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Second district Waterford RTM member resigns

Waterford — Margaret Welch, elected in November of last year to the Representative Town Meeting's 2nd District, resigned on Jan. 12 due to health issues.

Welch's resignation triggers a series of actions to find a replacement. Her seat must be filled by someone of the same party — she's a Democrat — and district. Her stand-in is chosen by ballot among the remaining 2nd District RTM members: Democrats Gregory Attanasio, Theodore Olynciw and Welch's son Baird Welch-Collins, and Republicans April Cairns and Liam O'Leary.

Three nominations are provided by the Democratic Town Committee, which recommends one person in particular it wants for the seat.

Welch cited health reasons in her letter of resignation, which was submitted to RTM Moderator Thomas Dembek.

"It is with considerable regret that I must resign my recently elected position as RTM member for District 2," Welch's letter reads. "Shortly after my election I developed health problems that will make it impossible for me to fulfill my duties during the months ahead. I had looked forward to serving Waterford and hope I may find opportunities in the future."

Selectwoman and Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Elizabeth Sabilia said she was surprised by Welch's decision to step down, but she understands why she did. "She was just elected, and she would've been a wonderful addition," Sabilia said.

In her stead, the DTC is urging 2nd District RTM members to elect Miriam Furey-Wagner, who used to be on the town Board of Education but lost her reelection bid.

The other choices from the DTC are Joseph Filippetti, who was on the town Board of Finance but lost his run for reelection, and Grant Ritter, a professor at Brandeis University and the husband of former state Sen. Betsy Ritter.

RTM District 2 members will make their decision at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall with a special meeting and election.

s.spinella@theday.com

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