Two of Lantzville’s highest vote getters have resigned from political office.
Councillors Rod Negrave and Jennifer Millbank handed in resignation letters Monday that will see them step down immediately, leaving the community short two representatives just five months after the civic election.
The announcements bring the tally of resignations to four in the district this month, following chief administrative officer Twyla Graff and director of financial services Jedha Holmes.
The two politicians called their decisions difficult and in their resignation letters pointed to issues concerning the new council as reasons behind their departure.
Negrave said established procedures and rules are being ignored, resulting in lack of fair dealing and that council is micromanaging district affairs when it should be focusing on strategic and policy matters. He also is “truly disturbed at the undermining of democracy” that he has seen in Lantzville.
“Taken with the scenes of angry red-faced men shouting unrestrained abuse at staff and others that we have witnessed at recent council meetings and one is reminded of how democracy formerly fell in cultured nations such as Italy and Germany,” he wrote.
Negrave told the News Bulletin he doesn’t feel he can properly represent the interests of residents and deal with the issues facing the community in the current environment at council and couldn’t in good conscience remain there.
Millbank, a second-term councillor, did not provide further comment, but in her letter stated that she was honoured to be part of the previous council and appreciated the opportunity to be the chairwoman of the Village Core Committee.
“Unfortunately it has become apparent to me that this new council has been unable to move forward on issues in a productive fashion that respects the role of council and the democratic process. I do not see that the situation will improve,” she said. “The underlying issues are sufficiently concerning to me that this is a council that I feel I can no longer be a part of.”
Mayor Colin Haime called the resignations disappointing. He said each council member has a vote and the departing councilors had the same abilities as anybody else.
“I do believe they didn’t give it a fair shake and going back to some of the comments right at the beginning of the term, I don’t believe they had any intention of doing so,” he said.
Haime considers statements made in Negrave’s letter as unsubstantiated.
It is unknown when a byelection will be held.