The Discovery Bay resident submitted his letter of resignation to the town’s general manager on Monday, Feb. 4, the same day recall proponents were set to file their signatures with the county elections department.
“Today is not a day of joy or release, but rather one of unremitting pain,” wrote Dawson in an e-mail to The Press. “I have resigned my office as a Director of the Town of Discovery Bay.”
Dawson – who suffers from bipolar disorder – was arrested in August and charged in December with two counts of spousal battery and child endangerment. He has pleaded not guilty and was expected to appear in pretrial court this week.
Despite persistent calls for resignation from members of the community over the past few months – as well as from two of his fellow board members – Dawson has repeatedly refused to step aside.
But the threat of a recall (which would cost the town an estimated $50,000) and continued stress on his family prompted Dawson to reconsider. “My reasons were really twofold,” he said. “To protect the district from the cost of an election and to save my family the pain of going through any more of the vitriol that was becoming commonplace about town.”
Residents on both sides of the recall issue have engaged in a bitter struggle over the past few months, escalating in recent weeks with accusations of harassment, political corruption and libel.
Don Flint, an organizer of the recall effort, praised Dawson for his “courageous and proper action” … “Both the proponents and opponents had strong feelings about the recall. But it is time to put that behind us … I have spoken with Brian and thanked him for taking this step, and I wish nothing but the best for him and his family.”
CSD Director Mark Simon, who originally called for Dawson to step down from the board, supported Dawson’s decision. “I think he did the right thing,” said Simon. “I actually commend him for taking the high road and stopping a recall. I know that he has always had the best of intentions for the town and I wish him the best.”
CSD President Chris Steele praised Dawson’s efforts as a member of the CSD: “Brian’s done good work as a director of our board. I’m glad there is finally some resolution.”
Dawson said he’s proud of his service on the town board and thanks those who have continued to support him. His plans for the future include a new beginning and some time to regroup.
“My family is moving out of Discovery Bay,” said Dawson. “It is a hostile environment for us and we need a fresh start, some peace and a chance to heal. As for politics, I have a few ideas, but not a single one revolves around ever running for office again.”
The CSD board has the option of filling the vacancy by either appointing a new director or holding a special election. According to government code, should the board choose to appointment a replacement, it must do so within 60 days of the director’s resignation. Steele hopes the matter will be concluded sooner. Dawson was appointed in 2009 and elected to a four-year term in 2010. Whoever fills the vacancy will serve out Dawson’s term.