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Colleagues gather to wish departing selectman well

Tilton Selectman Ashlee Saint John (center) said farewell last Thursday evening as she prepared to move to southern New Hampshire. Joining her for one last photo at the July 26 meeting were (left to right) Administrative Assistant Gayle Bestik, Selectmen Pat Consentino, Jon Scanlon, Katherine Dawson, Peter Fogg and Town Administrator Joyce Fulweiler. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
August 01, 2018
TILTON –Selectman Ashlee Saint John bid an emotional farewell to her fellow board members and the Town of Tilton last Thursday as she stepped down from her position, saying life changes required that she move outside the town.

"I'm very sad to leave and not finish my elected term," Saint John said at her final meeting last week. "I've lived here all my life, and I love Tilton. This is not something I anticipated."

Saint John is a single mother who works as a registered nurse for both Concord Hospital and Lakes Region General Hospital's emergency room. She is now studying to obtain her license as a Nurse Practitioner, and needs to be closer to her family for support in that endeavor.

"I'm not a quitter, and my biggest struggle was the decision as to whether or not I was going to move but in the end it was something I knew I had to do. I'm going to miss everyone here in Tilton a lot," Saint John said.

Jon Scanlon, Chair of the Board of Selectmen, said he respected Saint John's decision to put her family first but was nonetheless sad to see her go.

"Ashlee was great. It was great to have a new face and fresh perspectives on the board and we will certainly miss her," he said. "Unfortunately, her time with us ended up to be too short, but we hope others like her will step up and become involved in the community like she did."

When Saint John submitted her resignation on June 28, the town sent out a request for letters of intent from anyone who would be willing to fill her seat on the board until the next election in March of 2019. Deadline for those letters was this past Wednesday, Aug. 2. From those letters, they hope to find a qualified individual who is willing to join the board for the next seven months.

"It's a great way for someone to come in, get a feel for the position then decide if they'd like to officially run for a full term next March," Scanlon said.

Saint John's replacement will hopefully be found in the next few weeks as the board faces many other decisions. They are currently interviewing candidates to replace Town Administrator Joyce Fulweiler, who will be retiring this fall, as well as candidates for a few other openings in municipal jobs. Budget season is also rapidly approaching and that will trigger a lot of discussions and more decisions as they prepare for the next fiscal year.

One other exciting challenge they have on their agenda is to find people interested in serving on a committee for Tilton's 150th Anniversary in 2019. Recently a local gentleman presented the town with a number of photos and artifacts from the town's history and they hope others may have documents or photos from past anniversary celebrations in Tilton that they can share.

"We'd love to get a good mix of people, from historians to business owners or residents who want to help make 2019 a special year in Tilton," Scanlon said.

Anyone interested in taking part in a committee for the planning and organization of this special anniversary celebration is asked to contact the selectmen's office as soon as possible at 286-4521, ext. 100.

Martin Lord Osman
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