Dryden public school trustee position will remain vacant until possible by-election

Dryden’s public school trustee position is likely to remain vacant until February.

The Keewatin Patricia District School Board said its trustee position for Dryden will remain vacant from the end of the current term until a possible by-election to be determined by city council.

On election day, the Dryden’s city clerk suspended the election for the public trustee position because some voters were accidentally sent two ballots for the race.

Christy Radbourne, the director of education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, said the election of Dryden’s trustee rests with the municipality.

“The Municipal Elections Act was quite clear on the fact the decision to void the election rested with the municipal clerk,” she said. “And that going forward it is the municipality that will make the decision when the election will occur and what type of election it will be. We just await information from them.”

Radbourne said the school board isn’t allowed to temporarily fill the position.

“We have to leave that vacant until it’s filled through the by-election process, if that’s what the municipality chooses,” she said.

Dryden city administration will present a report at the Nov. 14 council meeting asking the council to adopt a bylaw to enable a by-election in February next year. That recommendation would then be voted on by the next council.

Radbourne said a full board complement consists of 11 trustees and two student trustees.

She said the incoming board currently has nine trustees and two student trustees, which is enough for quorum.

Other than the Dryden vacancy, the other is for a representative for the Pickle Lake and Savant Lake areas, as no person put their name forward for the position.

Radbourne said an invitation for expression of interest has been sent out in Pickle Lake and Savant Lake for applications for people interested in serving as a trustee.

According to the flyer which the school board said was posted throughout Pickle Lake and Savant Lake, requirements to be eligible to apply include being a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years-old, who is a public school board elector living in the jurisdictional area and can pass a criminal background check.

The application deadline is Nov. 15.

Eric Shih, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source