Nothing appeared amiss about council president Megan Gallucci’s absence from Monday’s meeting until the conversation turned to interviewing a candidate to manage the pool this summer.
Gallucci and Steve Rose have been the ones to handle personnel issues for the council, and would have been the ones to interview the sole applicant.
However, a comment was made that someone would have to replace Galucci; Rick Reynolds volunteered.
The next personnel item to be discussed was Gallucci’s letter of resignation.
“Due to situations beyond my control my family and I have relocated outside of Peabody and therefore, I must resign my position immediately,” she wrote.
Gallucci gave no hint in her letter as to what circumstances prompted the move. Council members gave no additional insight as they reluctantly voted to accept her resignation.
“I personally didn’t know this was coming, so I was kind of surprised,” Mayor Larry Larsen said. “It’s with a saddened heart that we need to have somebody move to accept her letter of resignation.”
Reynolds made the motion to accept it.
“I second it with regret,” Janice Woodruff said.
Gallucci’s resignation was submitted “with a heavy heart,” she wrote.
“My two years on the council have been some of the most rewarding years of my life,” she wrote. “I hope that when filling my chair you will find someone who loves Peabody and its residents as much as I do. I have complete faith that someone with a heart for moving Peabody forward will carry on the vision we all have for this great town.”
Vision, specifically economic vision, was at issue early in the meeting when Russell Groves, Marion County Economic Development Corporation board member, made a repeat appearance.
Groves answered a concern aired at the prior council meeting about MCEDC and Peabody Main Street. Council had been concerned that taking $25,000 earmarked for a director for Peabody Main Street and using it for membership in MCEDC would jeopardize the program.
Groves reported that state Main Street officials told him that MCEDC’s yet-to-be-hired economic development director could be used to fulfill the Main Street director requirement for Peabody.
However, council members were reluctant to move forward with a commitment to MCEDC without first meeting with Main Street members and others who have worked with economic development issues.
Groves backtracked from comments he and Chris Hernandez made at the last meeting that they would work to get Peabody’s commitment secured before approaching any other town about membership.
“Will I offend you if I start knocking on some other doors in the county of other municipalities in the meantime?” Groves said.
Council members encouraged Groves to proceed.
“I think we have some things we still need to have covered,” Woodruff said.
Groves volunteered to have an MCEDC representative attend such a meeting, and council members were agreeable. The council will work toward making a decision about funding MCDEC in early May.
In other business:
- Peabody-Burns Recreation Commission will give the city $2,000 to purchase 109 N. Plum St. from Verna Gervais. PBRC will be responsible for current property taxes, closing costs, and demolition. The property is adjacent to 111 N. Plum St., which was purchased by the city earlier this year under a similar agreement with PBRC. The lots will be used for recreational purposes.
- A discussion of past problems with irregular summer pool hours led to a recommendation that a specific schedule be developed and enforced. Opening on Saturdays was encouraged by council members.