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Rhonda Roethel resigns from Lisbon Planning Board

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LISBON - After two years Rhonda L. Roethel is resigning from the Lisbon Planning Board in order to spend more time with her family and focus on other projects.

“At this point I have a lot going on,” Ms. Roethel said.

Ms. Roethel had been a strong advocate on the planning board for giving code enforcement officer Christopher J. Sherwin more control over issuing building permits and moving the board away from policing new construction projects.

“He really doesn’t need us telling him what to do,” Ms. Roethel said. “We’re not there to dispute every garage or porch people put on.”

Ms. Roethel applauded the progress that has been made towards giving Mr. Sherwin more leeway to approve building projects on his own.

“He’s a good codes officer, very knowledgeable,” she said.

Currently the planning board only intervenes in large projects or when there is a dispute, Ms. Roethel said, and that’s how she believes it should be run.

Ms. Roethel, who co-owns America 1 Realty and is a full-time letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, said, “I don’t have a lot of spare time; at some point I had to step back and say, ‘where do I have to say no?’ I gave it as much as I possibly can.”

Ms. Roethel has also been leading the charge on a hydro-electric project in Lisbon that could see the flow of the St. Lawrence River turned into energy for the region.

A feasibility study was completed earlier this year and the town is considering several types of generators to best harness the energy. But Ms. Roethel said her time leading that project is also over as she steps down from the planning board.

“I can’t fully devote my time to that project,” she said. “It’s just a lot.”

Town Supervisor James W. Armstrong said he was sad to see her go.

“I think she was one of our better members,” he said.

The town council plans on nominating a new member to the board at its Oct. 9 meeting.

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