SACO — Following an announcement by Christina Shea of her resignation as the Ward 1 member of the Saco School Board effective Sept. 3, and the recent departure of Ward 5 member Arthur Tardif, the Saco School Board will seek interest from ward residents in serving the remaining few months of the two terms.

Both terms expire in early December. According to the Saco Charter, the School Board must appoint someone to fill a vacancy that occurs when the remainder of the term is less than one year.

Shea, who was elected July 14, 2020, to represent Ward 1 on the Saco School Board — filling the remainder of the term vacated by the resignation of Garrett Abrahamson —  announced her impending departure at the Wednesday, Aug. 25 School Board meeting.

“Due to some unanticipated and deeply personal circumstances, I am resigning as finance chair and  School Board member effective Sept. 3,” Shea said, in part. “I regret not being able to fully serve my elected time … and am deeply sorry to my Ward 1 neighbors.”

Shea thanked staff members for answering her questions throughout the course of her time on the board.

“Thank you for doing what you do every day,” she said.

She expressed her thanks to fellow board members and Superintendent Jeremy Ray for their support.

“Thank you for respecting my children and my privacy during  this time,” she said.

In an Aug. 20 memo to the School Board, Ray said Tardif had informed him of his resignation, citing medical reasons. Tardif began his tenure as the Ward 5 representative of the Saco School Board in December 2018 and served one year as board chair. He previously served on the Saco City Council from 1992 until Dec. 7, 2015. Prior to joining the City Council, Tardif  was a longtime Saco Police officer.

School Board Chair Kevin Lafortune said Tardif has been “a fixture (in Saco) before I was born.”

“He will be missed,” said Lafortune. He also thanked Shea for her service.

“You really dived straight in and hit the ground running,” he said, adding Shea and others had stepped up at a time that was difficult for the School Board.

Other School Board members also expressed thanks to Shea for her work.

Whoever steps up for an appointment to fill the vacancies will serve through early December. Lafortune said the board would put the word out in Wards 1 and 5 that it is looking for interest in the vacancies, and said he expected there would be an interview process.

Nomination papers for School Board Wards 1 and 5, along with Wards 3 and 7, and City Council wards 1, 3 and 6 are due into Saco City Clerk Michele Hughes’ office by 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3 in advance of the Nov. 3 elections. All are 3-year terms. For more information, go to: https://www.sacomaine.org/departments/city_clerk/index.php.

 

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