PEPPERELL – Lisa Ferolito resigned from the Board of Selectmen last week, citing issues with Town Administrator Andrew MacLean as the reason for her sudden departure.
“I don’t agree with the direction Mr. MacLean is taking my town in and I can no longer stay on the board and be a part of it,” Ferolito said in an email to The Voice last Thursday. “I wouldn’t be true to my community if I did. The Board is elected and should be representative of the people. This is no longer the case.”
Ferolito, whose term was set to expire next April and took over as chair of the board this past April, did not wish to go into further detail about her reasoning when pressed by the Valley Voice.
MacLean said Ferolito’s decision was “unexpected” when she came to his office last Wednesday morning to tender her resignation.
“The Board of Selectmen have accepted Ms. Ferolito’s resignation and wish to thank her for her years of service as an employee and elected official and to wish her well in her future endeavors,” MacLean said in a follow-up email responding to her comments last week.
The Board of Selectmen held an emergency meeting last Wednesday, Aug. 28 to re-organize itself. William Greathead was nominated and then elected as the new chair.
The board is planning to hold a special election later this year to fill the remaining open seat on the board, with a tentative date of Nov. 18.
“We had business in front of us and didn’t want to wait 12 more days to address it,” MacLean said, explaining why the meeting was held.
Ferolito has been on the board since April 2017, beating out former Selectman Stephen Themelis in a vote of 229 to 214.
While on the board, Ferolito served on the Town Administrator Search Committee in 2018.
Treasurer Debbie Nutter filed a complaint of workplace harassment against Ferolito in August 2016. The former town clerk allegedly raised a concern to the town administrator about why the treasurer’s office was closed for one day that month while Nutter attended an event and the assistant treasurer was not able to be at the office in her place. Though Nutter said at the time that she had gotten permission to attend the event, Ferolito’s concern supposedly created a hostile work environment for the treasurer.
Ferolito also accused a former town employee in February 2018 of signing-off on payment paperwork for employees who hadn’t worked a full week.
“My focus has always been what is the best for Pepperell and it will always be,” Ferolito said in an email. “I love Pepperell as it has been my family’s home for 20 years. I would like to thank the residents of Pepperell for being able to serve them for my time as town clerk and as a selectwoman.”