SUMNER — Longtime Selectman Mark Silber resigned Tuesday night, saying his decision was deliberate, unequivocal and had been forming for some time.
In his letter, which he read to the board, he gave no reason for his decision.
Silber has served the town for 29 years as selectman and one year as a school director. He said his service has been rewarding spiritually, intellectually and civically and thanked those who put their trust in him for so many years.
“It has truly been a privilege to learn and understand how a small town government, how democracy, works and how it is in the most rudimentary sense, a significant way by which we can all contribute to the collective well being of all of us. In great part, my identity has been cultivated by this education,” he wrote.
Silber recognized and thanked all the selectman he has served with and said he will continue to help with the town website, computer problems and records preservation. He said he will also help smooth the transition until someone else may be hired to do this service for the town.
Silber is the second longtime selectmen to resign in the past six weeks. On Aug. 3, Glen Hinckley quit, citing the stress of the job.
At that selectmen's meeting, Silber said he had been unable to sleep or eat because of personal attacks on his honesty as a town official.
“I have been accused of accepting money, of being in cohorts with wind power contractors and I won’t be a part of any wind hearings or committees anymore,” he said then.
Silber and Hinckley were ex-officio members of the Industrial Wind Ordinance Committee, which is drafting regulations for wind power developments.
A proposal by Clear Sky Energy LLC of Barnstable, Mass., to build wind turbines on the Spruce Hills Ridge in the southwestern part of town has prompted sharp debate by residents.
Speaking at the Aug. 3 board meeting, Silber said, “I have worked for this town for many years as a selectman and I have never been anything but honest. I have never lied, though I have been accused of lying. I’ve always donated to the town.”
Silber and his late wife owned and operated the former Hedgehog Hill Farm off Bonny Road, sharing their love of flowers and herbs through their gardens, agricultural classes and sales shop.
Mark Silber was born in the Soviet Union, emigrated to Warsaw, Poland and came to the United States in 1959. He is a graduate of Harvard University and earned a doctorate in anthropology from Boston University. He is the author of numerous books.