Lebanon select chair steps down citing health concerns, public criticism

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Former select chair Chip Harlow, left, explains why he's stepping downto to board members Paul Philbrck and Laura Bragg, right. (Youtube image)

LEBANON, Maine - Selectmen Chip Harlow abruptly resigned from his board chairmanship position on Thursday, citing health concerns and undue criticism he and his family had suffered on social media platforms since he became board chair two years ago.

Harlow also told the board he would not be seeking a second term, adding the criticism he was hearing helped to make the decision.

"As of right now I will not run for re-election," Harlow said, adding. "If all I hear from people is negative impact, I'm not doing my job."

He also cited criticism leveled at him and his family on social media platforms.

"When I'm getting bashed out there, it's hurtful," he said. "I have high blood pressure; this isn't helping, it's stressful."

Harlow was elected in June 2017 to fill the void after selectwoman Christine Torno abruptly resigned during her first year of office.

Harlow and Selectwoman Laura Bragg voted in Paul Philbrick to fill the interim slot as board chair at least until the June election, when three new selectmen will be voted onto board.

The town voted in November to increase the size of the board from three to five.

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