After just 19 months into a four-year term, Stuart McCormack is resigning from Niagara-on-the-Lake town council and stepping down from his committee positions, The Lake Report has learned.
Late Wednesday, McCormack, a first-time councillor, emailed the paper a copy of a letter sent to fellow councillors late Wednesday. It is unclear yet how he will be replaced.
He said he thinks the “direction council is taking” does not allow him to “appropriately represent the interests” of the residents who put their trust in him, or to “contribute to the future of our community as I hoped and expected.”
His letter doesn't explain what specific council directions he objects to. McCormack was criticized in recent weeks after he refused to sign a letter issued by town officials denouncing racism. He later said the felt actions, not just words, were needed.
Here is a copy of his resignation letter:
“To my fellow councillors:
I believe that the residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake deserve a well-functioning council serving the residents who have given it their trust. Council must take its responsibility seriously to act, based on evidence and the best information available, solely in the interest of the residents for their common good. Council must safeguard the strong foundation Niagara-on-the-Lake has established and create a framework for a strong future. I am convinced that any such framework, to be successful, has to be built on a foundation of fiscal responsibility, sound planning and vision.
I ran for council with a desire to work co-operatively with the mayor, the council and staff as a team to accomplish that mission of creating and achieving a strategic vision for this town and building the necessary sound financial foundation to support it.
Unfortunately … I believe that continuing on council is no longer viable for me. The direction that council is taking and its process of decision-making underlying that direction does not allow me to appropriately represent the interests of the residents who put their trust in me and to contribute to the future of our community as I hoped and expected.
Having regard to the foregoing with considerably mixed feelings, and after a long period of deliberation I have taken the decision to resign from council. I will necessarily be stepping down as chairman of the audit committee and the Glendale task force and other council-related positions.
I would like to emphasize how much I enjoyed working with and more importantly learning from the people in Old Town, St. Davids, Glendale, Virgil and Queenston. I want to particularly thank the agricultural community for taking the time to educate me and sharing some of their passion for the land. I only wish I could have been as successful in assisting them as I would have liked.
I want to thank the residents for having given me their trust and assure them that I worked every day to, first and foremost, listen, problem solve, take decisions and contribute to the best of my ability to discussions. My desire was always to serve all residents.
I wish the council and town staff well in their stewardship of this wonderful place, and in their efforts to move this town forward. I personally will welcome the opportunity to return to being simply a hands-on volunteer for a variety of organizations in the Niagara region.”