The resignation of longtime Board of Health member Edward Sheehan has prompted the Board of Selectmen to make a change to the ballot in the upcoming Tewksbury Municipal Election.
In his resignation letter, Sheehan said "unforeseen circumstances" forced him to step down.
"It has been an honor to serve the Town of Tewksbury for the last 16 years," Sheehan wrote. "I want to thank those who have served on the board with me and most of all the citizens of Tewksbury."
In light if Sheehan's resignation, selectmen voted unanimously at their Jan. 29 meeting to add a two-year Board of Health term to the ballot. The two years represent what is left on Sheehan's term.
There are now three of five Board of Health seats up for grabs in the April election. Incumbent Christine Kinnon, seeking another three-year term has already secured her place on the ballot. However, incumbent Phil French has indicated he will not be seeking re-election. The only other person to take out nomination papers is challenger James Kilion.
Anyone interested in running for a three-year or two-year term on the Board of Health has until 5 p.m. on Feb. 19 to get their nomination papers in. Nomination sheets are available at the office of the Town Clerk.
There is also a need to fill Sheehan's seat on the Board of Health on an interim basis until the election.
"Based on state statute the position needs to be filled by a joint meeting of the Board of Health and the Board of Selectmen," said Town Manager Richard Montuori.
Anyone interested in serving as an interim member of the Board of Health through the election is urged to submit a letter of interest to the office of the Town Manager. The Board of Health and Board of Selectmen are expect to meet in mid-February to choose a candidate.
In other business:
- Nancy Reed, chairwoman of the Community Preservation Committee, informed selectmen of a change in the Community Preservation Act. According to Reed, CPA funds can now be used not only to build new recreational facilities but to improve and restore existing recreational facilities.
- The board voted unanimously to accept Mac Drive as a public street.
- Selectmen Todd Johnson informed the board about a recent meeting involving representatives from the Board of Health, Planning Board, himself and Police Chief Timothy Sheehan regarding the recently enacted Medical Marijuana Law. According to Johnson, the group agreed that seeking a six-month moratorium on a medical marijuana distribution center in Tewksbury would allow the state time to establish its regulations for such facilities. He said it was also agreed that such a facility would not be good for Tewksbury.
- Johnson also informed the board of legislation being presented by the Tewksbury Legislative delegation which would change the State's Sewer Project Reimbursement Fund. Last year, the fund was $500,000 and Tewksbury received just $5,000. This year, Gov. Patrick deleted all money from the fund. According to Johnson, the Legislation being proposed would put $2 million in the fund and would earmark $200,000 to Tewksbury as a one-time payment.