An elected Fruitvale official was blindsided by a decision that passed during a January council meeting, and in response, has resigned before completing his term as a village councillor.
Larry Gray, twice elected to his position as Fruitvale councillor and director to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), was ousted from his regional appointment and replaced by Mayor Patricia Cecchini during the village’s Jan. 6 council meeting in a 3-2 vote.
“Without having this issue on the agenda, it was moved, seconded and passed to replace me with the mayor,” said Gray.
“It was done over my objections because I put in a lot of time and effort on projects that I am working on and would like to continue working on.”
According to Gray, reasons cited by council included the director position should circulate to allow others with a stated intention to run in the next election, and Cecchini stated that only mayors should be the RDKB representatives for municipalities.
“It’s regretful that Mr. Gray has chosen to resign rather than continue to work with fellow council members for the remainder of his term,” Cecchini told the Trail Times. “But we respect his decision and expressed appreciation for his service during the last five years.”
Gray was last appointed the position in 2011, with the full expectation to serve those three years.
If council decided the job commitments weren’t being fulfilled, after due process, another member may be appointed to the position.
“In this case they were thankful for my valuable service,” explained Gray. “But decided the position would provide experience for Patricia Cecchini as mayor, leading up to the next election.”
Gray issued a letter of resignation to council and Fruitvale constituents Tuesday, stating the disruption to governance as self-serving and an abuse of process.
“This sends the message that anytime someone may not like someone they can make a motion and disrupt service at a regional district level,” said Gray. “I find it absolutely appalling.”