Merrill leaves town council; Schaschek appointed

by Audrey Thomasson

Mike Merrill resigned from the Irvington Town Council at the May 10 meeting.

The move followed the resignation last month of four town planning commission members, including Merrill as council’s liaison, over their objection to council’s “lack of faith” and interference with the “independent” commission’s work.

Merrill, whose council term ends August 30, made his resignation effective at the end of the meeting. He did not specify a reason for resigning but did make a recommendation for his replacement. Resigning effective at the close of the meeting allowed him to participate in selecting three new planners and his replacement on council.

After a closed session, council gave unanimous approval to appoint Cary Schneider and Al Pollard Sr. to planning commission terms ending in February 2020, and Albert D. “Tripp” Bugg III to a term ending in October 2020. They replace Bill Young, Ed Sulick and Frank Tetrick.

Merrill’s recommendation of Bonnie Schaschek to serve out the remaining three months of his term on council was supported on a 5-0 vote. Member Wayne Nunnally did not attend the meeting.

Schaschek, who has been serving on the planning commission, also was appointed as council’s liaison with that group. Schaschek was elected to council May 1 for a four-year term that begins September 1.

In other business, council tabled a decision on supporting a no wake zone on Carter Creek pending the hiring of a town attorney to replace Wes Charlton who recently took a job at Christchurch School.

During the public comments section, Julie Harris expressed opposition to no wake zones on the creek. “The public water should remain open to the public,” she said.

Supporting a no wake zone and representing marina owners on the creek, Tom Chapman asked the town to pay 25% of the $2,800 cost to post signage and three buoys, which equates to $700.

“The marinas and yacht club would maintain the signage at no additional cost to the town,” said Chapman.

Only the main branch of the creek would have a no wake zone and he estimated the process would take nearly a year.

Councilman Mike Bombay asked Chapman to put the request in writing. During the discussion, other members noted there used to be no wake zones on the creek and wondered if they are still enforceable.

Mayor Rannie Ransone tabled the discussion until an attorney is hired who can advise them.