Dysart councillor announces resignation

Ward 2 Councillor for Dysart et al Derek Knowles has officially announced his resignation from his spot on municipal council as he gets ready to move away from the county.

A resident of Haliburton for the past 16 years Knowles told the Echo the decision to leave was a difficult one and one he did not make lightly.

He made the resignation announcement at the Oct. 24 meeting of Dysart et al council telling council this would mark his last meeting.

Knowles thanked the good people of Ward 2 and the staff for putting up with him.

During his resignation Knowles became emotional when speaking about his desire to see council pursue a new skate park. The councillor said the township could have the best skateboard park in a 100-mile radius.

“I came here today with a cheque from Judi and I” said Knowles adding the amount was fairly substantial. Knowles said it was his desire to see the amount matched by the municipality towards a new skate park.

Reeve Murray Fearrey thanked Knowles for his efforts on council.

Originally from Montreal Knowles 76 and his wife Judi moved to the area with the intention of living here for a decade.

“We didn’t know anybody here” said Knowles.

They recently sold their house and will be moving to the Ottawa area sometime in December. The decision to move was made for a variety of reasons one in particular being the difficulty of maintaining their home.

“Probably about a year ago we realized we can’t do this” he said.

The move will also bring them closer to family he said.

Knowles has represented Ward 2 for the past two years and sat on council for the 2006-2010 term. He ran for the seat one time prior to being elected.

He got into municipal politics because he was looking for something to do post retirement and thought politics was a good way to put his skills from a career in business to good use.

Knowles is happy with the time he spent on council and will be sad to leave.

“I enjoyed the experience of helping people where you could” he said. “Mostly I enjoyed working with the staff and working with constituents.”

He has no plans to run for council in his new town but to spend much of his time playing golf.

According to Dysart chief administrative officer Tamara Wilbee the municipality has a few options when it comes to filling Knowles’s seat.

In accordance with the municipal act council can either fill the seat through a by-election or by appointment.

There is no official Dysart policy when it comes to replacing a councillor only that “any vacancies created through resignation will be filled as appropriate when said vacancy occurs” according to Wilbee.