Joseph Dicton, chairman of the Rutland Town Select Board, will resign on Town Meeting Day, March 1, raising the number of vacant board seats in March to three.
Dicton didn’t attend Tuesday night’s Select Board meeting but made the announcement via Selectman Don Chioffi, the board’s clerk.
“Serving as Select Board chairman and representing the people of Rutland Town for the past five years has been a privilege and true honor,” Dicton wrote in a letter. “As of Town Meeting Day … my service to Rutland Town as a selectman will end.”
Dicton said his term would have expired in 2017 and declined to specify why he decided to resign the position early.
Dicton resigned as a selectman once before, in April 2010, with 11 months left on his term, citing personal reasons.
Another former board member, Paul Clifford, resigned last summer after several months in office. He said a new job required more of his time. Selectman Joshua Terenzini won the open seat in August.
Rutland Town residents interested in running for office need signatures from 1 percent, or 27, of the town’s registered voters. Petitions are available at Town Hall and online, and must be filed with the town clerk by 5 p.m. Jan. 25.
Elected for three Select Board terms, Dicton served five years on the board. Board members elected Dicton as chairman earlier this year and they said they will miss his presence.
“I think serving on the Rutland Town Select Board with Joe Dicton as our chairman made me a better selectman,” Terenzini said Wednesday. “Joe is fair and balanced, and he’s a real gentleman, and he will certainly be missed.”
Chioffi — who recently exchanged heated demands for respect with Dicton during a board meeting — agreed with Terenzini.
“Good man,” Chioffi said Wednesday. “Good chairman. … His heart has been for the town, and he just for his own personal reasons can’t complete his term.”
Both Chioffi and Selectman John Paul Faignant have terms expiring in March and both said they are running for re-election as incumbents. Only Chioffi has submitted a petition so far.
Faignant needs to solicit signatures, he said Wednesday.
With Dicton’s resignation and two board members up for re-election, that leaves three seats on the ballot in March. Remaining board members, Selectwoman Mary Ashcroft’s term ends in 2017 and Terenzini’s term ends March 2018.
Board elections generate excitement, Terenzini said.
“I anticipate learning and collaborating with different people on different problems,” he said. “I think we have a good board, for the most part, right now. But it’s not up to me. It’s up to the voting public.”