Billings to Resign North Adams Council Seat
Billings, who spent nearly 30 years in service to the city, has not attended any council meetings since the end of May. The retired professor moved to Rhode Island at that time but was maintaining his home in the city until it could be sold. He had expected to return to the city during the summer.
The City Council bid him farewell in May in case he was unable to make any more meetings. Council President Alan Marden said at Tuesday's council meeting that he had been in contact with Billings about his "lack of attendance."
In a phone conversation before the meeting, said Marden, "Billings informed me he will be resigning effective Aug. 29, the date of his retirement from MCLA."
Marden said he recommended not filling the position until the November election and that he had discussed the issue with both Billings and Mayor John Barrett III.
Billings had expressed a wish to let the voters replace him rather than the council, which in past circumstances has appointed the 10th-highest vote-getter in the previous election. That would have been Christopher J. Tremblay, who placed 38 votes behind Billings. Tremblay, who returned nomination papers for another run at the council, has since decided he will not stand for election.
Brian Flagg, also a candidate for City Council this year, had planned to ask the council to address Billings' absences. Flagg said he was concerned about comments the councilor had made on local message boards and, while he thought Billings should be appreciated for his service, he should be discouraged from staying on until January.
"I guess this takes care of it," he said afterward.