Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne comments on CAO’s abrupt resignation

Cheryl Martens left the job four days into new council term

Princeton’s CAO Cheryl Martens resigned her position Friday over the noon hour. It was effective immediately.

Her decision came just four days after she swore in a new mayor and council, at a ceremony last Monday night.

By 12:30 p.m. Martens had cleaned out her office and left municipal hall.

In a brief interview with The Spotlight she said she did not want to share too many details of the events leading up to her resignation.

She cited an email exchange, a subsequent meeting with the mayor, and said: “it was apparent that it’s not going to work.”

In an interview Monday Mayor Spencer Coyne said he does not know what prompted Martens’ sudden departure.

“I don’t know how to answer that. I guess she didn’t want to be here,” said Coyne.

“We did have a meeting Friday morning before I left town, but she didn’t tell me then that she was going to leave.”

During that meeting Coyne said he asked Martens for a copy of her employment contract, along with other documents.

“So we have not seen the contract yet. That was one of the documents I was asking for…She offered it up [last] Monday morning so we did discuss her giving it to me.”

Coyne received Martens’ resignation email after exiting an out-of-town meeting.

“It was all a surprise to me.”

When asked if the news came as a disappointment he replied: “You could say that.”

Deputy CAO Lyle Thomas has assumed Martens’ duties “until further notice,” said Coyne.

“This isn’t like the Town of Princeton suddenly coming to a grinding halt. We have people in place to do the job…We are confident that Lyle is more than capable of filling in,” said Coyne. “We have 100 per cent confidence in our staff.”

The mayor said it’s too early to be able to say when and how the municipality will go about finding a permanent replacement.

“We are just right now trying to get our ducks in a row,” he said. “[The town is] a rather large operation and we need a manager so I don’t see not having a CAO as an option, or an administrator or whatever you want to call them.”

Martens was hired in January, to replace Rick Zerr who resigned in December 2017.

She has 21 years experience in municipal government administration, and was selected from 38 candidates.

On October 20 there was a wholesale overturn of elected leadership, with the mayor and all four councillors being replaced in the municipal election.

Former councillor Doug Pateman expressed deep disappointment and even anger over Friday’s events.

“This is the best team we’ve had here in 13 years, according to senior management,” said Pateman.

Martens praised other city hall managers. “I wish the town the best and I’ve done the best I can.”

Related: Princeton election turns nasty

Related: Princeton welcomes new CAO

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Update: Highway 3 west of Keremeos open to alternating traffic

Details scarce about collision that has closed Highway 3 west of Keremeos

NHL alumni and Canadian country music stars gearing up for Okanagan charity extravaganza

A two-day May weekend event combines, hockey, golf, country music and a whole lot of fun

Behind the mask of the South Okanagan furries community

Penticton furries community member said it’s not a sexual thing

Festival planned for Easter weekend

Organizers preparing 10,000 eggs for hunt at Summerland’s Easter Egg-stravaganza

Summerland experiences effects of sudden warm temperatures

Water pools near sports fields; minor landslide affects Garnet Valley Road as snow melts

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Okanagan librarian delves into trio of titles

Book Talk: Dark Matter, Lincoln’s Dreams and The Jealous Kind

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Indigenous students recognized at ceremony at Okanagan College

The ceremony recognizes that students are getting an education while holding onto Indigenous background and teachings

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Most Read