Calvin Township declares vacant council seats

·2 min read

Calvin Township seeks two new councillors following the recent resignations of Heather Olmstead and Dan Maxwell and are accepting applications.

As per the Municipal Act, once a councillor leaves, the municipality must officially declare the position vacant and decide upon how to fill that role.

During their November 9 meeting Calvin’s council did just that, which gives them 60 days to fill both vacant chairs.

Calvin’s municipal clerk, Cindy Pigeau, provided council options on how those seats can be filled by January 9, 2022.

Option one is for council to allow people to apply for the position by submitting a letter to the clerk for consideration.

The second option is for council to select a person known to council, most often the person who received the next highest number of votes in the previous 2018 election.

However, there is also the “option of a by-election” Pigeau mentioned, adding that this option was not well-supported by herself or municipal staff given how close the next municipal election is— “eleven months away.”

Also, a by-election “would cost a significant amount of money as well as staff time.”

Another point to consider is “many of the statistics indicate that by-elections do not get as many voters out as regular elections do,” Pigeau explained.

She recommended council accept the application process, to which councillors Sandy Cross and Christine Shippam agreed.

“And I will as well,” said Mayor Ian Pennell, which made the decision unanimous. “I think we should move ahead that way,” he said.

For those interested in becoming a councillor for the rest of this current term, the first step is to send a letter to that effect to the municipal clerk, Pigeau.

All qualified applicants will be invited for an interview with council during a future meeting, most likely online. Council will then select the two new councillors.

The municipality has more information on their website as to how to apply, and residents are welcome to call the clerk as well at 705-744-0309.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca

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