Canby City Councilor Jordan Tibbals announced his resignation Wednesday night, barely nine months into his first term in office.
Tibbals, an agricultural commodities trader and father of two young children, said he made the decision with “great difficulty.”
“My family and I will be moving out of state and will unfortunately no longer be able to call Canby our home,” Tibbals said, reading a prepared statement. “It has been a great honor to represent the people of Canby, and I am truly thankful to the people who have supported me and entrusted me to represent them.”
He spoke positively of the community, saying he and his wife, Molly, a Canby native, believe it to be an “amazing place,” and “we are proud to have called it our home.”
Tibbals, who has been, at times, outspoken against business shutdowns, mask and vaccine mandates and other statewide efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, also alluded to these larger issues and their potential conflict with the concepts of personal freedoms and autonomy.
“We’re living in a time with a lot of uncertainty,” he said. “The concerns surrounding the pandemic and personal health choices, vaccination being forced by the state or face termination, segregation or denial of goods and services are unsettling.
“No matter where you fall on the side of the argument, I hope we can all agree a healthy skepticism of government overreach is healthy for our society. Our founders knew this and they created the Constitution to protect us from tyrannical government. They knew nothing was more dangerous and a greater threat to liberty than big government.”
Tibbals, a Marine veteran himself, had begun his remarks by reading the names of the 13 U.S. service members struck down in a terrorist act by The Islamic State outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 26.
He concluded by quoting Benjamin Franklin (“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”) and offering a sort of impromptu sermon drawn from his Christian faith.
“The good news to all that are listening is to take heart,” Tibbals said. “You were not created for this world. God created you in his own image. He loves you and wants to be the center of your life. He knows your faults, your sins, your heartbreak and your triumph, and he loves you despite all of it.”
He quoted from the Bible — “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16) — and expounded on the theological nature of Jesus Christ.
“He sent his only son to live as a man, born of a virgin, and he lived a perfect, sinless life in order to show us the way God had intended for us to live,” Tibbals said. “His son died on the cross for our sins, in our place, and was resurrected from the grave three days later.
“He conquered death to show us we can experience life in eternity with him, should we choose to repent and follow Jesus. That is the gospel. That is the good news. And that is my final word as Canby city councilor.”
His colleagues praised him for the work he had accomplished in his brief time on the council, including a free debris removal and firewood giveaway he organized and led in the wake of the destructive February ice storms.
“I think you challenged and stretched many of us with your perspective and with where you stood on things, and I really do appreciate that,” said Mayor Brian Hodson. “I really do wish you and your family the best in the future and hope that you won’t become a [Dallas] Cowboys fan.”
“Never,” Tibbals said with a laugh. “Wouldn’t do it.”
Chris Bangs, the only other councilor who was newly elected in November, said he would miss his fellow newcomer.
“We were the new, young pups on this council,” he said. “And I really appreciated having you there, alongside my own bewilderment in so many cases. You know, we haven’t always agreed, but we’ve certainly had our agreements, and you’re a good man.”
“Thank you, Jordan,” agreed Councilor Sarah Spoon. “I have always found you to be thoughtful and curious and trying to find the right solution, even if we need to think through it beyond our own ideologies, and I really appreciate that about you and I always have.
“We’ve had a couple of conversations recently that really made me feel good about our country, frankly, because I think people that don’t always see eye-to-eye can find common ground.”
Tibbals’ resignation is expected to shift the balance of power in favor of the council’s progressive bloc for the first time in years, with Spoon, Bangs and Councilor Greg Parker poised to have the majority vote in appointing his replacement.
The development may also shed light on recall efforts against Spoon and Bangs that emerged this week, both purportedly over statements and behavior that occurred months ago.
If petitioners are able to remove both officials, then their replacements would be chosen by a council that is likely to be split 2-2, with Hodson casting the tie-breaking vote.
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