NEWS

Lillooet mayor and councillor resign

01/06/2012 11:31 EST | Updated 03/07/2012 05:12 EST

The mayor of Lillooet, B.C., and one district councillor shocked the community on Thursday by resigning just a month after taking office.

Mayor Ted Anchor and Counc. Kevin Taylor stepped down after attending just two meetings, leaving the southern interior community with just three councillors to oversee its business.

In a brief statement Taylor says his principles were being compromised and so he had no choice but to resign as councillor.

"I ran on the platform of honesty, openness to the public, and would work towards change for the betterment of our community the present composition of the council would not allow me to work towards those goals."

Former mayor Ted Anchor said he was in a tenuous position and had no choice but to resign.

"There is one burning issue which I can't discuss....we are concerned about the culpability here," he said.

The editor of the Lillooet News Wendy Fraser said people were shocked when the pair suddenly quit but failed to explain why.

""There was no explanation as to whether anything was said in a meeting, whether they were objecting to any particular motion, any particular discussion," she said.

"I think over time we will probably learn more about what happened, but right now that's all we know."

The two refused to comment further on why they resigned when interviewed by the CBC on Friday, but there have been two controversial issues in Lillooet this past month.

The first is flooding. A number of homes are under an evacuation order or alert and the residents are demanding to know if that is linked to last year's water diversion from a local creek.

As a result the district is seeking to borrow $2.5 million to fix the water problem, which would result in an 11 per cent property tax increase, but any loan still requires provincial approval.

The other issue is public access. The council recently voted to scrap the public question period from public meetings because of concerns about inflammatory statements that were made at past meetings.

Plans to hold a by-election are already underway.

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