Parksville city council meetings will be a little less animated with the sudden resignation of Councillor Al Greir.
He has stepped down due to health concerns, citing concussions and a snake bite which he says are having an increasing impact on his speech and concentration.
Greir says years of hockey injuries were starting to take their toll and pointed to a near fatal venomous snake bite three years ago while hiking near Palm Springs as major factors in his decision.
“Certainly in the last six months or so, I found it more difficult to concentrate and speak with more clarity,” Greir said.
He says it was a difficult decision to make, but the timing was right.
“With two-and-a-half years to go in this term I thought it was better now than later so I wouldn't leave the city in a lurch in the last year-and-a-half or something.”
Greir, who was in his third term at the Parksville council table, is well known for his blunt, straight-forward commentary and rigid standards for how taxpayer's money should be spent.
He says he'll miss going to bat for local taxpayers.
“I think sometimes we get disoriented on what our real mandate is and we carry on and end up giving money here and giving money there. If we stick to our mandate of roads, sewer, and water etc., we are far better off.”
Greir was on Qualicum Beach town council in the 1980's prior to being originally elected to Parksville council in 2009 and was re-elected in 2012 and 2014.
Greir says he'll spend more time writing, noting he's working on a political book that he's looking forward to devoting more time to.
The city of Parksville will hold a by-election to fill Greir's seat on council at a yet to be determined date.