Fontana Files Resignation PapersJune 19, 2014 9:31am
Joe Fontana will not speak to reporters about his decision to resign as London’s mayor, according to a release from City Hall.
In an email sent Thursday morning, Fontana was quoted as saying, “It has been an honour and privilege to work on behalf of Londoners and I remain committed to the well being of our city and citizens. The steps I take today are difficult ones but I do so knowing it is the best thing I can do for Londoners and my family.”
He adds that he “will not return to public life.”
The release says Fontana handed in his resignation to the City Clerk and it will become official at 10am.
Joe Swan will become acting mayor and council will soon pick an interim mayor who will serve until this fall’s municipal election.
The full statement from Fontana:
“Joe Fontana has resigned as mayor of London, Ontario. The resignation was delivered to the City Clerk and is effective as of 10:00 a.m. today.
The mayor had announced his intention to step down on Monday. He took several days to meet and speak with members of Council and City staff. He also contacted a number of community and business leaders and expressed his thanks for their support and assistance during his time in office.
Mayor Fontana has always been committed to the city of London and to its residents. He is proud to have served the people for over 30 years, first on council, then in Ottawa and finally returning to be mayor. He says, “It has been an honour and privilege to work on behalf of Londoners and I remain committed to the wellbeing of our city and citizens. The steps I take today are difficult ones but I do so knowing it is the best thing I can do for Londoners and my family.”
The mayor said this is not as he had envisioned his finals days in office but he accepts the challenges before him. “I understand I am required to walk this path alone and I have learned that we will be measured not only by what we do but by how we choose to carry our burdens.
I want to thank the citizens of London for their engagement in the city, for their vision and energy, for believing there is always a way to progress. Since becoming mayor I have seen the results of their collective and individual drive time and time again. It is Londoners who move the city in the right direction and Londoners who will keep it focussed on what is critical.”
The mayor distributed a letter to City staff thanking them and recognizing their diligence under all situations from mega snowstorms to welcoming visitors from around the world. He reiterated his belief that their choice to work for the benefit of family, friends and neighbours shows them to be caring and compassionate people.
In correspondence to fellow Council members the mayor thanked each of them for their hard work and wished them all the best in the future.
Mayor Fontana indicated he will focus his time on his family. He acknowledged, “They have sacrificed for me for 32 years. I will not return to public life.”