Rindge BAC chair resigns as chair, will remain on committee

  • Rick Sirvint Courtesy photo

  • Rick Sirvint asks the select board to consider removing Selectwoman Roberta Oeser as an ex-officio member of the budget advisory committee during a May 2 meeting.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Roberta Oeser Ledger-Transcript file photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, May 17, 2018 7:59AM

The chairman of Rindge’s budget advisory committee has decided to resign from his position but remain on the committee.

Rick Sirvint told the Ledger-Transcript Wednesday morning that he has resigned following a contentious budget advisory committee (BAC) meeting on April 25, and a subsequent lack of support from the select board to remove Selectwoman Roberta Oeser from the committee as an ex-officio member. 

“My reason for resigning is that I was unable to conduct a meeting because of the behavior of a selectwoman and a member of the audience at a meeting,” said Sirvint. “My second reason is that there was a 4-1 vote of the BAC to replace [Oeser] as the select board representative on the BAC. That result was not supported [by the select board.]”

Sirvint and Oeser clashed at an April 25 BAC meeting, which was captured on video and posted to YouTube.

During the meeting, Sirvint proposed reducing the number of alternates that could serve on the committee to two, one less then the maximum set by a 2011 Town Meeting vote, despite there being three interested in serving. 

Tempers flared after Sirvint said he wasn’t going to accept public comments during the meeting, which prompted Oeser to say that Sirvint was not fit to be chair. Shortly thereafter, Sirvint would close the meeting and leave. 

“My statements were what I feel is true,” said Oeser, during a Wednesday morning interview. “… I knew there were going to be issues… I hope they can be resolved.”

A week after the contentious meeting, the budget advisory committee voted 4-1 to recommend Oeser’s removal.

“They don’t want me on the committee, too bad, so sad,” said Oeser, who said has a one-year term on the committee as the ex-officio member. 

There is some confusion as to whether Sirvint has officially resigned from his post. 

Committee vice chair Sharon Rasku said Wednesday morning that she has spoken with Sirvint about him resigning, but added that steps have not been taken to makes things official at this time. 

“Until he has officially resigned, he is still chair,” said Rasku, who said a resignation letter has not been received or voted on by the BAC. “I would be interested [in him continuing as chair] but I wouldn’t insist… I would still like to discuss things with him.”

Sirvint, in a follow up interview, said that it is his understanding that an official resignation letter is not required and that he has officially given up his status as committee chair, calling it “an internal matter.”