Westerly Planning Board chairman, a critic of Town Council, submits resignation

Westerly Planning Board chairman, a critic of Town Council, submits resignation

The Westerly Sun

WESTERLY — The chairman of Westerly’s Planning Board has submitted his resignation to the Town Council.

John D. Armstrong tendered his resignation in writing in an Aug. 31 letter to Council President Edward Morrone.

“It has become obvious that my leadership of the board is offensive to the administration and that my continued presence can only have a negative effect on the progress made by an exceptionally talented group of volunteers,” Armstrong wrote.  

The resignation letter is on the consent calendar for the council’s special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday at Town Hall. 

“I am proud of my service to the Town of Westerly and am hopeful that future volunteers will be met with a more receptive responsive council,” Armstrong said. 

In July, Armstrong and other board members aired concerns to the council about the roles and duties of the town's planning staff. Armstrong also has met with Town Manager J. Mark Rooney about the matter.

The board had asked to meet with the council in April following the sudden end of former Town Planner Jason Parker’s tenure in his position. At the time, former Town Manager Derrik M. Kennedy said that Parker had been placed on administrative leave and would not be returning to his position.

The Planning Board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Sept. 18.

Armstrong has been a past critic of the council, and in January criticized “chicanery” in the current council in a letter to the editor.

Armstrong was appointed to the board in January 2014 to fill a vacancy. 

Any resident and qualified voter in town is eligible to serve on the eight-member board, subject to review and appointment by the Town Council. Elections for offices, including the chairman, vice chairman and secretary, are typically held annually.



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