The District of Lillooet has taken steps to replace Mayor Ted Anchor and Councillor Kevin Taylor, who resigned Jan. 5 under mysterious circumstances after just a month in office.
At a special council meeting called Monday night (Jan. 9) the three remaining councillors — Kevin Anderson, Greg deStrake and Wendy Parke — appointed Elaine Brew as the chief election officer for the upcoming by-election to replace Anchor and Taylor.
Brew, who retired as the council's deputy clerk last summer, also served as election officer during the district election in November.
Both Anchor and Taylor said they were unable to go into the details of why they resigned but instead issued public statements to the Lillooet News newspaper.
Anchor described himself as being in "a tenuous position" with no alternative but to resign to protect his "credibility and integrity" and went on to thank the Lillooet community.
Anchor also commended Taylor for his work as flood emergency coordinator and to pass on sympathies to people recently evacuated from their homes in Lillooet's Conwayville area.
Taylor was more forceful in his statement, saying that he felt his principles had been compromised while on council. "I ran on the platform of honesty and openness to the public, that I would work towards change for the betterment of our community.
"The present composition of the council will not allow me to work towards those goals. To those who placed their trust in me, I apologize. I stand by my principles." Two controversies had dogged Lillooet council recently: the first an 11 per cent rise in municipal property taxes to cover the cost of a $2.5 million loan to address the flooding problem — a decision adopted at a council meeting Mayor Anchor and Councillor Taylor missed in December.
The second controversy involved spontaneous public access to the council itself, with the council voting to end public question periods during council meetings, instead accepting only written questions.
Current district deputy clerk Ben Parnell said Brew now has 80 days to set the date of the by-election, which will also need to take place within the same 80-day period.