SHIRLEY -- Town Administrator Patrice Garvin informed selectmen recently that the Zoning Board of Appeals was basically defunct.

With its longtime chairman moving out of town at the end of May, two other veteran members resigned, effective at the same time. Only one alternate remained on the board, Garvin said. At full strength, the ZBA should have five members.

Having spread the word that there were ZBA vacancies, Garvin has three applicants lined up, she told the Shirley Oracle this week. She hopes to have a new board seated in time for the June 2 annual Town Meeting.

Some might look for a political cause for the ZBA exodus, perhaps pointing to recent efficiency moves in the Town Offices to shift and share part-time clerical positions, including the ZBA assistant.

But Garvin took a more philosophical view. "Turnover happens," she said, adding that the town "recognizes the number of years of service" contributed by the outgoing board.