Several residents at Monday night’s Pitt Meadows council meeting expressed disappointment at how Mayor John Becker has handled the situation with Coun. David Murray.
READ MORE: Pitt Meadows councillor finally resigns
Murray resigned from council on Sunday after being convicted last week of sexually assaulting a minor who worked for him in 1992.
Becker says Murray’s resignation takes effect on Jan. 2, 2018, and until then he will be on unpaid leave.
Becker says Murray told him he chose the resignation date so the city won’t necessarily have to call a byelection to fill the vacant council seat.
The civic election is in October of 2018.
Becker again called on the provincial government to change the legislation governing municipalities, because currently a councillor who is convicted of a Criminal Code offence cannot be forced to resign.
The mayor said he hopes this incident will signal a change in the legislative environment.
“[That would] allow city councils to take the necessary steps swift and decisive in these sorts of situations,” Becker said.
But several residents at the Monday night meeting were hot happy with how Becker has handled the situation.
Errin MacNeal was blunt, “The whole process has been completely appalling, too little too late from the mayor.”
Norm MacKay doesn’t think the issue is over.
“What we’ve sort of needed an explanation of is why when Coun. Murray didn’t stand up and do the right thing immediately, why the rest of the mayor and council didn’t stand up and encourage him to resign immediately and also express their sympathy for the victim.”
Becker has said Murray was and continues to be, one of his best friends.
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