Council Chair Shaun Moriarty has announced his decision to resign from the Southbridge Town Council effective January 9, 2016.
However, he has already resigned his position as Council Chairman. That resignation was effective as of December 15.
His reasoning is that this will spare the town the need to hold a special election prior to the regular election to be held the last Tuesday in June.
The question is, “Is this really fair to the voters of Southbridge?”
He clears the mandated 180 days in advance of the regular election by 8 days. And, it must be noted, he saves the town about $10,000.
However, he leaves the town with an eight member council for that period. That period includes, at the very least, the establishment of the FY 2017 town budget.
Detailed review of the budget is scant enough with nine members. In addition, it should be noted, Councilor Moriarty was one of five signatories to Councilor Vecchia’s pledge to hold the line on spending.
With an eight member board a tie vote would defeat any motion that was put forward to replicate or expand upon that effort.
It goes without saying that any other issue of a controversial nature that might arise during this period would hand an advantage to those opposing any initiative by the Council.
Furthermore, it increases the pressure on the remaining members in filling subcommittee positions.
It is fair to raise the question, “Is it worth $10,000 to leave the Council where a tie vote could stymie any action and further demands are made on members’ time by subcommittee commitments?”
What do you think?