Buckland Selectboard chair resigns due to change of residence; road boss takes job in private sector

  • Buckland Town Hall. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

For the Recorder
Published: 1/16/2022 4:29:09 PM
Modified: 1/16/2022 4:28:04 PM

BUCKLAND — The town has two key positions to fill: Selectboard member and highway superintendent.

Selectboard Chair Zachary Turner has announced his resignation halfway through his current term as he will no longer be a resident, while Highway Superintendent Jeremy “Jake” Purington, who has been in that position five months, is taking a job in the private sector.

Reading from a prepared statement at the Selectboard meeting last week, Turner said, “It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce my resignation.”

Turner said he and his wife have sold their home in Buckland and are moving to Charlemont. He apologized for not fulfilling his full term and said he is “truly honored to serve the town that I’ve called home most of my life.”

“I’ve not been perfect in my duties, but I hope that in the end I made more good decisions than bad,” he said. “I leave knowing the town is in very good hands. Go team Buckland.”

Turner was first elected in 2017. His resignation will take effect Feb. 1.

Selectboard member Barry Del Castilho, after ascertaining that the next regular board meeting will be Turner’s last, said, smiling, “I’ll save the roast for then.”

After Turner’s announcement, Town Administrator Heather Butler told the board she had “some disappointing news,” and went on to say that Purington is stepping down as highway superintendent. He has been offered a position “in the private sector, running equipment, which is his passion,” Butler said, adding, “I think he simply felt it was too much to say ‘no’ to.”

His resignation took effect Friday, Jan. 14.

She said Purington did “a fantastic job in a very difficult position.”

“I threw a lot at him this summer and he stepped in like he had been doing it for years and years, not days and days,” said Butler, who was been given the green light to advertise the position.

“We have a great crew, but I’d like to see if there are candidates that might have some foreman experience,” she said, noting that perhaps also through advertising, the town can find “our fifth guy (for the highway crew) through this process — or woman.”

Turner said he is willing to be available to “try to keep an eye on things” during the hiring process, even after he’s off the Selectboard.

Discussion ensued about whether to seek a Selectboard member through a special town election or wait until the annual election in May. The board is currently set to hold a special meeting Tuesday, Jan. 18, to make that decision. If a special election is chosen, the earliest it could be is March 25. Nomination papers would be available Jan. 25.


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