Charlo council bans alcohol at office after mayor resigns

The village council of Charlo is calling for a byelection and has banned alcohol consumption in the municipal building after the mayor resigned last week.

Former mayor disagreed with council 'practice' of drinking after meetings

The village council of Charlo is calling for a byelection and has banned alcohol consumption in the municipal building after the mayor resigned last week.

Jason Carter had alleged some council members and the village administrator regularly consumed alcohol at the village office after public meetings — all on the taxpayers' dime.

Deputy Mayor Denis McIntyre, who is now serving as the acting mayor of the northern New Brunswick community, says it's time to get back to business.

"We have to stop talking about that and continue forward," he said.

"It's been very stressful. If there's one positive thing come out of that it's that the council is more united than ever, we want to go forward now and work on our projects because Charlo is a very nice place."

McIntyre says as far as he's concerned, there was never a problem with alcohol at town hall. But to reassure the community, it is now completely banned from the building, he said.

Council has also formally requested a byelection to fill the mayor's seat in the new year.

Elections New Brunswick spokesman Paul Harpelle says it's not unusual to see sudden changes in municipal politics.

"Very normal," he said. "Consider the fact we just had the general elections in May, already three to four vacancies. People change locations, jobs, illnesses that occur, not uncommon to have these kinds of vacancies crop up."

Byelections for municipalities will be held in May, said Harpelle.

Former mayor Jason Carter was only elected last May.

The 37-year-old non-drinker said he didn't want to resign, but he didn't know what else to do. He said council had refused to stop its "practice" of having a couple of drinks in the mayor's office after meetings despite his repeated requests.

Carter argued alcohol had no place in village business, he disagreed with taxpayers footing the bill and he was worried about possible liability issues for the village if anyone drove home while impaired.