Old Orchard Beach Town Council chair Joseph Thornton has moved to a different community and so has resigned his elected position. Courtesy Photo

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Town Councilor Joseph Thornton has tendered his resignation from the Old Orchard Beach Town Council because he has moved from the community.

Thornton and his family moved to Scarborough, he said Monday.

“It’s bittersweet,” he said of his departure from the board.

Thornton was re-elected to a two-year term on the Town Council in November and prior to his resignation was chair of  the five-member board. The public safety dispatcher for the town of Scarborough was first elected in 2013 to fill an unexpired, partial term and was re-elected in 2015 and 2017.

In an interview in October, prior to his re-election, Thornton noted recent infrastructure improvements — a system put into place to control odors at the sewage treatment plant, and said more work was needed, including upgrades to the sewage treatment plant itself. He said the town has a good mix of housing opportunities.

Last week, voters approved $1 million in local funding and a similar amount from a federal Community Development Block Grant to replace water, sewer and storm water infrastructure on Fern and West Old Orchard avenues.

Thornton, who was raised in nearby Scarborough, said his first job was a summer reserve officer for the Old Orchard Beach Police Department and he at that time decided to make it his home.

The Town Council on Tuesday, July 21 was poised to accept Thornton’s resignation and appoint a chair and vice chair.

Thornton’ term expires Nov. 15, 2021. Under Old Orchard Beach’s charter, the position will remain unfilled until the Nov. 3 election, said Town Clerk Kim McLaughlin.

In all there will be four council seats on the ballot; two-year terms currently held by Shawn O’Neill, Kenneth Blow and Michael Tousignant all expire on Nov 16.

McLaughlin said nomination papers become available on July 24.

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