OWLS HEAD — A longtime member of  the town’s Planning Board has been replaced.

The Owls Head Select Board voted unanimously Monday evening, Oct. 17, to appoint Maria Devery as a full member of the Planning Board. She had been serving as an alternate.

The seat she now fills had been held by Ken Wexler since 2013.

There was no discussion during the meeting of why Wexler was being passed over for another term. Chair Gordon Page said Oct. 20 that it was the unanimous decision of the Board to appoint Devery and did not offer a reason why not Wexler.

Wexler’s term expired in September and the Select Board has the authority to appoint members to boards.

“I was surprised. I’m upset to be replaced with no notice,” Wexler said Thursday, Oct. 20.

He said he had specifically told Page that he wanted to be reappointed. And, Wexler said, Page knew he was out of the country on Monday.

“They disappeared me while I was gone,” Wexler said.

Wexler was also not renewed for the Owls Head Airport Advisory Committee, another volunteer position he has held for about 20 years.

He said the Select Board is replacing members to fill the Board with people who support the position of Knox County, which owns and operates the Knox County Regional Airport. Appointed to the advisory panel recently have been Airport Manager Jeremy Shaw and Carson Courchaine.

Each time the voters have had their say, they have gone against the position of Knox County and the Select Board, Wexler maintained. A moratorium on any projects at the airport was approved Aug. 29, 2022 by residents on a 74-61 vote at the annual town meeting. At a June 2021 town meeting, residents rejected 124 to 14 a proposed interlocal agreement with Knox County that had been negotiated by the Select Board.

Wexler said Page had enough faith in him to have asked him to serve as the liaison between the Planning Board and the Federal Emergency Management Agency over the crucial issue of whether there are homes in violation of floodplain regulations. Town representatives were having a Zoom meeting with FEMA and state officials on Oct. 20.

Wexler survived an effort last year to have him and Russell Wolfertz removed from the Planning Board.

Attorney Kristin Collins, who represented Christina and Jeff Woodman who wanted to have an events center at their Ash Point Farm, had asked the Owls Head Select Board to remove the two members from the town’s Planning Board. Collins claimed Wexler was behind a mailing to town residents before a town meeting that she contended disparaged the proposed events center, and included false and misleading information. She also said he had fought the project at every step.

Wexler denied the claims and said last year that he has a Constitutional right to express his opinions

The Center was eventually approved.

Wexler and Wolfertz also have gone to court to appeal approval of a hangar project at the Knox County Regional Airport, a project approved by the Planning Board. Their appeal was filed Aug. 29 and remains pending in the Knox County court.