By Mike Williscraft
During a term of council which has been filled with curve balls, unpredictable behaviour and unprecedented upset, another unexpected item was dropped Monday night by Coun. Dorothy Bothwell.
“It is with sincere and profound regret that I am announcing my resignation as councillor for the Town of Grimsby effective June 9, 2022, due to personal and family circumstances. Needless to say, this was a decision that required substantial consideration and was not made lightly,” said Bothwell as council wrapped up with the announcements portion of the meeting.
“While I had hoped to finish serving out my full term and continuing to seek support for the next, life presents itself with both opportunities and challenges that can take us in different directions.”
Bothwell has sold her home and will be moving away from Niagara.
She is the second Grimsby councillor to sell her home in town, but Coun. Randy Vaine, who purchased another home more than an hour away from town has claimed to still have a residence in town. This allows him to keep his seat on council.
Best practices for municipalities which experience a mid-term resignation is appointing the person next up in the most recent municipal election – as West Lincoln did in this term, for example.
Next up would be former long-time council member Nick DiFlavio.
“I would would do whatever the Town asks of me,” said DiFlavio on Tuesday when informed of Bothwell’s decision.
“That’s really unfortunate with Dorothy. She really did a good job. She always read the material and worked hard.”
While there are only a few months left in council’s term, DiFlavio, who served several terms on council including a four-year stint as chair of the Planning Committee, said he is willing to help.
“I would do what is best for the Town, but it would only be to finish this term. I have no interest in campaigning again,” said DiFlavio.
“I have been coaching my kids’ basketball and I’m involved with the Trillium Foundation. I have found other ways to serve. So, yes, I would help out if asked, but just for this term.”
DiFlavio’s assessment of Bothwell is commonly held among Grimsby residents.
While a rookie councillor, Bothwell was often more on top of items on the agenda than planning and finance staff were.
There were a couple of examples of that at Monday’s meeting where Bothwell noted items in a finance report made to council did not jive with other measures taken or proposed at the council table.
“Over the past three and a half years, I have worked tirelessly advocating for my constituents and the greater good of the entire community, and will continue to do so until my final day in office,” said Bothwell.
‘It has been an honour to be a part of a community where residents are passionate advocates for the environment, heritage and responsible growth. Listening to, and respecting those voices, has always been important to me.”
Bothwell’s work on the heritage file has been key to seeing important measures and policy structure to maintain featured aspects of the community’s historical fabric.
While final date of her term on council will be June 9, it depends on council’s schedule as to what will constitute her final meeting.