Amaranth Council has voted in a new council member

·2 min read

Editor's Note: This story was first published on Jan. 28. This version corrects the spelling of former Amaranth council member Mark Tjissen's name.

Amaranth council has filled its vacant council seat, voting in candidate Steve Niedzwiecki.

“Ballot results are in, please join in welcoming Mr. Steve Niedzwiecki as the newest council member to the Township of Amaranth,” reads the Townships announcement.

Amaranth council held a special meeting on Tuesday (Jan. 26) via Zoom, to vote in a new council member to fill the vacant seat left after the resignation of former councillor Mark Tijssen. Tijssen formally resigned from council in September of last year, citing the Amaranth council was a “negative” and “toxic” work environment. Amaranth began calling for nominees for the position in November.

Five nominees were considered for appointment to fill the vacant seat – Susan Graham, Todd Whittington, Percy Way, Cindy Baigent and Steve Niedzwiecki. Each nominee was given time to speak to council, pitching themselves for the position.

Coun. Heather Foster asked each nominee the same question.

“This council, to put it mildly, is a contentious council, which is why we have the opening for a councillor at this point in time. We’ve had some major challenges such as budget, among other things, what would you bring to this council that would be a positive influence,” questioned Foster.

Foster also addressed if nominees would have problems “dealing with a council that has these issues” for the remainder of the council term.

Following the presentation from the candidates and the questions from council, the four Amaranth councillor casted their private ranked ballots, voting for each candidate.

Ballots were counted by CAO and Clerk, Nicole Martin who called Niedzwiecki as the winner.

Niedzwiecki will be sworn in at the next regular council meeting on Feb. 3.

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press