Windsor election complaints lead to resignations by winner

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 3/31/2023 3:23:56 PM
Modified: 3/31/2023 3:24:23 PM

WINDSOR — Amy McMullen, who won election to the Mt. Ascutney School Board on Town Meeting Day, has resigned her post on that board, her position as school clerk and her role as Windsor’s town clerk after facing criticism for being present at the polls on the day of the election.

The decision, she said, was driven by criticism she received in the wake of her victory. Residents were critical of McMullen at a March 13 School Board meeting, and she received emails of admonishment from members of the Windsor Selectboard,

“I learned that people do not feel this was a fair and free election,” McMullen said in her March 24 resignation letter to the School Board.

“My actions created a loss of trust from parents, teachers and staff and other members of the community, and I believe that any actions of the board with me serving will be tainted by the outcome of the election,” she wrote. “There is too much good work to be accomplished by the board, and there are enough challenges without me added to them.”

At the March 13 meeting, McMullen apologized for her presence at the polls on March 7 when she was in a contested race for a seat on the School Board, which oversees schools in West Windsor and Windsor. An initial count after polls closed found that McMullen earned 252 votes to Kaitlyn Gould’s 234. A recount conducted on March 13 at Gould’s request in West Windsor found that McMullen beat Gould, 255-222.

Also on March 24, McMullen submitted her resignation as town clerk to Windsor Town Manager Tom Marsh.

“My presence at the polls for Town Meeting was poor judgment on my part and was a breach of trust that will cast shadows on all of my work for the town going forward,” McMullen wrote in her letter to Marsh.

McMullen had held the elected role for five years. She said she planned to clean out her personal belongings and return her key on March 28.

A message left for McMullen on Wednesday at Cavendish Fletcher Community Library, where she works as its director, was not returned by deadline.

Marsh, reached by phone on Thursday, said the Selectboard read McMullen’s letter into the record at its Tuesday meeting. He expects that many of the duties of the town clerk will continue to be performed by Assistant Town Clerk Riley White, who is appointed.

“From a practical matter, it’s not that big a deal,” he said.

He anticipates that the Selectboard will appoint an interim town clerk — likely White — to serve in the town clerk role until next year’s Town Meeting, he said.

Meanwhile, the School Board has scheduled a special meeting on Monday to discuss how and where to advertise the opening on the board, as well as a description of the position. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. via Google Meet at https://meet.google.com/oax-otvc-ere or by phone at 1-352-612-0456 PIN: 998 185 861#.

The School Board, at its March 13 meeting, acknowledged other flaws in the election in addition to McMullen’s presence at the polls, including failing to have a school clerk present during voting and failing to properly warn the vote. Plans to remedy those flaws include having at least two-thirds of the board sign an election validation resolution and holding “a public validation meeting.”

School Board Chairwoman Elizabeth Burrows said in a Friday email the board will sort out additional details about its plans to address the election issues at its regular meeting on April 19.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.




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