BRATTLEBORO — Gary Stroud has dropped out of the Select Board race, citing a recent medical diagnosis.
“As you know, I’ve been on the campaign trail for the Select Board, I’ve been all gung ho and excited about this, really happy about it, congratulating the other people on there too,” he said during a time reserved for public comment at the Select Board meeting held remotely Tuesday. “But during that period, I was waiting on some information from Dartmouth hospital. Come to find out, it’s not the best news that I thought it would be.”
Stroud said he learned he has prostate cancer and doesn’t know what treatment will be needed. He asked the board to keep him in their prayers.
His name will still appear on the ballot with six other candidates for two one-year seats. But he would resign if elected and the board would need to appoint someone to fill the term, Town Clerk Hilary Francis said.
“Unfortunately, it’s too late to remove his name from the ballot,” she said.
Board members wished Stroud well. He serves on several committees on town and as an alternate member on the Development Review Board. He’s also vice chairman of the Citizen Police Communications Committee.
Stroud recently told the Reformer he’s the only African American man on the town’s committees and wanted to run for Select Board to add some diversity to its ranks. He also said he sought to bring about positive changes in the community.
“It’s time to make a change and make things happen,” he said. “I’m ready to put things to action. Talk is cheap.”
On Tuesday, he thanked the board and town staff for their support.
“The whole town’s behind you,” Select Board Chairman Tim Wessel said. “We very much appreciate the energy you give to the town, the smiles and support and everything, the hard work.”
Stroud told the Reformer he will still participate in the committees and annual Representative Town Meeting in March. He’s now endorsing Kurt Daims and Jessica Callahan Gelter.
Other candidates include incumbent Daniel Quipp, Evan Chadwick and Rikki Rissati.
Board member Ian Goodnow said residents can go to My Voter Page at mvp.vermont.gov to provide any information needed to get absentee ballots sent out for the March 2 election, as there will be no early voting this year in the town clerk’s office. Ballots can be mailed back, dropped in a blue box in the Municipal Center parking lot, or brought to the polls on election day. In-person voting will still happen March 2.
Absentee ballots are anticipated to reach voters by mid to late February. Francis suggested requests for absentee ballots be made no later than Feb. 22, just more than a week ahead of the election.
“I would say do it as soon as you can,” she said. “You can do it now. You don’t have to wait until ballots are available.”
The board approved a schedule for informational meetings ahead of annual Representative Town Meeting on March 21. The traditional informational meeting where articles are discussed will happen March 10 at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Technical information regarding the virtual nature of the annual meeting will be offered at March 13 at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom. Details specific to financing the proposed water treatment plant project will be explained March 17 at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.
Brooks Memorial Library is seeking applicants to fill a vacant one-year seat on its board of trustees, Town Manager Peter Elwell said, noting that it’s for an unexpired term of a former board member. More information is available on brookslibraryvt.org.