Copp Resigns Unexpectedly from Board of Selectmen

SANDOWN – In a move that surprised even her, Brenda Copp has resigned her seat on the board of selectmen. The current vice chair made the move following the board’s Nov. 4 meeting.
Copp had not resigned publicly when the board closed its meeting Nov. 4, but news of her move made quick rounds around town and by the middle of the week, many knew of her decision. Though the final straw came recently, Copp said her dissatisfaction with some members of the board began months ago.

Copp wrote a formal letter of resignation last week and in an interview after the fact, stated she was done with her work on any town committees and did not see a time in the future when she’d want to serve in that capacity again.
Explaining her decision, Copp stated, “I saw things happening that I disapproved of and the only way I could live with myself was to turn in my resignation.”
She cited moral and personal objections, but would give no specifics. She said it had been a lingering situation and did not involve the entirety of the board.
Last week’s meeting showed some frustration on a separate matter however, as Copp pushed against board efforts to increase the amount in the town employees’ Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), as reported by the Tri-Town Times. Copp has become well known for her efforts to keep the budget down, coming to meetings with the results of her calculations on costs and needs done outside the meeting. When health insurance was being discussed, Copp successfully moved to accept a health plan that saved the town about $17,000 with little impact to employee coverage, but was visibly dismayed when the board then moved to increase the HRAs, thereby nullifying much of the savings.
Copp was clear that the matter that prompted her resignation was separate from the health insurance discussion.
“It was a shock to me,” said Copp, noting that she went into the meeting with no plans to resign, and even hoped that should the board want her to, she would take on the chairmanship next term.
The selectman, who has been serving on town committees since 2007, said that while she does not harbor regrets, she is apologetic for not finishing out her term. She is thankful for the townspeople’s support and for their votes, she said.
Copp also pointed to the privilege she felt of working with a group of town employees who are “second to none,” giving particular praise to the fire department and the women in the selectmen’s office.
Selectman chair Tom Tombarello said he regretted Copp’s departure. He pointed to her many years of service and the knowledge t she brought to bear for the people of Sandown.
“She was an asset to all of the boards she was on,” said Tombarello.
Copp had long been a member of the budget committee before serving in an ex-officio role when she became a selectman. She was also a voting member of the Cable TV Advisory Board.
“In the years I did serve, I did the best that I could and did what I believed in,” said Copp, who throughout her years as selectman had no problem being the lone dissenting vote in a host of motions.
But on the bright side, Copp said she’s looking forward to spending more time with her family, and less time multi-tasking with town paperwork. Copp noted that she’d still be watching the selectmen, but from now on it will be from the comfort of her home.

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