CHATHAM – Saying she was not able to give the job the time it deserves, Amanda Love resigned from the board of selectmen Tuesday.
In a Jan. 2 letter to Chairman of Selectmen Cory Metters, Love said to be an effective board member, “one needs to devote many, many more hours than I am able to give as one who works full time and who is also enrolled in continuing education.” She said she was resigning “with regret,” and her resignation was effective immediately.
“It is neither in the best interest of the town nor in my own best interest to give anything less than undivided attention to my responsibilities as a selectman or to my own personal growth,” she wrote.
The remaining board members learned of Love's resignation in an email late Monday night. Metters said the board will discuss whether to call a special election or leave the seat vacant until the May annual election at its meeting next Monday, Jan. 8.
Town Clerk Julie Smith said to accommodate statutory requirements, the earliest a special election could be held, should selectmen vote to call one next Tuesday, would be March 15, just two months before the May 17 annual town election. In a memo to the board, she noted that it costs at least $6,000 to run a special election.
Metters said Love's resignation caught him off guard and as of Tuesday he had not spoken with her. “This is all happening very quickly,” he said.
Selectman Dean Nicastro said Love made a significant contribution to the board and was a “very constructive force” in discussions and decisions.
“I'm very sad to see her step off the board,” he said. “I've enjoyed working with her.” He added that he understood and respected her decision to resign.'
Both Metters and Nicastro are up for re-election in May. Both said Tuesday they plan to seek another term.
Love was elected to the board in 2016, coming in second in a three-way contest for two seats. In her resignation letter, Love, who current works as the assistant to the assessor in Eastham but previously worked in the Chatham finance department, said her decision was personal and not health related. She wrote that there are many important projects in town that need attention, boards and committees to oversee as well as personal goals to achieve and that she was not able to put in the hours for these or the “fires” that can erupt “at any given time.”
“I hope that whoever replaces me will continue my efforts supporting the fish pier observation deck replacement, downsizing the Crowell Road intersection project, getting a real answer to the timeline on the West Chatham roadway construction project and an equitable North Beach agreement with the town of Orleans,” she wrote.
In an email to The Chronicle Tuesday afternoon, she said the resignation letter spelled out her reasons for leaving the post. “The only other thing I would add is that I'm extremely appreciative to my family and the community for the continuous support and encouragement throughout my entire career (25-plus years) with the town of Chatham,” she added.
When selectmen meet next week (their first meeting on a new Monday schedule), they will have two options, according to Smith's memo. The board can continue with the four remaining members until the May 17 annual election. The remainder of Love's term, which expires in May 2019, will then appear on the ballot as a one-year unexpired term. Candidates would run for that seat separately from the two three-year terms currently held by Metters and Nicastro.
The board's other option is to call a special town election to fill the unexpired term.
If the board decides not to hold a special election, one can be called by petition signed by 200 registered voters, Smith said. A petition could not be filed less than 100 days before the annual election.
Nicastro said in principle he favors calling a special election, but the cost and the fact that it would be held just two months before the annual election “puts a different light on it.” He said he'll wait for next Monday's discussion before deciding.