Citing health concerns and the lingering effects of a rattlesnake bite three years ago in California, Al Greir resigned from Parksville city council on Monday.
Greir was midway through his third term on council. There are more than two years remaining in this term and Mayor Marc Lefebvre confirmed Monday the city will hold a byelection for the vacant seat.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make, but I find my health has deteriorated over the past five to six months,” Greir, 79, said in a prepared statement. “For this reason I am unable to continue.”
In a telephone interview Monday afternoon, Greir said he still suffers from the effects of an encounter with a rattlesnake outside Palm Springs in March of 2013. He said his memory is not as sharp as it was and he also has sight deterioration.
“I never really got over that snake bite,” he said. “I have struggled with it.”
Greir gave Mayor Marc Lefebvre his resignation at city hall on Monday morning.
“The first thing I tried to do was see if I could talk him out of it,” Lefebvre said Monday afternoon. “I look at it as a loss. I’m going to miss him.”
Greir’s prepared statement was addressed “To my friends and constituents.”
“I have been interested in municipal politics and many organizations and charities over some 60 years and have felt a duty to serve in many ways, over that time,” read the statement. “I have always been excited and positive with every endeavor. I have enjoyed my eight years on council, and have done my best to serve the residents of Parksville in an honest and positive way. Your support over these years has been outstanding and a blessing. I have felt honoured to represent all the residents of Parksville, and only wish I could have accomplished more. I would also like to thank my colleagues over the years on council and staff for their support, understanding and help — it takes a strong team to run a city successfully.”
During his time on council, Greir often butted heads with fellow councillors and staff over spending issues.
“I think one of the first questions that comes out of his mouth is ‘how much and how are we going to pay for it?’” said the mayor. “And that’s a good thing.” Lefebvre said he will have a statement about Greir and the city’s plan’s to fill the council seat at council’s next regular meeting, Monday, July 18.