently, the only candidate to pull papers for the three-year selectman position is resident Randy Parker.

In the wake of Gonsalves' resignation, the remaining members of the board had to shuffle who would take over his duties as representative to several boards. Hills will now act as a liaison for the Board of Selectmen on Marion's Affordable Housing Trust and Town House Building Committee, while Dickerson will act as liaison on the Parks Commission and Marion School Committee.