Diane Brennan, the only city councillor not to call for Mayor Bill McKay’s resignation, says her signature isn’t on the letter of non-confidence because she wasn’t included.
The first time she was made aware of the letter to the mayor was from the media as she boarded a flight to Korea earlier this month.
“I am quite shocked, because we are having difficulty coming together and doing the business, the day-to-day business that a council has to do,” she said. “This kind of action is going to make it even more difficult, not easier.”
Seven Nanaimo city councillors called for McKay’s resignation last month, alleging poor attendance, attempts to remove the city’s chief administrative officer from an interim position, and “threats to dissolve council.” The letter says the undersigned are “gravely concerned” the mayor is not fulfilling his statutory duties and responsibilities outlined in the B.C. Community Charter.
Brennan, who returned from the overseas trip March 28, was not consulted about the letter, but neither would she have signed it if she had been asked.
She said it makes the work councillors were elected to do more difficult, adding the citizens chose McKay and that has to be respected.
“The concerns I have and the rest of them have can be resolved, but they won’t be resolved in a situation where there’s so much turmoil,” she said. “We’ve got to turn the temperature down and confirm with one another that we’re there for the purpose of getting the city’s work done and we’re going to do it.”
Brennan said moving ahead will be difficult, but bigger challenges exist in the world than Nanaimo city council’s inability to get along.
Coun. Gord Fuller, who was the only councillor willing to address why Brennan was left out of discussions, said she has been siding with the mayor all along with regards to removing Tracy Samra from her interim position. The mayor had also been in contact with Brennan’s lawyers about a legal letter sent to him.
“To me it would seem kind of like wasting one’s time to ask someone who’s not going to side with you anyway,” he said.