Mayor Ed Wood announced he has received an official letter from the Harrison Hot Springs Village Council of a vote of no confidence, signed by all four members of village council.
A vote of no confidence demonstrates that the mayor does not have the support of members of council. A cursory search of the local news archives turned up zero past no-confidence votes in recent village or District of Kent history.
It’s not yet clear what may happen on a municipal level. However, past provincial and federal no-confidence votes, if passed, would have resultd in a new election or a majority party would have been given the chance to form government.
Wood said he would be happy to attend a hearing but would not attend a meeting that is closed to the public.
“I want (the hearing) in public and I demand that (it is) public,” Wood told council. “This is nothing more than a calculated ambush on the mayor’s office and an assault on my personal professional standing.”
Wood decried treatment toward him as “the latest example of playground politics at its worst.”
“It’s an embarrassment for the village to have four of our elected officials acting in this manner,” Wood said. “Their actions create a toxic work environment for city staff, damage the reputation of the city and have far-reaching impacts on all of us.”
Wood added he “remains committed” to the well-being of the village staff and the community.
Much of what has transpired over the first few months of the new council term have been highly unusual, not the least of which is allegations of “illegal” meetings without the presence of Wood and Coun. John Buckley, who is the deputy mayor. Evidence of specifically an illegal meeting reportedly held before the Jan. 16 council meeting has not yet surfaced as of publication.
Additionally, three village managers – CAO Madeline McDonald, deputy CAO Debra Key and community services manager Rhonda Schell – went on leave. It was announced earlier this month that McDonald was retired; the other two managers remain on leave as of publication.
Wood would not read the official letter in the meeting.
– With Files from Sheri Regnier