A tumultuous month in the Town of Spaniard’s Bay continued today with news that a senior employee has resigned.
This morning longtime town manager Tony Ryan tendered his resignation effective immediately. There was no prior notice.
It’s the latest setback for a Conception Bay North community that has been shrouded in controversy since the majority of the town’s fire department stepped away from their duties in support of former councillor Sherri Collins, who tendered her resignation after accusing Coun. Brenda Seymour of harassing her. Collins was council's liaison with the department.
Seymour, the lone female firefighter in the brigade, levelled allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment against the department. She has also denied harassing Collins.
“We were caught off guard,” said Mayor Tony Menchions of Ryan’s resignation. “It’s a rough time. We’ve been put through the wringer that last month.
“It’s a very stressful situation.”
The resignation comes just days after the town tabbed Kurt Roberts, a former assistant fire chief, as the replacement for the previous chief Victor Hiscock.
In his resignation letter, Ryan made note of the fallout from the fire department scandal and the stress it’s put on his work and personal life as a key reason for stepping away.
“I no longer feel that I can give this position the dedication and commitment it deserves to be productive," the letter reads.
From the outside, it appeared the town was turning a corner after the controversy it found itself in and was set to take a step forward. It must now pick up the pieces and move forward again.
Spaniard’s Bay is now seeking the advice of the Department of Municipal Affairs on next step they should take in dealing with this latest blow.
The town must also continue to fill the ranks of its fire department and the application process is ongoing. The deadline is Feb. 12.
“We’ll do what we can,” said Menchions in regards to moving forward. “The next week or two will be big for Spaniard’s Bay.”
When contacted by The Compass, Ryan declined an interview request. The Town of Spaniard’s Bay’s next council meeting is scheduled for Feb. 15.