Hamlin, Sheehan announce resignations

by ahenderson

staff_cooperBy Dan Cooper
Turley Correspondent

SOUTH HADLEY- For the registered voters in town, the Jan. 16 special senate election just became even more important, as they will also be electing two new members to the Selectboard.
At the Nov. 3 Selectboard meeting, both current chairs, Gregory Sheehan and Clerk/Treasurer Carlene Hamiln, announced their resignations from the board, effective Jan. 18, 2010.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce to you tonight that I will be resigning from the Board of Selectmen on Jan. 18,” Hamlin said in a letter addressed to the board. “It has been my honor to have served the citizens of South Hadley these last twelve years and I’d like to thank them for giving me this wonderful opportunity.”
She said she felt it was in the best interest of South Hadley that she focus all her efforts to her position as clerk/treasurer, an office she won in the April elections.
“With the untimely death of Senator Kennedy and the need to hold a special election, I feel it best to resign effective Jan. 18 and give a newly elected Selectboard member a chance to weigh in on the upcoming budget process,” Hamlin continued.
Hamlin added she has much to be proud of since her election to the board in 1997.
“I first ran for the Board in 1997 because I felt our town wasn’t getting its fair share of state aid,” she said. “I’m proud to say my message was heard, and due to our collective efforts South Hadley now receives its fair share of state monies.”
Hamlin also added she’s proud she earned the reputation of the fiscal watch dog for the town’s finances.
She also said she worked hard to be an advocate for the town’s senior citizens and will continue that commitment.
Sheehan, who was not present at the meeting, had Interim Town Administrator Jennifer Wolowicz announce his resignation in a letter to the Board.
“I know at this time that I would not seek re-election for my seat in April 2010,” Sheehan wrote. “Having this information at this time coupled with the need for a special election due to Senator Kennedy’s seat now being vacant has created opportunities for the town and the Selectboard.
“This now allows any potential candidate for the seat in April to seek election in January,” Sheehan continued. “This gives that new Selectboard member the ability to be a part of the fiscal year 2011 budgeting process months in advance of the Annual Town Meeting.”
Sheehan said he believed this was a more effective way to transition versus having a new member join the board in April and try to answer budget questions that they were not involved in.
“It has been a pleasure serving the people of South Hadley and I look forward to continued community involvement in the future,” Sheehan concluded.
The Selectboard accepted both resignations and set the town election to fill the vacancies for Jan. 16 to coincide with the Senate elections.
Hamlin said nomination papers are now available in her office for the open seats and all papers need to be returned by Dec. 1.
Hamlin has a year and three months left on her term, while Sheehan’s term is up for re-election in April.