The recent tenure of Readfield Town Manager Stefan Pakulski has been a rocky one.

A year ago, his contract was renewed by a 3-1 vote by Selectboard members despite the receipt of an “opinion survey” with signatures of 153 people who didn’t want the contract approved.

That 18-month contract gave him a salary of $63,386 in the first year.

On Tuesday, the board voted 3-2 against accepting the resignation letter he submitted dated Jan. 12.

In his letter, Pakulski, 56, of Wayne, said he would work until Jan. 30 and said he was offering his resignation “for personal reasons.”

“My resignation is being tendered with the understanding that my salary and benefits shall continue through July 30, 2015, in accordance with my discussion with the Board regarding the terms of my contract, and that payments shall be distributed on a regular payroll basis during that period,” Pakulski’s letter says. The letter was obtained in response to a request made under the state’s Freedom of Access Act.

He went on to say, “I thank the current select board and all previous select boards I served, for the opportunity and honor of serving as Readfield’s town manager since 2003. I wish the very best for the select board and the whole community, and hope that the terms of my resignation will be accepted.”

The Tuesday vote followed a hastily called executive session of the board and included a prearranged telephone conference with the town’s attorney, Lee Bragg.

“We received this letter, so the board had to address it,” Sue Reay, board chairwoman, said Wednesday.

According to draft minutes from this week’s meeting, the Jan. 12 letter was presented to the board that same night, and the executive session followed the next afternoon.

Reay, Thomas Dunham and P. Greg Durgin voted against accepting the resignation; Valarie Pomerleau and Allen Curtis voted in favor of accepting it.

Reay said the resignation letter from Pakulski cited personal reasons, but she declined to comment on it or the vote.

“Each one voted individually for their own reasons,” Reay said.

Dunham, the newest selectman, said the board had been discussing the contract for some time and had discussed it with legal counsel.

“I used my best judgment to do what was best for the town,” Dunham said. “That was a tough one.”

As far as how long he expects Pakulski to stay in the role, Dunham said, “I don’t know what to expect. I know we have options in the contract. We have options and he has options. Right now it’s business as usual.”

Allen Curtis, who proposed that the board accept the resignation and voted to do so, said Thursday, “I think it was fair. When anybody wishes to leave a position, we should support that. We should wish them well and thank them for all the work they did.”

He too said he expected Pakulski to continue on the job. “He has a contract he needs to follow through on,” Curtis said.

Pakulski was working as usual on Thursday, but he declined to comment about the resignation or reasons behind it.

Selectboard member Valarie Pomerleau did not return a message left Thursday afternoon on her cellphone.

“I made my statement before I made my vote,” Durgin said Thursday, declining to tell a reporter what he said at the meeting.

Other things have been changing in the town as well.

In November, Readfield residents voted 882-544 to switch to secret-ballot voting on town warrant articles at Town Meeting.

While the vote was nonbinding, Reay said Wednesday that all the warrant articles usually handled at the annual Town Meeting will be voted on at the polls by secret ballot June 9.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.