BUCKFIELD — In a surprise turn of events, Selectman Scott Violette abruptly resigned before Tuesday’s board meeting got underway, citing ethical and moral principles as a Libertarian.

Before reading from a prepared statement, the self-described Libertarian told everyone, “It is nothing with anybody here.”

His statement was addressed to the residents of Buckfield, the Board of Selectmen and Town Manager Cindy Dunn.

He said his decision was “to hold strict adherence to the Non-Aggression Principle.”

The Non-Aggression Principle states “aggression of any kind is wrong.” Any time threat or force is used, except to defend one’s or another’s life or property, it goes against the principle, he said.

“I believe that no one has the right to force their will on another person, regardless of their position, title or uniform,” Violette said, adding it doesn’t matter if the culprit is an individual or group of people. “The threat or use of force to achieve a goal is immoral, no matter how just the cause is. … No person should be forced to participate in or fund an activity they do not choose to.”

He added he believed some day humans will be able to figure out how to “voluntarily fund everything as a necessary for a functional society,” but it will be impossible if people do not fully believe in the Non-Aggression Principle.

“Governments of any size, whether federal, state or local, cannot operate without violating the Non-Aggression Principle,” Violette said. That is why I, in good conscience, can no longer serve as a selectman or assessor and must resign. My decision to resign was not easy and I did not take the implications or decision lightly.”

He thanked the town for its support and Dunn, Selectmen Chairman Cheryl Coffman and Selectman Maida Demers-Dobson for being patient with him.

“Although you may not agree with my beliefs, I hope you can respect my decision. … So with that, I will leave you,” Violette said as he stood up, handed a copy of his statement to Dunn and began walking out of the room.

“Thank you, Scott, for not what you just did but for serving,” Dunn said.

“We do respect your decision, Scott,” Coffman added as he left the room.

“Whoa,” Dunn said after the door closed.

Later in the meeting, Dunn told the two remaining board members they had two options — to have a two-person board until the June elections or hold a special election to fill Violette’s seat sooner.

“I am thinking back to how it has been handled in the past when there were less than three selectmen and in my recent memory, they chose to go until June until the regular election and it seemed to work,” Coffman said. “It might be hard to do a special election.”

Resident Vivian Wadas wanted to know what happens if there’s only two board members and there is a tie vote.

Dunn and Coffman told her it would result in a no vote.

Wadas also inquired what it would take to hold a special election since Dunn mentioned it could be an abbreviated process since Violette resigned. She referred to her town clerk manual and said a special election could be held at a minimum in 24 days.

“I think that in our town, we’ve always had three (selectmen). I know in the past, we tried to do two, but I think the town expects three,” Wadas said. “If we can get it done in 24 days, it would only be two meetings, possibly three meetings, instead of three or four months without a full board.”

Resident Penny Horsfall agreed with Wadas.

“In the past year, that I’ve been paying attention … we’ve been lucky to have one, maybe two, people to run,” she said.

She said that by June, there will be two selectmen seats open and she worried the board still might only have two representatives on it.

Dunn asked if it would be worth considering holding a special election because if they waited until June, they could end up with a “green board,” whose members lacked enough selectmen or municipal operating experience.

“I think everyone would agree that it’s not as simple as sitting here and making decisions,” she said. “There’s quite a bit to it.”

“On the same token, it might be hard to find someone in 24 days who would be willing to step up … you have both ends of the scale there,” Coffman said.

She made a motion to leave Violette’s seat empty until the June elections. It passed 2-0.

Violette was elected to a three-year term in June 2014 after Warren Wright decided to not run again. Violette ran unopposed and the term expires June 30, 2017.

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