After living off of the avails of politics on Abbotsford City Council for 20 years Simon Gibson has kept the voters of Abbotsford from having democratic representation by staying away from council meetings while attending his new duties at the bigger and deeper public trough in Victoria for most of the last year and waiting until this month to announce his official retirement.

According to Simon, the lack of democratic representation was necessary in order to save the cost of replacing him with someone more attuned to the needs of a City the size of Abbotsford in the 21st century.

By waiting until January of 2014, Simon figures he saved the taxpayers the costs of “an expensive bye-election.” It’s OK Simon the cost of the by-election would have gone unnoticed amid the thousands spent on the Jubilee Park protest against your approach to homelessness.

We’ll be laughing about it when we tally up the legal costs of the lawsuits in 2014 and beyond.

So Abbotsford residents have had to do without representation from an elected councillor because Simon left part way through his term and didn’t want anybody replacing him.

Having supported the $500,000,000-and-counting costs of Plan A, and things like the infamous Anti Harm Reduction Bylaw, which has cost the City hundreds of thousands in legal costs and will cost an awful lot more when the City finally gets into court after his retirement party, it may not entirely be a bad thing to have to watch Simon leave. At least, from here on in, we can share the costs of his mistakes with the rest of the province.

And we can now get around to discussing all of the legal difficulties he created and finally deal with the review of his Anti Harm Reduction bylaw and the multimillion dollar offer from the provincial government to build a much needed low barrier shelter for the homeless in Abbotsford. Simon might have become quite an embarrassment to the BC Liberals if he had been allowed to vote on the issues.

Maybe it was wise keeping the homeless people waiting through the fall and the cold month of December for Simon’s sake.

We may even be able to begin discussing the other solutions nobody has been allowed to find out about or discuss in public like the The Draper/Gruban Proposal or The DWS Proposal.

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