“It feels punitive,” Taylor said. “If it was September and he had just been elected in June, then I would feel differently. But his position is open next month.
“I worry about the precedent we are setting. This is a really big deal to vacate a seat. It is a power we have, but not a power we must yield. It is a choice we are making.”
The other board members disagreed with Taylor.
“The law says the seat is vacant,” Wait said. “We are just affirming what the law is already saying.”
According to statistics presented by Wait, Webster had missed three consecutive meetings at least once before, had 23 absences during his five-year term and was absent or not available for full meetings 47 percent of the time.
Reached by phone Friday, Webster disputed Wait’s numbers and said the vacancy declaration was news to him.
“The mandatory board meetings are the ones you are required to attend, not the ones they keep calling every week,” he said. “I work for a living. I have a moderately successful dairy farm. I have six employees. I have a lot of responsibility.
“I made it clear to them that I could not attend every special meeting. I think the people who voted for me would be the first ones to understand that.”
Webster said that he was probably not going to run for re-election, adding that he had become disenchanted with the board this winter over a personnel issue. He said he realized the feeling was mutual.
“There were about four members of the board who hated my guts,” he said. “I guess you can figure out who they are.
“If that is the action they have taken, then fine. I can go about my business with a lot less stress in my life. But I can tell you that there are a lot of problems with this board, in my opinion.”