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Erving selectmen’s chairman resigned

ERVING — The chairman of the Erving Board of Selectmen resigned late last week, days after a tense meeting with a town employee and more than a year of occasionally controversial firings.

Eugene Klepadlo was first elected to the three-person executive board in 2010, winning a three-way race for the seat, and was re-elected for a second three-year term in 2013 with no contest.

Municipal Clerk Betsy Sicard said Klepadlo delivered his resignation letter last week, effective Wednesday the 23rd.

Klepadlo returned calls for comment Monday and confirmed he had resigned, effective the 23rd, but said he would rather not comment on the reason, and brushed off further questions.

The letter was dated two days after a fraught Board of Selectmen’s meeting with Town Administrator Thomas Sharp, an executive session dealing primarily with Sharp’s improper public posting of a special town meeting notice, resulting in the meeting’s cancellation. Sharp characterized the executive session — which he requested be kept open to the public — as an overreaction and extracted a commitment to hire a mediator, as the town had done during a dispute over the leadership of the fire department last year.

Klepadlo recused himself from the meetings regarding the fire chief’s position last year, meetings resulting in a change at the top of the two-station department and the departure of the former chief and five firefighters. Last month, the board rearranged the public works departments, eliminating the job of the Department of Public Works director, a 28-year employee.

Selectman William Bembury said Klepadlo will be missed, and hoped he will return to town government. “I believe that we had a united board that was going in the right direction despite the difficulties with the fire chief removal and the dismissal, elimination of a position, I believe the board was going in the right direction and we will attempt to keep it on track,” Bembury said. “This time calls for everyone to unite and pull together and work as a team rather than work against each other.”

Bembury said he had not spoken to Klepadlo and had no prior warning of the resignation.

A copy of the letter could not be obtained Monday. Town Clerk Richard Newton said he wasn’t certain it was a public document, and had to check Tuesday,

Sharp said the letter was delivered to him Wednesday. “Basically it said he was resigning for personal reasons,” Sharp said. Sharp praised Klepadlo’s record on the board, saying he was part of the board that built the new senior center and he had provided leadership in emergencies including Tropical Storm Irene.

Klepadlo was born and raised in Erving and served as a lieutenant on the Erving Fire Department.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: ccurtis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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