Fraser-Harris resigns from recreation commission

Bill Frasier-Harris
Bill Fraser-Harris

Recreation in Charlotte got tossed a curveball when recreation commission chair Bill Fraser-Harris resigned on Sept. 22.

After 15 years on the commission, Fraser-Harris said he was tired of dealing with the minutiae the position requires.

In addition to stepping down as chair, he resigned from his position on the rec commission as well.

Fraser-Harris said he has always been more self-sufficient and “sort of a can-do kind of guy” and cited “the politics, the meetings, having to justify myself more and more” as reasons he was stepping away.

“It’s time to just sit back and smell the roses,” he said.

Although he’s stepping down, Fraser-Harris said he was willing to help with town events. During his tenure as chair, he’s been part of organizing at least 20 concerts, seven town parties, a new playground and yoga at the town beach, and the ice rink next to Charlotte Central School.

“I’m hoping to stay on, and I think I will stay on as a helper around town,” he said. “We’ll see what happens next summer with some of the events, the rink and that sort of thing.”

Bill Fraser-Harris moved to Charlotte in 1999, where his wife Eva Fraser-Harris lived. About six years after the move, he became a member of the rec commission. Within a few months of joining the commission, he had become chair.

The recreation commission was a good fit for Fraser-Harris, who was the athletic director at his college, the University of Swansea in South Wales.

Squash, field hockey and rugby were his sports when he was younger.

He was born in Canada and moved to England because his father was in the Royal Navy.

Shortly after college he moved to the United States. He owned restaurants in Bolton Valley and Richmond.

As a sailor, an avid tennis and part-time pickleball player, Fraser describes himself as an outdoor person — and a community person.

“It’s been my heart and soul for the last few years, organizing beach music and the beach town parties, etcetera,” he said.

Greg Smith also resigned from the recreation commission but couldn’t be reached for comment.

At the Sept. 26 selectboard meeting chair Jim Faulkner brought up the idea of appointing a town special events coordinator to oversee things like the town party and the ice rink.

The board decided to wait on a decision about this until the recreation commission vacancies have been filled, and it has heard from the reconstituted commission and recreation director Nicole Conley.