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Councillor resigns mid-term in Queen Charlotte

Richard Decembrini’s resignation announced at regular meeting on July 6
FILE - The Village of Queen Charlotte offices. The mid-term resignation of former councillor Richard Decembrini was announced at the regular meeting on Monday, July 6, 2020. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer file)

Richard Decembrini has resigned from his position on the Village of Queen Charlotte council.

Decembrini was not present at the regular meeting on July 6, when Mayor Kris Olsen announced the mid-term resignation.

Olsen did not share Decembrini’s reasons for resigning, however, he and Councillor Jesse Embree later described how demanding and stressful their workloads have become during the pandemic.

“I’m really feeling the effects of COVID-19,” Olsen said. “I’ve said to myself all along that this was going to be a marathon and it wasn’t going to be a sprint, and we’re into that place right now where we’re starting to dig for our second wind … our third wind maybe as we need it.”

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Embree added that it has been a very busy time and tensions are running high.

“When staff applied for their positions, none of them expected to be taking on the additional workload and stress that comes with helping a community navigate through a pandemic, and when our councillors and mayor ran for election, none of us could have foreseen that beyond navigating the construction of a new fire hall and wading through a mandated sewer treatment plan, and whatever personal goals we sought to achieve on council, that we would be entering into such a fraught and challenging time,” he said. “I want to express my gratitude to former councillor Richard Decembrini for working through his previous term and sticking to it as long as he did. The issues and amount of work involved are daunting, and I believe all council respects his decision to resign.”

Councillor Lisa Pineault also thanked Decembrini, saying he had brought “good balance” to council.

“I think that’s well put, Lisa, that he was a good balance to us on a lot of issues,” said Councillor Devin Rachar, who echoed Pineault’s sentiments.

Pineault was nominated to be the new alternate for the Vancouver Island Regional Library board and Embree was nominated to be the new representative to the GwaiiTel board.

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Asked by former mayor Carol Kulesha what the process is for the byelection, deputy clerk Sandra Brown said that as soon as the village appoints a chief election officer, they will have 80 days to hold a byelection on a Saturday.

“At this point we have not appointed a chief election officer,” Brown said.

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Decembrini was a councillor for over five years.

The Observer has reached out to Decembrini for comment.

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