Charlestown’s Williams resigns suddenly from Town Council

Charlestown’s Williams resigns suddenly from Town Council



CHARLESTOWN — Town Council member Steven Williams has resigned, he told the council’s president in an email sent late Sunday night.

Williams was not at Monday’s regular council meeting, but President Virginia Lee read a statement during councilors’ comment portion of the meeting.

She said Williams’ resignation was effective immediately, and later said that he gave no reason in his email notice for the move.

“On a personal note, I have enjoyed working with Mr. Williams on the council and wish him and his family the very best,” Lee said.

Williams did not respond to a phone message left Monday night. 

Lee said that because the notice of resignation wasn’t on the agenda, the council will have to wait to take action on it at its February meeting.

“The town staff is currently reviewing the requirements under our home rule charter when such a vacancy occurs,” Lee said. She requested the matter be put on the agenda for the next regular meeting.

With the next local election coming in November, the council would appear to have the option of appointing his replacement, rather than holding a special election. 

Town Solicitor Peter Ruggiero said that according to Section 24 of the town’s charter, the council can fill an unexpected vacancy at its discretion. 

“The exception to that is if the vacancy occurs more than a year before the term of the resigning member is set to expire,” he said. “In that case, the council has 30 days to call for a special election to fill the vacancy.” 

An independent candidate, Williams was elected to the council in November 2016 with other Charlestown Citizens Alliance-backed candidates Bonnie Van Slyke, Denise Rhodes, Lee and Julie Carroccia, the council vice-president. 

Williams was one of three council members who voted in November to keep the town’s Parks and Recreation Commission at 13 people, rather than reducing it to nine. 

However, he was not at the December meeting when the council voted on the matter again, and decided to make the reduction in a 3-1 vote. The decision proved controversial and resulted in four commission members resigning just before the council’s vote.   

Resident Frank Glista, who has been critical of the CCA, suggested the council look at appointing the next-highest vote getter from the previous election to fill the seat that Williams will vacate. 

“I’m sorry to hear Mr. Williams resigned from office,” he said. He said that after a council member resigned about 10 years ago, members of the newly-formed CCA, as well as Democrats and Republicans, felt the council should appoint the next-highest vote getter from that election.

“It might be worth considering,” he said. 

rblessing@thewesterlysun.com


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