A controversy involving North Bay city councillor Mark King being able to sit as chair of the Nipissing District Social Services Administration Board has been resolved and it turns out he can serve as chair despite what the local DSSAB bylaws state.

King was re-elected to a fifth term as chair several weeks ago in a 6-5 vote.

However, after that vote, North Bay councillor Scott Robertson discovered that the DSSAB’s bylaws don’t allow councillors to serve as chair for more than four consecutive single-year terms.

Robertson said at the time allowing King to sit as chair for a fifth term would have violated the DSSAB bylaws and called upon him to resign.

King did not resign as chair but rather stepped aside while the issue got sorted out which it did on Tuesday.

In an interview with My West Nipissing Now.com King said DSSAB’s solicitor said the bylaw, which was created around 2000, was in fact illegal.

“It didn’t conform to the (provincial) legislation and DSSAB operates under provincial legislation,” King said.

“Obviously the bylaw has to be rescinded and that’s now in the process.”

King said there was a time when the provincial legislation had term limits but they were discontinued some time back.

He says the local DSSAB bylaws cannot supersede the provincial laws.

King adds having term limits makes no sense.

“In reality how can an organization stipulate that you can serve so long,” he said.

“It’s incumbent upon the individual, if he’s in that position, to know when the time is right to leave.   It’s also important from an experience standpoint to make sure you have people in positions like that because it’s not an easy job.  It’s very time-consuming.”

King says he’s enjoyed being in the position of chair because the employees who make up the DSSAB are very committed “and work as a very cohesive group that you don’t always see”.

“This DSSAB in my estimation is among the best in the province,” he said.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of work done on the ground to make sure we’re linked with the province.”

King also says to avoid a repeat of what happened following his vote, DSSAB’s solicitor is now going through the bylaws to see if any more have become outdated because of changes to the provincial legislation.

Since the local bylaw on term limits was illegal, King did not have to go through another vote and his re-election as chair was reaffirmed through a resolution at the Tuesday meeting.