Amid allegations of bullying, seven Nanaimo city councillors have signed a letter saying they’ve lost confidence in Mayor Bill McKay’s leadership
Gord Fuller says he’s had enough.
“I would like to see the mayor resign, that’s my bottom line,” he said.
He’s one of seven Nanaimo city councillors that signed a letter to Mayor Bill McKay asking for him to step down amidst allegations of bullying and the failure to do his job.
“There has been some behaviour by the mayor that I would consider unacceptable,” said councillor Wendy Pratt.
The issue boiled over Monday night when members of the public demanded answers from the mayor during a committee meeting.
One asked if the mayor had been bullying a staff member, and two people asked the mayor if he would resign, to which McKay responded he would not.
Some of the councillors allege the target of the bullying is Tracy Samra — the first female and first aboriginal city manager in Nanaimo who was just recently hired.
Things appeared to get heated when one of the mayor’s supporters questioned the allegations during Monday night’s meeting.
But the councillors said the alleged bullying is just the beginning.
“Everything from non-attendance at meetings, coming to meetings and either very little participation or leaving in the middle of meetings, coming in late, a lot of negative talk in the community that is targeting our city manager and other council members,” said Pratt.
Today Bill McKay responded to the allegations:
“I categorically deny them,” he said.
He said he welcomes an investigation into the work environment at city hall, and despite losing the confidence of all but one city councillor, he refused to step down.
“I committed to the people that I would be here for the long haul, I want to move forward the vision of this council, while we might have disagreements we need to all work together,” said McKay.
Council said it will continue to work together.
“I don’t think people need to be worried, with or without the mayor we will move forward,” said Pratt.
They said if the mayor doesn’t formally respond to their letter of non-confidence, they will put that letter, outlining their concerns, to the public at next Monday’s council meeting.
Despite having a majority, council can’t actually force the mayor to resign.
McKay said he’ll leave it up to the voters during the next municipal election in 2018.