PARIS — Ted Kurtz, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, is resigning from the chairman's post. He will remain a member of the board. Kurtz announced his resignation in an email to other selectmen on Thursday after a particularly heated conversation at Monday's meeting.
On Saturday, Kurtz wrote in an email that his decision followed a long conversation with board co-chair Bob Kirchherr. “We discussed what would be in the best interest of the Town,” Kurtz wrote.
“I'm relieved we have this behind us and I'm looking forward to what's ahead,” Kurtz added.
At the Nov. 28 Board of Selectmen meeting, Kurtz was at the center of arguments about board conduct, both among one another and when interacting with town residents.
Selectman Jean Smart suggested at the meeting that the board elect a new chairman in Kurtz's place and nominated Kirchherr. Kirchherr said the bylaws only allow for the election of a chairman at the board meeting after the Town Meeting each summer.
Several board members pointed to an email Kurtz sent after the Nov. 14 meeting, chastising other board members for allowing Selectman Ryan Lorrain to abstain from a vote on suspending board bylaws on committee nominations.
Kurtz included the section of the bylaws requiring selectmen to vote for each measure unless excused by the chairman. “His only proper options were to vote or to leave the meeting,” Kurtz wrote.
At the Nov. 28 meeting, Kurtz reiterated those criticisms.
Kurtz wasn't the only one facing fire at the Monday meeting. Kirchherr said that everyone on the board had said things that were inappropriate, and drew special attention to the back-and-forth disagreements between Kurtz and Selectman Jean Smart.
“I'm not absolving Jean here,” Kirchherr said.
Kurtz's resignation won't take effect until the board officially accepts it at a meeting, according to an email Town Manager Phil Tarr sent to other selectmen on Thursday. “In regards to your meeting schedule and when you could act on this matter, Bob or I will be in touch with you on how best to make the transition,” Tarr told selectmen.