Barnett to leave Belchertown Select Board, citing health issues

  • Belchertown Selectman William Barnett, 80, pictured here in 2015, is leaving his position next month with one year left on his term, citing health reasons. Gazette file photo

Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 06, 2018

BELCHERTOWN — Selectman William Barnett is leaving his position with one year left in his term, citing health issues.

The 80-year-old public servant announced his resignation at a Feb. 12 Select Board meeting. Barnett has been selectman for eight years.

“It’s getting too much for me to do all these things,” Barnett said. “I have some medical problems, and it’s getting hard for me.”

His resignation will take effect March 13, to allow time for the town to vote for a replacement in the May 21 Town Elections.

At that election, the town will vote on two, three-year positions for Select Board — currently held by Nicholas O’Connor and Ronald Aponte — and for the final year of Barnett’s post. The other two members of the board, chairwoman Brenda Aldrich and George Archible, are not up for re-election.

Barnett plans to remain chairman of the Hampshire Council of Governments until the end of his term in May 2019. He was elected to that three-year term in 2016. During that time, he said the council will work to finalize contract negotiations with the council’s executive director, Todd Ford.

Barnett served as town clerk for 21 years, the longest the position has been held in the town’s history, until 2014. As treasurer, a position he held for eight years, he oversaw the building of two schools, the fire department and the senior center.

“Everybody should be doing what they can to improve their communities, and it doesn’t have to be politics, find something and do it,” Barnett said.

At its meeting Monday, the Select Board unanimously voted to place the open one-year term on the May 21 ballot.

Sarah Robertson can be reached at srobertson@gazettenet.com.