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By Dryden Observer Staff
With the resignation of Mayor Craig Nuttall set to take effect on August 28 council is working hard to fill his shoes.
Effective August 29, 2015 Deputy Mayor Martin MacKinnon will be representing the office of the Mayor until a new mayor is chosen.
After the next regular council meeting on September 21 council will have 60 days, until November 20, to either appoint a person to fill the vacancy or pass a by-law requiring a by-election be held to fill the vacancy. Council does not have to wait the full 60 days to appoint a replacement, this can be done at an earlier regular council meeting or a special council meeting if held prior to November 20.
Should council choose to appoint to fill the vacancy they have a few options to choose from. They may appoint a current member of council to be Mayor. Should council choose to appoint a current member of council to be Mayor then that member of council’s office then becomes vacant effective on the date they are appointed as the new Mayor.
Other options for appointment include: appointing the next highest vote-getter from the previous election for the office of Mayor, in this case Greg Wilson. They may also choose to appoint a candidate from another office from the previous election or they may appoint any eligibile/qualified member of the public. Council may also choose to advertise for applicants, solicit interest from previous members of council or any other appointment method at council’s discretion.
The other option is a by-election. Should council choose to fill the vacancy by by-election and assuming the office is declared vacant on September 21, 2015 such a by-law must be passed no later than November 20, 2015.
After that decision then based on the legislated authority under the Municipal Elections Act the Clerk will select a Nomination Day and Voting Day balancing the time needed to meet the legislative requirements, ensure adequate notice (Voting Cards or Vote by Mail Kits) to the public for the method of voting chosen, ensure adequate notice to MPAC to produce a Voters’ List and database, and ensure adequate human resources are secured to plan and conduct an election event.
The resignation of Craig Nuttall also extends to several boards he sat on. The mayor sat on the Dryden Police Services Board, the Kenora District Services Board, the Ignace Community Nuclear Liaison Committee.
For the KDSB, Councillor Roger Valley can attend board meetings but has no right to vote. Depending on the options chosen by council to fill the vacancy and the length of timelines involved council may want to consider choosing to appoint a member of council (primary) to the KDSB effective August 29, 2015 in order to retain voting rights during the timeframes in question until the vacancy is filled and a more permanent appointment can be discussed and chosen by council.