Nanaimo mayor challenged

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Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay says he has no plans to quit after seven council members called on him to resign.

On March 8, city councillors Jim Kipp and Bill Bestwick handed McKay a letter calling for his resignation, signed by seven of the eight councillors.

That was not made public, but on Monday it surfaced when Robert Fuller, Coun. Gordon Fuller’s brother, raised the issue at this week’s council committee-of-the-whole meeting.

McKay said the petition has no legal standing and he will continue with the job he is sworn to do.

“I am not going to take the opinion of seven people in the community and resign,” McKay said in an interview Wednesday. “I was duly elected. I come in to work every day and do that job to the best of my ability, to be mayor. I’m not going to resign and force the community into the difficult situation of a byelection because seven people want it.”

nanaimo mayorMcKay, who was a councillor for one term before his election as mayor in 2014, said it’s been a rough ride since then.

Past differences on such issues as a fight with the province over a removal order on Colliery Dam, the cancellation of a controversial conference at the city-owned conference centre and the replacement of the city manager have divided council, but “you just learn to cope,” McKay said.

Robert Fuller railed against the mayor in the public question period of Monday’s council committee meeting, then long-time council watcher Janet Irvine, pointing out the city no longer has a daily newspapers, said people are turning to social media for current news.

Then she quoted a statement made on social media suggesting a campaign to “discredit” the mayor and force his resignation. Reader comments on the Gordon Fuller Facebook page Municipally (A)MUSING, were harsh. “The purpose is to discredit him to the point that nobody will give him the time of day. For now he needs to become the toothless lion who is no longer in charge of the pride…He is simply doing too much damage…What a shame.”

photo20160226150604_smallMcKay said he’s willing to work with his colleagues on council, but anyone who doesn’t agree with the majority of council  is “attacked and bullied,” and this is an example.

The letter has not been made public.

Bestwick confirmed he and Kipp presented the letter to the mayor, on behalf of the seven who signed it, including councillors Fuller, Jerry Hong, Wendy Pratt, Ian Thorpe and Bill Yoachim.

“Obiously what’s driving this is members of council have lost confidence of the mayor to lead,” said Bestwick.

Hong said the letter was really about notifying the mayor of council’s concerns.

“We as a council are not having problems working together. We can agree to disagree,” Hong said. “This isn’t about a power struggle, it’s about getting the mayor to work with us.”

He said McKay has repeatedly acted singly, without council’s approval on a number of matters, but those are being discussed in camera (behind closed doors), and when councillors are ready to release it, “other stuff is going to come forward.”

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  1. Robert Fuller was NOT the only citizen asking the mayor to resign! There were at number of other citizens appearing and urging the mayor to resign!

    The other import thing to note: the ONLY councillor who did not sign was D Brennan. She also has some integrity issues over leaking confidential in-camera information. She was present at the meeting but left early, before the ‘elephant in the room’ was uncloaked, leaving the mayor high and dry, just like she has done to other councillors. Brennan was also called onto the carpet for illegal campaigning on election day.

    As for the mayor’s claim of being elected by the people, I would urge people to look at the numbers. The mayor got the LEAST number of votes, even lower than the last place councillor D Brennan. ALL of the councillors who urged for the mayor to resign got more votes as individuals than the mayor.

    I also urge people to ask their friends and neighbors, if given the chance, would they vote that way NOW? I know I wouldn’t.

    Tim McGrath

  2. William Batten on

    Well Tim, you fry a nice red herring – below, you’ll see the truth

    21,504 people voted for all the Mayor candidates McKay got 6,400 or 29.76%.
    2nd place was Holdom with 4,265 votes or 19.83%

    138,539 people voted for councillors. Bestwick got 10,218 or 7.38%
    Thorpe, Fuller & Brennan each got less than 5%

  3. William Batten on

    Oops – a refinement to my last post:

    21,504 votes were cast for all the Mayor candidates
    138,539 votes were cast for all councillors.

    1 vote per person for Mayor, but up to 8 votes per person for councillors

  4. William Batten, that also means that 10,218 people voted for Bestwick, while 6,400 voted for McKay. Clearly, as a % of eligible votes (which is the true comparison), Bestwick has more support than McKay.

    • Mr Batten there is an old adage, figures don’t lie, but liars sure can figure.

      The numbers I and Jim Taylor present are true, your attempt to spin it is just that, spinning. When you claim red herrings, keep spinning.

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