AUBURN — Mike Farrell will give up his School Committee seat, he announced via email Tuesday night.

“Due to a couple of great opportunities for my family and the added obligations of, I will be unable to adequately represent the students and taxpayers of Ward 1 in the manner they deserve,” Farrell wrote in his email.

Farrell sent his resignation email to school officials Tuesday night. Tracey Levesque, chairwoman of the School Committee, said she read the email Wednesday morning.

“I saw I had an email from Mike, and then I said, ‘Oh no! Right during budget season,'” Levesque said.

School officials are reviewing a proposed 2014-15 budget that calls for a 5.6 percent cost increase. If approved as it stands, it would amount to a $2.09 million increase. That budget would have to be approved by the School Committee, the City Council and voters.

Farrell was one of three fiscal conservatives elected to the committee in November. They included Levesque and at-large member Ron Potvin.

Levesque said the three, combined with City Council appointee Mary LaFontaine, were four conservative voices that balanced the four more liberal voices on the committee.

Levesque said she did not think it would change the balance of votes, however.

“It’s hard to answer now,” she said. “The budget as a whole is such an in-depth process.”

In his resignation, Farrell said he hoped he resigned early enough to lessen his impact on the schools.

“Budget time is a difficult time to deal with a resignation,” Farrell wrote. “However, it is early enough on to allow a representative to step forward for Ward 1 that can attend and participate in the process in which I am unable to do any further.”

According to the City Charter, the city has to call a special election when a School Committee member, mayor or city councilor resigns with more than six months left on their term. City Clerk Sue Clements Dallaire said that election cannot realistically be scheduled sooner than July.

Levesque said she hopes the School Committee can appoint an interim member to fill Farrell’s seat until the election can be scheduled, however.

“The biggest concern I have is that he ran unopposed for the Ward 1 seat,” Levesque said. “I just hope someone from his ward steps forward.”

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: