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LETTER: Rossland council distances itself from Mayor's decision, but doesn't want her resignation

To the Citizens of Rossland From Rossland City Council:

Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore is currently in the USA. While not breaking any laws, she travelled contrary to current Federal and Provincial Public Health recommendations against non-essential travel which has raised significant concerns in our community.

While Mayor Moore has responded publicly on multiple occasions, the other six Rossland City Councillors have collectively considered the matter and wish to share our perspective with the community.

We did not, and do not condone Mayor Moore’s personal decision to travel to the USA. Council and staff were informed via an informal email of her decision to travel, however there was no formal discussion on the matter. Additionally, prior to her trip, some Councillors and staff expressed deep concerns about her plans; however, Mayor Moore made her own decision to travel, for her own reasons.

We Councillors have a range of personal opinions on this matter; however, we share the view that as an elected official, her personal choice was not made with the community interest in mind. Furthermore, all Councillors, and the City, have taken great steps in operational decisions and messaging regarding preventative measures to help reduce the spread of COVID19 – and will continue to do so.

Our responsibility as Councillors is to act in the broader and long-term best interests of the community. Council does not have the legal authority to remove Mayor Moore from her position – as such a decision is ultimately hers to make. Furthermore, other formal types of reprimand have been considered but would only serve to be symbolic.

This issue aside, at this time, we Councillors are unanimous in appreciating Mayor Moore’s past leadership and her long standing contribution to the good governance of our city. It is our considered and shared opinion that resignation by the Mayor, and the resulting by-election, would be a significant disruption to the functioning of our operations, add additional expense to the City and deepen division in the community.

 In short, while Council is deeply troubled by Mayor Moore’s recent judgement, we feel it is in the best interest of the community for her to continue acting as Mayor in a limited capacity for the remaining 18 months of her term.

Councillors Spooner, Miller, Nightingale, Bowman, Lewis and Morel