One moment it was a typical, contentious Port Moody council meeting and then, as though some Marvel supervillain snapped his fingers, half of council disappeared.

Couns. Zoe Royer, Meghan Lahti and Diana Dilworth left the meeting Tuesday night – and with them went both quorum and any chance of detoxifying this singularly dysfunctional council.

Municipal politics, it must be said, is not a profession for hot-blooded crusaders or quick-tempered executives. It’s not for parents whose children behave themselves as a matter of routine or for anyone who expects to be obeyed just because they’re “right.”

Municipal politics is an oft-dispiriting, slow-moving slog where you end up talking about ingress and egress until midnight and debating the fine points of an agenda item with a colleague who hasn’t read it.

It’s why we need political salvagers; those unflappable, plucky types who know that if they can’t make things good, they can at least make them better.

If a development is ugly, the salvager pitches public art. If a highrise casts an impenetrable shadow, the salvager grows mushrooms.

A reasonable complaint, an unreasonable act

It must be said: Lahti, Dilworth and Royer had a legitimate complaint. Deferring Tuesday’s hearing would have been sensible.

However, you don’t get to walk out of a meeting and ditch an entire agenda just because you think your co-workers are empty suits. Empty suits are still better than empty seats.

Perhaps the getaway gang feel they’ve sent a message but I’d argue that what they’ve really done is set a precedent. Now, any time a councillor feels things aren’t going their way, they can take their vote and go home.

Essentially, Port Moody taxpayers are living under government by Eric Cartman.

Unless someone resigns, (perhaps not the worst idea) this group of seven is slated to guide the community, for better or worse, for another year and a half.

I beseech all of you. There’s work to be done: please try to salvage something.