Re. "Vagramov says 'awkward date' resulted in sex assault charge" (tricitynews.com, Nov. 14) and "Sex charge is stayed against Vagramov" (The Tri-City News, Nov. 14).
The mayor of Port Moody was charged with sexual assault this past March, went on paid leave of absence, decided in June (due mostly to strong public pressure, I presume) to change that to unpaid leave, then arbitrarily and without notice returned to work in September, leaving again in October once he achieved some objectives apparently crucial to proceed with.
Residents were shocked to find out during this that no laws enacted protect citizens from elected municipal officials whose personal lives become in extreme conflict with their public duties.
A letter was written and signed by 123 British Columbians in September asking the provincial government to enact legislation requiring criminally charged elected officials to automatically be placed on leave and dismissed if not found innocent.
On Oct. 16, a group of Port Moody residents felt a stronger message was required and began a petition to the province requesting expediency of that motion and law.
As of now, 1,111 signatures have been obtained (primarily from Port Moody but at least 350 from other municipalities) and the petition has been delivered to the local MLA Rick Glumac, who has committed to bringing it to the legislature.
I sincerely hope the minister of municipal affairs recognizes the untenable situation in Port Moody cannot be replicated anywhere else and takes immediate and decisive action.
With regards to the events of the last week, I do not see where we, as a city, can go from here.
How can Mayor Rob Vagramov sit on the Port Moody Police Board, with respect? The Metro - Vancouver board, with respect? City council, with respect?
And however Mayor Vagramov wishes to try to frame the result of his sexual assault case, the truth is he was not exonerated, he was not found innocent. A deal by any other name does not equal innocence.
Laura Dick, Port Moody