Nelson Tilbury has broken away from the Citizens for Responsible Municipal Government (CRMG) on Mission council and is now the only independent councillor.
Tilbury made the resignation public last week, around the same time Ron Taylor, who was instrumental in organizing the team in the last municipal election, also quit.
Both have different reasons for leaving.
Tilbury explains he is more conservative than the rest of the councillors, and being part of the group made him uncomfortable.
“Now if I take an opposing view, I can make my views known … and sleep at night.”
Before, Tilbury felt like he had to give a long explanation as to why he disagreed with the rest of the party.
CRMG ran together but agreed they would be independent, and now Tilbury says he’s exercising that option.
Taylor says there are some things the new council has done that are good, such as the zero per cent tax increase, but he thinks they have not fulfilled some their campaign promises.
Issues like the Public Safety Inspection Team (PSIT) have still not been addressed, said Taylor. “They’ve done nothing about it. The bylaw still exists and nobody has seen a refund.”
Taylor is also unhappy a communications specialist for the district and water meters are being explored.
“They said they’re against [water meters], but now they’re considering it,” said Taylor.
CRMG member and Mission Mayor Ted Adlem said “[Tilbury] is free to pursue his political career any way he chooses,” adding candidates agreed to stand firm on their key issues during the election, such as improving downtown, but could differ on others.
As for Taylor, Adlem says the two sides just don’t see eye to eye anymore. In February council directed district staff to review all PSIT files, except for the ones initiated by the RCMP and the work is still ongoing. The team is also on hold, said Adlem, who expects to issue to be back for discussion when a report on medical marijuana is presented.
The mayor also noted the communications specialist was recommended in the core services review, but hasn’t been discussed.
“I don’t know if it would have support of council,” he said.
Adlem also pointed out water meters would only be considered if there was a good business case for it, and “a fairly decent” one was put forward last week. However, Adlem said the district will not go ahead with it until they hear from the public. Council is working at its own pace and standing by its election platform, Adlem insisted.
There are about 70 members of CMRG.