PARIS — Ted Kurtz has resigned from the Board of Selectmen on Monday, citing the exit of his law partner, Alan Perry, from the Kurtz and Perry law firm.
“I need to direct my time and energy to my law practice,” Kurtz wrote in an email to Robert Kirchherr, chairman of the board. “For this reason I am resigning from the Board of Selectmen effective 9:51 a.m. June 18, 2012.”
Kurtz said his resignation wasn't related to board business or Saturday's town meeting, when voters passed a budget increase over his objections. “I think people might look at it that way, but the key to the thing is what's going on at my law practice.”
He said Perry announced two weeks ago that he was leaving to start a firm with another attorney, and will be gone within a couple of days.
“That leaves me as the sole practitioner,” Kurtz said Monday. He said the firm's secretary is staying, but he'll be busy. “I'm just going to roll up my sleeves and go back and try to get my law practice hitched up again.
“At age 77, I don't have the energy to do both,” he said. He said Perry is leaving this week.
Kurtz is the second selectman to resign in recent months due to work. In late April, Kenneth West resigned to focus on accounting work at his wife's company, Barbara West Income Tax Service.
Kurtz has been practicing law in Paris since 1974, when he moved from Portland. Kurtz and Perry have operated their firm in Paris since 1996. Kurtz has worked as the town's attorney and, in March 2010, was chosen selectman at a special election to fill the unexpired term of Chairman David Ivey, who was recalled from office. Kurtz was re-elected in June 2010. His term was due to end in June 2013.
During his tenure, Kurtz was known as an outspoken member of the board, often reading out prepared statements on town issues and sometimes arguing with other board members. From June to December of 2011, Kurtz was chairman.
At Saturday's town meeting, Kurtz spoke out loudly against the budget, saying it was unsustainable and condemning the decision to draw from reserve funds to avoid raising taxes. His comments were interrupted by a motion to move the question on voting for the budget, which passed.
Town Clerk Elizabeth Knox said the town will have to schedule a special election to replace Kurtz.