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Fellow Conway board members back Bean

CONWAY — Selectman Rick Bean’s fellow board members have backed him up after a petition circulated in town calling for his resignation.

“I have worked with Rick Bean and know him to be honest, enthusiastic and hard working,” said Selectboard Chairman John O’Rourke in a statement. “I also know that he has the best interests of the residents of Conway at heart. If Rick Bean resigned from the Board of Selectmen, we would be losing a valuable contributor to the Town of Conway. I would not advise Rick Bean to resign from the Board of Selectmen.”

Bean, himself, has said he has no intention of resigning.

“I’m not trying to keep it quiet,” Bean said. “I was accused of being too energetic. I feel I’m energetic because I was elected to help Conway out. Conway needs to make some changes. We have the town garage issue, personnel issues. We need active selectboard members to oversee work and get things going. All these things I was accused of doing, I was thinking I just don’t get it. I want to stay in this job and help out the fellow selectboard members and support the town of Conway.”

The petition began on Jan. 3. It was placed at Baker’s Country Store. The originator of the petition has never stepped forward, and Baker’s owner Helen Baker said she doesn’t know who originated it.

Last week, Heather Rose, chairwoman of the Personnel Committee, requested the selectmen to formally place the petition in the town record and the selectmen filed it with the meeting minutes.

Rose said a concerned citizen who wished to remain anonymous had requested she present the petition.

The final tally of signatures was 45 residents.

The petition states “As tax-paying citizens and residents of the Town of Conway, MA, we no longer have confidence in the intention, willingness and ability of Selectboard member Richard Bean to serve the Town in a lawful, transparent and participatory manner, and as such, formally request the immediate resignation of Selectboard member Bean, to be replaced by another Conway resident with a special election to serve out the remainder of said Selectboard term.”

At Monday’s meeting, O’Rourke stated, “with all due respect to the concerned residents who signed the petition, I believe there have been a number of miscommunications and misunderstandings that have led to the misconception that Rick Bean is acting outside the bounds required of members of the Board of Selectmen. I think that much of the confusion, miscommunication and misunderstanding has been cleared up since the resignation of the town administrator.”

O’Rourke referred to Ed MacDonald, who served as town administrator for about two months before he unexpectedly resigned in December without giving a reason. It was later discovered MacDonald never gave up his former job in Chester.

“The town of Conway does not have a bylaw to recall a member of the Board of Selectmen. The petition, although considered by the Board of Selectmen, does not carry any weight,” O’Rourke said.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
kmckiernan@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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