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Harrison councillor resigns as turmoil with new leadership continues

The multi-term councillor cites conflict with mayor as reason for departure
Former councillor John Buckley (second from the right) and dozens of his fellow Harrison Hot Springs residents look over and discuss the updated proposal for development at 511 Lillooet Avenue. Buckley resigned effective immediately on Monday, June 5. (Observer File Photo)

After seven months with the newest village administration, Harrison Hot Springs Coun. John Buckley has resigned on Monday, June 5, effective immediately.

In a letter obtained by The Observer, Buckley thanked the villagers for the “immense honour and privilege” to serve as councillor.

“I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to work alongside my colleagues and community members during my time thus far on council,” the letter reads. “I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer work with (Mayor Ed Wood) and therefore cannot effectively fulfill my role as councillor. With a heavy heart, I am submitting my resignation, effective immediately.”

Buckley told The Observer this was not a decision he came to lightly. He could not recall a time in his time living in Harrison where something like this has happened.

Buckley went on to express his gratitude to the community for placing their trust in him to serve the village.

“I am proud of the contributions that I have been able to make to the betterment of Harrison Hot Springs and its residents,” he wrote. “I hope that the council and the community will continue to try to work together to address the needs and concerns of the people of Harrison Hot Springs.”

Buckley has lived in Harrison Hot Springs for about 12 years. He served a two-year term as councillor following the 2012 by-election before being re-elected in 2014 as a councillor. He has been a long-time volunteer in the community.

Buckley’s departure adds to a growing list of departures, resignations and retirements among key village staff and public figures since the Wood administration began last November. Former CAO Madeline McDonald retired at the end of January; she had been on leave prior to the announcement from the village on Feb. 15. Former deputy CAO Debra Key recently announced her own retirement; she was also on leave. Community services manager Rhonda Schell, as of publication, remains “on leave.”

Financial officer Scott Schultz – who also acted as the manager of IT and human resources – resigned in May. Interim CAO Kelly Ridley will be also be leaving after four months in her position.

More to come.


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About the Author: Adam Louis

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