PHOENIXVILLE - Apparently as a surprise to nearly everyone in council chambers on Monday, Borough Councilman Chris Swenda (I-Middle) resigned, effective immediately, from his seat after citing a lack of "tolerance."
Swenda quit mid-term of a four-year term and left council chambers immediately after the announcement.
"All I can say is that I'm sorry I do not have the perseverance to do this for another two years," said Swenda. "I can't do it anymore. My family is first."
"I don't have the perseverance to deal with these people," said Swenda after he left the room. "The commitment is too much."
Swenda cited a definition for tolerance: "Tolerance is being able to show respect for those with whom you disagree."
"And I have little tolerance for some people in this room," said Swenda from the chairman's seat of the Parks/Property/Recreaton Committee during a borough council committee meeting.
He thanked Councilman John Messina (D-North), former Councilman Anthony DiGirolomo and Mayor Leo Scoda, but also said that he was sorry that he had "ruined some relationships on a friendship level."
Swenda said that a week and half prior to the meeting he had spoken with Jim Lolli (R- East) who was elected in January to serve as the Borough Council President. Swenda had voted against Lolli's presidency in a hotly contested race.
"I don't think you can get this done ... and bring these two sides together," said Swenda as Lolli listened.
Swenda said that Lolli had used terms that included "both sides, this side and that side," which led to an "environment that is not good for the community."
Swenda said after leaving the meeting that he and his wife had discussed his resigning for several months.
Swenda said that he was full of passion to serve the public and took the council seat seriously. He said that he hoped he could continue to perform community service, although no longer as a member of council.