Wilton selectman to leave board in June
WILTON - Selectman Paul Gooch has submitted a letter of resignation to the town office, informing the town he will be stepping down in June.
Gooch, who joined the board in 2005, will resign at the June town meeting with two years left on his term, with the advanced notice giving those interested in his seat time to apply. Gooch and his wife, Susan Gooch, will be moving to Wells to live on a family farm.
The resignation means voters will choose two selectmen at the June 12 election, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said, with Selectman Tom Saviello's three-year term also expiring. Nomination paperwork will be available at the town office on March 19 for the available two- and three-year selectman seats, as well as Director Angela LeClair's seat on the Mt. Blue Regional School District school board.
Interested residents need to collect 25 to 75 signatures and resubmit the paperwork to the town office by 5 p.m. on April 30 in order to qualify for the June 12 election.
Gooch, who has 28 years of experience as a principal, worked in the then-MSAD 9 school district until his retirement and subsequent service on the board of selectmen. Gooch said Thursday he was looking forward to moving to the family farm in Wells but that he would miss Wilton.
"The community's been good to me," Gooch said. "A great career, real good friends - it's going to be a tough move. [Wilton has] been my whole life."
Gooch said he felt the board and town were in "good shape," crediting Irish and the town office staff as well as the other selectmen. The town was working on the collection of back taxes, economic development strategies and generally "holding our head above water, without big tax increases," Gooch said.
"It's a good working board," Gooch said, "We have a good balance of viewpoints and tend to compromise."
Irish said she was "really, really sorry" to see Gooch depart the board and town. Gooch was the chair of the board in 2009, when Irish was hired as the town manager.
"He has always been a great selectman," Irish said, "and really easy to work with."