Election date set for vacant council position

·2 min read

ST. MARY’S – Nominations for former councillor Peggy Kaiser-Kirk’s District 8 seat in the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s opened at the committee of the whole last week, with the special election set for Jan. 16.

Eight-year incumbent Kaiser-Kirk resigned Oct. 30, two days after the first post-election meeting of St. Mary’s council, including four new members, only one of which (Charlene Zinck, District 2) was elected.

Following a hastily convened, in-camera council meeting on the day of her resignation, newly designated Warden Greg Wier stated that “Council would like to thank Councillor Kaiser-Kirk for her years of service to the Municipality and wish her the very best in her future endeavours.”

In a subsequent email to The Journal, chief administrative officer Marvin MacDonald said “It was a personal decision by Councillor Kaiser-Kirk to submit her resignation and we wish her all the best in the future.”

Kaiser-Kirk has not responded to requests for an interview.

MacDonald said the election will be held by electronic vote – phone and internet – only, with advanced polls on Jan. 9 and 12. Nominations close on Dec. 22.

“Hopefully, we’ll have some candidates,” he added.

In unrelated news, the municipality received $67,115 in well-timed COVID-19 relief from the provincial government last week.

“We completed the survey that the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities had sent out earlier in the summer, and we calculated our costs related to the pandemic,” MacDonald said.

The funds are part of the $19-billion Safe Restart Agreement with the federal government.

Under the arrangement, “municipalities in the province will receive $67.5 million to help meet operating costs while impacted by lower revenue from transit and fees, as well as increased costs associated with COVID-19 infection prevention measures.”

“So, yeah, we just got the email and it was a nice surprise. It was good news. We’ll take emails like that every day,” MacDonald said.

Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal