Council speaks on Dennis resignation

SECRETARY — The president and members of the Secretary Town Council sent a statement to the Dorchester Banner last week, in response to former Mayor Melissa Dennis’ announcement of her resignation [“Dennis has resigned,” Dorchester Banner, June 26]. Ms. Dennis and her family are moving to a neighboring county.

The statement from the town officials said, “The Secretary Town Council would like to clarify some of the statements made by former Mayor Melissa Dennis in last week’s Banner. Ms. Dennis’s statement that she was ‘called and asked to finalize my resignation on Monday after missing the meeting due to a family emergency’ leaves the impression she was asked to resign for missing one meeting. This is totally not true.

“She had stated in an email to the Town for a previous meeting she missed that she was stepping down and would stay as long we desired but would leave the decision of when up to the Council. Since Ms. Dennis had not involved herself in any Town business for several months and had only communicated with the Town through two emails, Council felt it was time for her to finalize her resignation.

“Remember, she had already said she was stepping down since her family had put their house up for sale and was moving out of town. There were many projects and issues confronting the Town and with no communication from her as mayor, it was difficult to continue moving forward as needed.

“As for blaming her for her ‘advocacy.’ that is also untrue. Council felt her issues with the Board of Education were of a personal nature and did not reflect on her position as mayor.

“The Town did not wish to become involved in any way but never once made any negative remarks concerning the issue. Everyone on Council was willing to work with Ms. Dennis and help her in any way they could for her to be able to do her job.

“However, it is necessary to reach out and communicate with others if you need help. The Town would like to wish Melissa and her family well and hope they find what they need in their new home.”

Ms. Dennis was involved in a dispute with local public schools regarding incidents of violence, one of which affected her daughter.

Members of the Secretary Town Council who approved the statement were President Gary Burkey, and commissioners William Lauck, Susan Dukes and Jennifer Beletsky.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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