Matthew Monkman (Submitted photo)

Telkwa Coun. Matthew Monkman steps down

Village administration recommends late November, early December by-election

As of Aug. 1, Telkwa will be temporarily shy of one village councillor.

Having just recently been appointed assistant superintendent for School District 54, Monkman is resigning from council according to a report by Debbie Joujan, the village’s chief administrative officer.

Monkman said it was a very difficult decision for him to make.

“It’s been really good working with the crew [at the Village],” he said. “There’s a really good feel with the council, I like what Brad [Layton, mayor] is doing, so it’s a difficult decision in that regard because it’s been a great learning thing for me and I’m hoping things will move forward well in the village, but I can’t do both.”

Layton said he was disappointed.

“I kind of wish he didn’t have to,” Layton said. “He’s been great. Although he’s new to the council, his experiences in the school district shine through when we’re sitting in council.

“But I totally understand why he’s stepping down. This new job is going to be very busy and he doesn’t want to give half-time to each one and not do as good a job as he can. I wish he could stay, but life is what life is and he’s going to do a really good job at his new job and I wish the best for him.”

In the end, Monkman felt it was the only move he had for the good of both the school district and Telkwa.

“I had not expected this,” he said. “I thought I would continue in my district principal role until retirement in about four or five years, but with Chris [van der Mark, former superintendent] having left and Mike [McDiarmid, new superintendent] stepping in, and honestly there’s not a lot of senior administration types out there in the world right now, so it was more of an ethical decision in the best interest of our district. I care so deeply about it, this is my 32nd year in the district.”

READ MORE: Telkwa councillor named assistant superintendent of school district

At its regular meeting June 25, council decided to hold the by-election Nov. 30.

“We will appoint the election officer in September then we’ve got 80 days after that, which puts us to the end of November, which keeps us away from the Oct. [19] federal election,” Layton said.

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