Caribou city councilor resigns, says council has "lack of vision"

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CARIBOU, Maine (WAGM) - In Shane McDougall's resignation letter to the council, he said that he realized over the past several months that the council is headed in a direction that he just can't add value to. WAGM spoke to councilwoman Joan Theriault on the phone about this issue, she says that his resignation did surprise her, especially since his term was ending this year.

It was in the Caribou City Council chambers during their February meeting when Shane McDougall's resignation was accepted. His term was set to end later this year. In his resignation letter to the council, he said the final straw for him was the shear shortsightedness of the sitting council to accept Manager Austin Bleess' resignation without question. In the letter he also said the lack of vision of this council is the other main reason for him leaving.

In emails,obtained through a freedom of information act, both Gary Aiken and Joan Theriault responded to Shane and his resignation. Aiken said, "I was disappointed when I received your resignation from council. I have never been able to understand how anyone can make a commitment to fulfill a position and then resign before that term has been completed, just because everyone else doesn't have the same opinion they do on every item."

Theriault said the reasons given for McDougall's resignation are unacceptable. "When someone runs and is elected to council, the sign a commitment saying they they will fulfill that term," she added in the email.

City Manager Austin Bleess had this to say about the resignation,

"Councilor McDougall was a very thoughtful councilor. I think he did a good job for the citizens of Caribou, and it's sad to see him go."

Bleess would not comment on the resignation letter. The city of Caribou is now looking to fill the vacancy left by McDougall

McDougall declined to comment on his resignation on camera.

Moving forward, The city of Caribou is now accepting applications for an interim city councilor, that position should be filled next month. The city will hold a special election on June 13th to fulfill the rest of the term for McDougall. That was set to expire at the end of the year.