HARVARD -- At the end of the selectmen's meeting Tuesday night, board member Marie Sobalvarro announced her resignation, effective the next day.
It was no surprise to the board, which had her resignation letter in hand.
Sobalvarro joined the board in December 2009, filling a vacancy after Leo Blair resigned. She ran in the next town election and retained the seat through 2014.
In April, 2014, Sobalvarro was re-elected for another three-year term.
Among her other contributions to town government and the community, Sobalvarro served six years on the Finance Committee and on the Fourth of July Committee shortly after moving to town several years ago.
Now, she hopes to find other ways to serve, she said, citing her full-time, out-of-town job as a key reason for her resignation.
This board has often been in dissent, with split decisions (3 to 2) becoming rather commonplace, especially on the Town Hall renovation project.
Despite her quiet style, Sobalvarro was no silent partner. She stuck to her convictions, did not shy from confrontation and by her own admission, could get "fixated" at times.
But even during heated discussions, she was unfailingly gracious.
Serving as chairman during her previous term, Sobalvarro did not lack attention to detail but moved meetings along with aplomb, one eye on business and the other on the clock.
Even without Open Meeting Law restrictions, Sobalvarro said she doubted the five people at the table would gather socially. "But we do come together for six to 10 hours each month" to tackle town business, which is "somewhat inspirational," she said.
Reminding the others that the Town Hall renovation project the board took over some time ago has been "dear to my heart," and that she's been "fixated" on cost throughout the protracted process, she expressed the hope that they'd stay the course and continue to "find humor" in sticky situations as the project progresses.
The board said they understood her need to step down, but "it's a tough loss," they said and she will be missed. Sobalvarro received a round of applause from the audience.