Fathers exits Citizens for Positive Renewal
White Rock Coun. Helen Fathers has severed ties with Citizens for Positive Renewal.
Fathers told Peace Arch News Thursday she wants the public to know that for the rest of her term she will sit as an independent.
“I will be going into the next election as an independent voice and I will continue the rest of my term as an independent voice,” said Fathers, who was elected to council in November 2008 with CPR’s endorsement.
Fathers has appeared to be at odds with other CPR-backed councillors in recent months on such issues as a triplex application (see story page 9).
But Fathers maintains that no single issue tipped the scales for her decision, and that it was largely a matter of conscience.
“There is no defining factor that was the last straw,” she said. “I’ve given it a lot of thought for a long while.
“While I’ve upheld and stayed true to a lot of the values of the CPR platform, I’ve decided that it’s best for my growth as a councillor – and for me to make the best decisions for the city – to have an independent voice.”
Informed of Fathers’ decision, Jean Kromm, former chair of CPR, said she was glad, in light of past disagreements with herself and council members that had not been resolved.
“Coun. Fathers chose to handle her disagreements with other members of council in a way that didn’t impress me at all,” Kromm told PAN, noting Fathers was an unknown entity when originally endorsed by CPR.
“When people have disagreements, they really need to resolve them, but Coun. Fathers chose not to sit down and discuss them. It became clear to me that this was not anybody I was going to work with (in future),” she said.
“You can’t work with people who won’t talk with you.”
Kromm said that CPR – contrary to supposition – does not function as a “slate.” She said it is an electoral organization brought together for a specific purpose – to bring about changes on council by endorsing candidates for the last election – and had been inactive since.
“It would have to get its act together for the next election,” Kromm said.
Fathers said she believes councillors should “think independently at all times on all things – and that goes for all council members, not just those supported by CPR.”
She added her two years on council to this point have been a “learning experience.”
“I chose to run within the framework of CPR endorsement – but it was a misconception that we were all going to think the same way.
“I love the community of White Rock and I want to make sure its best interests are always in my vision,” she said.
“I feel better able to do it as an independent – it’s much easier to be able to take responsibility for my own actions and thoughts.”