AYER -- Four-term selectman James Fay resigned on Tuesday, citing personal reasons and leaving an empty seat in the now four-member board.
His letter to Town Clerk John Canney states, "Herewith please accept my resignation as selectman for the town of Ayer effective today, Feb. 10, 2014. Due to personal reasons present in my life today, this action is necessary.
"Through you to my colleagues past and present and to the people of Ayer, may I say it has been my greatest honor and privilege to serve the greatest town in the world. My wife, Ann, and I have traveled the globe and I say the greatest town in the world from having been in many of them.
"I have been blessed with a supportive family and many friends and ask their understanding in this decision," Fay wrote.
After the resignation, selectmen Chairman Gary Luca said he will miss Fay, who always brought something to the table.
"I'm guessing he needs the time to take care of whatever he has to take care of and doesn't want to be clouded by doing the other work," Luca said.
Among his many contributions to the town, one of the most notable is his dedication to veterans. Fay had a long career in the military, ending his career at Fort Devens. He is among those responsible for erecting the veterans memorial at Town Hall. He also spent significant time representing Ayer on the Joint Boards of Selectmen in the ongoing multi-year quest to determine the disposition of Devens.
With elections approaching in April, it's unlikely selectmen will vote to have a special election to replace Fay. The group already meets the quorum of three, and a new law approved by the town and state will reduce the board from five members to three in the next election.
Follow Amelia on Twitter and Tout @AmeliaPakHarvey.