WITH less than six months to go before Nelson Mandela Bay’s most hotly-contested municipal election, senior DA councillor Angelo Dashwood has called it a day.
Dashwood, 67, the DA’s whip for budget and treasury, resigned on Thursday, effective from January 31, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family, particularly with his two new grandchildren on the way.
Yesterday, Dashwood said he had decided to call it quits after first being a councillor for the then Democratic Party in 1988.
“I’m going to retire by the end of January . . . There was going to be no holiday from January until the election – everyone has got to be hands-on and there all the time.
“I approached [Bay caucus leader] Retief Odendaal and said my daughter in Joburg is giving me a grandchild in February and my son is coming through with another grandchild in April. I said every time I send Helen [his wife] to Cape Town and Joburg and I never go with; I’m always too busy.
“So, for that reason, I need to resign because I need time off in February and April,” Dashwood said.
He said the build-up to next year’s polls would have taken up all his time had he stayed on.
“There’s nothing wrong with my energy levels – I just want to spend time with my family. That would be impossible. Retief said I could have a few days. Too much time off can’t be allowed because of the elections.
“I am still strong but I’ve done my share. All hands on deck from January to May . . . Every time it’s the same, Helen goes to the family and I stay behind because of [work],” Dashwood said.
A senior councillor in the party, Dashwood was a councillor during the previous Port Elizabeth transitional council, before he left to concentrate on his business and then returning to the party in 2011.
He said he would take six months off to spend with his family, and he would then help struggling businesses by offering consulting services.
His retirement has been described as a blow for both the DA and the municipality by Odendaal and budget and treasury portfolio committee chairman and ANC councillor Rory Riordan.
Riordan, who has been friends with Dashwood for 30 years, said when he came back to head budget and treasury, Dashwood and ANC councillor Monde Vaaltyn had been two committee members he always asked for help.
“He’s an absolutely remarkable and honest man. This is a massive loss. He was a terrific link between the city and the business community.
“He carries a lot of institutional knowledge. Personally, I think he’s the best DA councillor by miles.
“Ever since I came back, he’s done everything I’ve asked him – be it addressing public participation meetings – even when I asked him at the last minute,” he said.
Odendaal said he had asked Dashwood to stay on as a councillor after last year’s general election as he was set to retire then.
“I consider him to be a father to me. He is a very competent councillor. He contributed immensely to the caucus and council.
“We’ll most surely miss his contribution but this is a well-deserved retirement,” he said.
The DA would look for a candidate to replace Dashwood next month.
This story appeared in Weekend Post on Saturday, 12 December, 2015 e-Edition