Spina's revelation changes everything

Two & Out
By James Peters
May 19, 2017 - 5:00pm

KAMLOOPS — Last week in this space, I argued against holding a by-election to fill the mayor's spot on Kamloops council.

But things have changed significantly since then, and there is now good reason for everyone to re-evaluate.

In a show of courage and grace, Marg Spina returned to the public council table to inform her colleagues she intends to resign.

Spina said the weight of being absent from her duties while she undergoes treatment was too much for her to bear any longer.

She also said her cancer is not curable, and she feels her resignation is the right thing for her and for her family right now.

Somewhat amazingly, two of her colleagues tried to talk her out of it, saying a by-election isn't in the city's best interests.

I made that argument last week, but that was before knowing the fullness of Spina's situation.

Marg Spina's incurable cancer should be the focus of this decision of council, not who will sit in the mayor's chair.

If Spina wants to resign, it's unconscionable that anyone would try to convince her otherwise.

Being a city councillor involves sacrifices no one fully appreciates until they are elected.

Even so, Spina put her name out there repeatedly, eager to take on that challenge.

In addition to the standard duties of a councillor, Spina went above and beyond with her work on other committees and community initiatives.

Now is the time she should devote to her own health, and spending time with her family.

She shouldn't have to think of all the responsibilities she took on before her diagnosis that she is now prevented from fulfilling.

That's a lot of pressure, and it's undue.

Let Councillor Spina resign.

Hold a by-election to fill the empty seats on council.

It will come at a discount anyway, considering how much unpaid leave Mayor Milobar and Councillor Donovan Cavers have taken this year.

It's not about what's best for democracy.

It's about what's best for one amazing woman and her family.

And that's the best decision council can make.