Citing “bullying and hypocrisy,” Castlegar mayor resigns

·1 min read

Residents of Castlegar will be going to the polls later this winter after the sudden resignation of the city’s mayor.

Bruno Tassone announced he was stepping down as of January 8, saying he had been the target of “harmful and bullying behaviour along with outright disrespect” since taking office in October 2017.

“It is with a heavy heart that I chose to move on because I have come to understand that the work this community needs to do to create systemic and lasting change is far greater than my body and mind can do,” he wrote in his resignation letter. He also blamed “bullying and hypocrisy within the media” for prompting his actions.

Tassone was criticized soon after taking office when he went to a national municipal conference in Quebec City, but was accused by fellow delegates of attending few of its formal sessions. Most recently, he admitted he broke provincial health recommendations and travelled to his cabin 200 kilometres from Castlegar over Christmas. He said he did it for his family’s mental health.

City officials say they’re working on procedures for replacing Tassone.

“Council and staff are processing this news and are committed to ensuring the services residents expect from the City are not disrupted and restoring the City’s full Council complement,” said a release. It says a byelection will be held 80 days after council appoints a chief election officer.

“On behalf of everyone in Castlegar, I want to thank Bruno for his leadership and dedication to his roles of Mayor, Councillor and City employee,” said Chief Administrative Officer Chris Barlow. “His commitment to our community spans decades and positively impacted the City.”

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice