Ray Pickles has resigned from his elected position as town clerk via a two-sentence letter delivered to the Selectmen’s Office the morning of September 3.
“He said that he was resigning due to health problems,” stated Town Administrator Jay McGrail during the September 3 meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen. “So, we no longer have Mr. Ray Pickles as the town clerk.”
The letter comes months after the selectmen requested that Pickles, 85, resign in light of the Attorney General’s criminal indictment, and two months after Pickles stopped receiving a paycheck for the position after Town Meeting voted to de-fund the town clerk salary line item during the May Annual Town Meeting effective July 1, 2019.
Pickles is the former executive director of the Carver, Marion, Wareham Regional Refuse Disposal District and faces six criminal charges of Larceny over $250. He is also a defendant in a civil suit filed by the CMWRRDD last year.
Pickles is accused of stealing over $610,000 in CMWRRDD funds between 2010-2017 through alleged unauthorized cash withdrawals and checks he made out to himself from secret checking accounts unknown to the board that oversees the CMWRRDD.
Pickles’ resignation is effective immediately.
The board then promptly appointed current Assistant Town Clerk Lissa Magauran as the temporary town clerk until Pickles’ term ends in April 2020.
In addition to de-funding Pickles’ salary, Town Meeting back in May voted to earmark those funds in order to pay a temporary appointed town clerk if Pickles were to resign. Town Meeting also voted to make the elected town clerk position an appointed one.
In other matters, the board approved Building Commissioner Scott Shippey’s proposed building permit fees, effective next Monday, September 9, in order for them to be comparable to other similar communities’ fees.
Albert Muren, a Buzzards Bay Coalition volunteer citizen water quality monitor, gave a brief presentation on water quality results rating four key saltwater locations in Marion from zero to 100. Hillers Cove and outer Aucoot Cove both scored 90 in the “outstanding” category, and middle Aucoot Cove scored an 87, also outstanding. However, inner Aucoot Cove only scored a 43 in the “fair” category.
Korrin Peterson from the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Marc Drainville from GDH, Inc. asked the board for approval to investigate the feasibility of a future regional sewer project with Wareham that would pump wastewater from a Marion wastewater lagoon through a pipe to the Wareham wastewater treatment plant during off-peak hours. GHD, Inc. offered to perform the feasibility study free of charge to the Town of Marion. After a brief discussion, the selectmen approved the free study.
The next meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen is scheduled for September 17 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.
Marion Board of Selectmen
By Jean Perry