Councillor resigns from District of Carleton North Council

by | Dec 4, 2023

Mayor announces Ray Haines’ resignation at Nov. 14 meeting

By Sandra Hanson and Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The comings and goings are continuing for the District of Carleton North.

At the November 14, 2023, council meeting, Mayor Andrew Harvey announced that Coun. Ray Haines had submitted his resignation, effective November 9, 2023.

River Valley Sun spoke to Mayor Harvey regarding the resignation. Harvey spoke well of Haines.

“Ray was a good councillor, and he always had the community’s best interest at heart,” said Harvey.

While making it clear that he could not speak for Haines, when asked if he knew why the resignation had been submitted, Harvey said, “I think he was frustrated at the direction the council was going.”

Haines did not respond to River Valley Sun’s requests for comment.

The councillor’s resignation follows numerous staffing changes, including an almost complete reshuffling of the top administrative staff, since the new council took over the newly formed District of Carleton North on Jan. 1.

In June, council terminated Haines’ wife, Bobbie O’Connell, as Director of Tourism and Recreation and Sarah Pacey as CAO. Shortly after, Michelle Derrah resigned as clerk.

Sean Lockhart, who replaced Pacey as CAO, resigned after only six weeks. He said the mayor and some councillors micromanaged the district’s operation and interfered with the CAO.

Mayor Harvey doesn’t believe the staff changes are unusual.

“Yes, there’s been change, but that’s not abnormal,” he said. “When you go through a change like this [amalgamation], there’s always going to be staffing changes. I’m not worried about it. We have a great staff, and they work well together.”

Harvey said Haines’ fellow council members regretted but respected his decision to resign.

“I wish him all the best,” said Harvey.

The mayor said the district notified the electoral office of the vacancy in Carleton North.

He said Elections NB will hold a by-election next year to fill all vacant seats throughout the province.

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