The Westerly Sun
RICHMOND — Gary Wright, who has served as president of the Richmond Town Council for the past two and a half years, has abruptly resigned.
In a May 29th letter addressed to council Vice President Richard Nassaney and Town Administrator Karen Pinch, Wright said he was resigning for personal reasons.
“It is with a sincere regret that I tender my resignation as Richmond Town Council President, effective immediately,” he wrote. “My reasons are personal, and family related.”
Contacted after he had submitted his resignation, Wright said that while he could not go into the details of why he had stepped down, he was certain that he had made the right decision.
“I don’t want to go into details, but I’m a religious man,” he said. “I believe in Jesus Christ and I believe I was told by Jesus Christ to step down and not hinder the town with my problems.”
Wright added that he had enjoyed working with town administrators and staff member as well as his colleagues on the council.
“I have loved working with them,” he said.
Reelected for a second term in 2018, Wright, a Republican, works as a computer specialist and ran on platform of stimulating economic development in Richmond.
The remaining members of the council, Republicans Richard Nassaney and Paul Michaud, Democrat Ronald Newman, and Nell Carpenter, an independent, will vote for the new council president and vice president, who are expected to be Nassaney and Newman.
Mark Trimmer, a Republican who lost his bid for reelection in 2018, will return to the council to fill the fifth seat.
Nassaney said Wright’s resignation had taken him by surprise, but he was prepared to take over the presidency. One of the most pressing issues, he noted, was the town’s proposed budget, which would require a property tax increase.
“We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us,” he said. “The budget, from what I saw on Facebook, it’s exploding. There’s a lot of things that have to be fixed and we’ve got to do a lot of hard work.”
Trimmer, who currently serves on the Planning Board, will resign from that position to take a seat on the council. He said he was prepared to hit the ground running.
“It’s going to take an adjustment through taxes, probably this year and next year, to get us back where we should be,” he said. “The big hold-back is the lack of economic development in the town.”
Nassaney welcomed Trimmer’s return to the council.
“I’m excited that he accepted to come back on,” he said. “He’s got good ideas. He’s passionate about the town. We need people that are passionate and want to see the town grow.”
Trimmer will be out of state on business on June 4, the next council meeting, when he will be named to the council. Wright’s resignation will be also accepted and the president and vice president will be named.
Residents will have the final say on the proposed budget at the Financial Town Meeting on June 10 at 7 p.m. at Richmond Elementary School.