A Creston town councillor says he resigned because he believes he can have a bigger impact in the community outside of council.
“I want the community to understand that I’m not going anywhere,” Anthony Mondia said in an interview.
“I’ve intentionally chosen Creston. People can see all the work I’m putting into my house, and I’m really enjoying my life here. So, I will just be directing that to other places in the community.”
Mondia says Jim Eflord’s resignation from council last month allowed him to reflect on the impact he was having at the council table.
He says he will continue his work with the Fields Forward Society and will look for more volunteer opportunities.
“The impact I was able to have there, as well as my committee appointment to the Chamber of Commerce and seeing how I was able to impact the Chamber of Commerce and support Mel Joy and Natasha Huscroft and help turn that organization around, I felt that that’s probably the best place for me.”
Mondia says he has a background in CFO-type arrangements and could benefit many local businesses by helping them make more money and smarter decisions with their money.
He adds being on council was a unique experience.
He says he is not a stranger to how councils work, having worked closely with other councils in the past. However, Creston has a unique relationship with the RDCK.
“I think what makes this council unique for myself is the significant role that the regional district plays. Ultimately, 30 per cent of our property tax revenue goes to the regional district. But the Creston Valley Services Committee is a regional district committee, and we only have one person that sits on that, and traditionally it’s been the mayor. And so the mayor has quite significant power, you could say, in influencing what happens in this community.”
He says the committee handles the rec centre, parks, fire hall, economic development contracts, tourism contracts, the library, the museum, and more.
“So when we think about running for elected office, the mayor’s role in the town of Creston is incredibly important and very much directs what happens.”
In a release, Mayor Arnold DeBoon speaks highly of Mondia’s work in council.
“I hold a lot of respect for Anthony personally, and I have appreciated having the opportunity to serve alongside him on Council this last year. Anthony provided us with an invaluable perspective, and his ambitious, enthusiastic, and inquisitive nature will be missed at the Council table”, said DeBoon.
“Every member of Council chooses to serve because we are passionate about the well-being and quality of life for, and of, our citizens. Mr. Mondia is no exception to this, and I am confident that he will continue to serve Creston in whatever capacity he chooses. We thank him for his service to our community and wish him well.”
Mondia says DeBoon’s comments were heartwarming.
“I think those comments display that he’s a class act and fair play. He was an incredible person to meet and his heart is in the right place. And I think it’s great that you have someone who cares about the community as much as does in that role.”
DeBoon added that he was disappointed in the resignation of both Mondia and Elford.
“We get elected for four-year terms and we hope everybody stays for four years. They have their reasons for leaving and perhaps their life is simpler without all these long agendas and things. So again, we miss the councilors that have resigned and we look forward to seeing who comes next.”
Although an official by-election has not been announced, DeBoon believes it would happen sometime in mid to late March.
Mondia encourages those who are interested in the position to run.
“Don’t take my resignation as an indication that you shouldn’t run or that council is dysfunctional. Council is very functional,” said Mondia.
“We do have a very competent and capable administrator who has surrounded himself with competent staff and even the staff that were unproven, through his mentorship, have demonstrated that they are competent and qualified for the roles they’re in.”
He says he was impressed by Creston’s CFO.
“I think we have an incredible manager of finances. Our reserve funds are sitting pretty good.”
Mondia says anyone who is interested in running in the by-election is free to reach out to him for advice.
Additionally, he encourages anyone interested in the mayor seat for the next election to take the position seriously.
“In my experience on this council, you will have a very supportive mayor who will give you the appointments that you need to gain the experience to potentially be a mayoral candidate next term. I think that is where his priorities lie. And I think that anyone who wants to be mayor next term should seriously consider gaining the experience now.”