Nanaimo councillors demand mayor’s resignation over bullying allegations
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, March 15, 2016 7:09PM PDT
A political mutiny is unfolding at Nanaimo City Hall.
Seven out of eight city councillors have signed a letter of non-confidence claiming Mayor Bill McKay is neglecting his duties and bullying city staff – and they want him out.
The councillors allege that McKay doesn’t show up for meetings and doesn’t speak to council, and claim he bullied and intimidated a high-ranking staff member.
“In my humble view, would I classify it as bullying? Absolutely,” said Nanaimo Coun. Bill Yoachim. “Uncalled for, unwarranted. It’s unfortunate.”
“As someone who works in the social service field, I know what bullying is, and I have witnessed him bullying,” said Coun. Gord Fuller.
The letter was hand-delivered to the mayor a week ago, Fuller said.
McKay responded to the claims by saying they’re unproven allegations – and the revolt against him is unfounded.
“I was elected, so for seven members of the community, i.e. members of my council, to suggest that I should resign, I’m going to wait to determine what happens with the voters,” he said.
McKay has said he won’t step down and that the allegations of bullying are false, adding he would welcome a third party investigation into the matter.
He’s not completely alone – lone councillor Diane Brennan told CTV News over the phone that council needs to get back to work and discrediting the mayor won’t help them move forward.
The coup sparked public outrage at Monday night’s council meeting, with some citizens taking to the microphone to blast McKay and ask him to resign.
But council wants to assure the public that work will get done amid internal conflicts.
“It’s no secret that we got off to a rocky start, but I can assure you that we’ve all picked up our socks and we’ve all decided to work together and collaborate,” said Coun. Bill Bestwick.
Council says McKay has until Wednesday to officially respond to their letter.
If he doesn’t, they say they’ll continue to bring it up at every council meeting in the future.