Fifer, King resign from Board of Health

The Abington Board of Health’s turbulent year has gotten bumpier.

Christina Fifer and Andrew King both resigned this week leaving the committee with the bare minimum required to hold a meeting and conduct any business.

Fifer, who was elected in 2020, said she will be moving out of state for a new job opportunity. She said she chose to resign Tuesday so that the position could be included on the Town Election ballot.

“It was a bittersweet decision as I believe I could have stayed on longer until I changed my residency,” said Fifer, a veteran who currently works in real estate. “However, resigning now gives the opportunity for my position to be filled by the next election, rather than an appointment. That was the biggest factor in my timing — leaving it in the hands of the voters.”   

She says her departure is not related to the challenges of serving on the board during a pandemic or any inter-board strife.

King, who was appointed to the board in October, submitted his resignation on Wednesday. He did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Fifer’s resignation means four Board of Health seats could be on the Town Election ballot.

The seats held by Aaron Christian and Melissa Pond are up as part of the regular three-year rotation. Whoever wins those two seats will earn full three-year terms

King’s seat is also on the ballot, as he was temporarily appointed to the board following the resignation of Chris Schultz. The winner of that seat will serve out the remaining two-year term.

Fifer has one year left on her term. However, with candidates already filling out nomination papers, it will be up to the Board of Selectmen to decide whether to place the seat on the ballot, or hold off and fill it through the appointment process, according to Town Clerk Leanne Adams. 

The board has until Feb. 28 to vote to place the seat on the ballot, under state law, Adams said. That way interested candidates will still have two weeks to collect signatures. 

If selectmen do nothing, the seat won’t appear on the ballot, and it will instead be filled during a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Health.

Meanwhile the board will have just three members for the next couple of meetings.

“The Board’s function shouldn’t change significantly at three members,” board Chairman Aaron Christian said. “Many municipalities have three member boards of health and I don’t see this being a major issue as far as our job is concerned moving forward.”

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