The mayor of the new city of Laguna Woods abruptly stood up and quit Wednesday because of a letter from a colleague accusing him of talking too much.
"Apparently, one of our fellow council members doesn't like the amount of time I speak," said Mayor James F. Thorpe, as his voice trembled and he held a folded copy of the letter from Councilwoman Ann Snider. "Maybe we should time how long other council members speak and see who's taking up all the time."
Thorpe glared at Snider, cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted: "I hope you're happy, Ann!" Then he marched out.
She shrugged and ruffled her papers.
Snider, who sent the letter last week to all her council colleagues, said it was written courteously and consisted of constructive suggestions on how to speed meetings, which sometimes last more than three hours.
"I would have talked to him personally, but he was off fishing last week," she said. "If I knew it would have been such a big deal, I would have bought an ad and had it published. He's like a little kid."
Councilman Victor Kay said he received the letter and threw it away.
"I read it, understood it, but never imagined it would have had such an impact," he said.
Thorpe was elected mayor when residents of Leisure World Laguna Hills and others voted in March to incorporate.
Despite relinquishing his mayoral duties, he will remain a council member.