After months of trying to fill a vacant seat on council, it looks like councillors will once again be facing the task.
Wednesday, Coun. Ryan Williams announced his resignation from council, as well as his intention to run for federal representative for the Bay of Quinte for the Conservative Party.
“We believe a federal election will be held before the summer, and I am already canvassing the region with my team in advance of this being confirmed,” Williams said in a statement.
Right now, the riding is held by Liberal MP Neil Ellis. There has been no official word on whether or when an election will be called.
Williams also noted his hopes to be replaced by the next runner-up in Belleville city elections back in 2018, Carol Feeney.
Over the last several months, Belleville council was upended by the replacement process of Coun. Pat Culhane, who died late last year.
At first, Mayor Mitch Panciuk and a majority of councillors supported appointing a committee to choose Culhane’s replacement, but after significant public outcry, council opted to choose Tyler Allsopp, the next runner-up in the 2018 municipal elections.
Now, Williams says he expects council to do the same for his replacement.
“I absolutely believe that it is the most fair and democratic decision for the citizens of Belleville to have my seat filled immediately, by the next in line, rather than take a leave of absence,” he said.
Williams noted that Feeney has yet to announce her intention to run for council again.
In a statement released Wednesday, the city said Williams’ seat will officially be declared vacant at the next council meeting on April 12.
“We would like to thank Ryan for his contributions as a City Councillor and wish him the very best with his future endeavours,” Panciuk said.