Board member resigns

Mel Bell
Mel Bell
The Vincent Community Board's youngest member, Mel Bell (29), shed a few tears as she announced her resignation yesterday.

Miss Bell is serving her first term and told the board at yesterday's meeting she was moving to Christchurch later this year so decided, ''with heavy heart'', to resign. It was a difficult decision but she could not fulfil the role properly, she said.

She topped the poll at last year's board election and chalked up a milestone as the fourth generation of her family to become a local body politician. Her father Graeme stepped down as a board member and Central Otago district councillor at the election after 21 years on those organisations. He was elected on to the Otago Regional Council.

Miss Bell, who works as a valuer in Central Otago, said her shift to Christchurch was for ''a combination of personal reasons''.

Yesterday's meeting was her last and board chairwoman Clair Higginson said she was sorry to see her go and the ideal replacement would be a clone of Miss Bell.

Board member Stu Millis said he knew she would return one day ''... and maybe run for mayor''.

A by-election will be held to fill the vacant seat.