Councillor resigns in frustration

PORT HARDY – Coun. Stan McLennan has resigned his position, upset by “the way the mayor is leading the town and how the administrator is helping her do it”.

  • Feb. 3, 2011 6:00 a.m.
Stan McLennan

Stan McLennan

PORT HARDY – Coun. Stan McLennan has resigned his position, upset by “the way the mayor is leading the town and how the administrator is helping her do it”.

McLennan gave his resignation verbally at a regular council meeting Jan. 25 after no one seconded his motion to consider a letter from former mayor Hank Bood recommending fellow former mayor Russ Hellberg be appointed to the official community plan committee.

“I have just had enough,” said McLennan, who filed his official resignation Jan. 31. “They could have at least discussed a recommendation from two former mayors. It’s nonsense.”

McLennan said he was not planning to run for re-election in November, but had hoped to finish out his 20th year on council.

“It (resigning) was really hard to do after 19 years, to not complete the 20 years,” said McLennan, who is the longest-serving councillor in Port Hardy. He was first elected in 1984, after a councillor proposed expropriating the McLennan’s home on Market Street for the park.

“They wanted to raise the taxes to force us off, so I ran for council,” said McLennan.

With the exception of a six-year break, McLennan has been on council ever since.

He and his wife Helen came to the community in March of 1969, for a job opportunity.

“The population was 2,500; it was the smallest town we had ever been to,” said McLennan. “But the people were so bloody friendly and treated us so well, we said ‘this is our town’.”

McLennan has held almost every portfolio and sat on most committees in his 20 years. For McLennan the reward has been in the small things.

“It’s the little things you do to help people out,” said McLennan. “That’s what being on council is all about, helping people out.”

“You can build arenas and swimming pools and those things are good, but you know when people come to you and say ‘this corner is dark, it needs a street light’, and you put one up, that’s what it is about.”

Not every decision has been so simple, though.

“I lost a couple of close friends over decisions I’ve made,” said McLennan. “But I have always tried my best for Port Hardy.”

He had hoped to finish out his term before retiring from council.

“I made it perfectly clear that I definitely would not be running in the next election,” said McLennan. “I was going to stick it out but I can’t sleep at night anymore.”

McLennan says he will be spending his time at home with his wife who has been ill.

“I will be spending more time with my wife because she needs my undivided attention until she gets better,” said McLennan.

A by-election will be not be called to replace McLennan, since a general municipal election will be held in November.