Orient resident Charles Squire released the following statement about his decision for withdrawing from today’s Oysterponds school board election. Below his statement is our original coverage.
Dear friends and fellow members of the Oysterponds community,
It is with much regret that I am announcing the withdrawal of my candidacy from the Oysterponds school board election today.
The law states that one must be a resident for one full year prior to serving on the school board. In my case, my residency is just shy of a year. Though my family and I have been Orient homeowners and members of the community since 2010, we completed our full-time transition in July of 2012.
As a citizen, it is my duty to respect the law and these requirements.
While the legality of my residency has been questioned, my commitment to the Oysterponds community and to the children, parents, and dedicated teachers of Oysterponds Elementary will never be questioned.
I have total confidence that the three candidates who have been active participants in the dialog leading up to the election — Dorothy-Dean Thomas, Alison Lyne, and Tom Stevenson — will be excellent additions to the board.
They have my fullest support and I wish them all the best.
Oysterponds School District Superintendent Richard Malone confirmed Tuesday afternoon that school board candidate Charles Squire has withdrawn from today’s election.
State law requires board candidates to have an uninterrupted year of residency within the district up to the election, Mr. Malone said in an interview earlier today. Mr. Squire has said he and his family have summered in Orient for the past few years and moved from the city to Orient last summer because he and his wife were impressed with what the Oysterponds School offered.
Earlier today, officials spoke to their attorneys to determine if Mr. Squire can legally appear on the ballot. The superintendent said Mr. Squire withdrew from the race today at 1 p.m. He did not indicate whether the district’s attorneys had given an opinion beforehand.
“We’ll have information about this posted at the school before the election,” Mr. Malone said. When asked what will happen if Mr. Squire still wins a board seat the superintendent said he’s looking into the matter.
Mr. Squire wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Three seats currently held by board president Dorothy-Dean Thomas, Deborah Dumont and Thomas Gray are up for grabs, but only Ms. Thomas is seeking a new term. Mr. Squire, along with Orient residents Tom Stevenson and Alison Lyne, as well as East Marion resident Betsy Dzenkowski, will also appear on today’s ballot.