White out as coun­cil­lor, Port Hawkes­bury to hold spe­cial elec­tion

The Casket - - Local - CAPE BRE­TON POST

Only two years af­ter elect­ing the mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil, vot­ers in Port Hawkes­bury are ex­pected to soon go back to the polls for a spe­cial elec­tion to fill a coun­cil seat de­clared va­cant af­ter a coun­cil­lor moved out­side of town.

First-term coun­cil­lor Jeremy White re­cently moved from Port Hawkes­bury to New­town, In­ver­ness Co.

Coun­cil held a spe­cial meet­ing Tues­day where White’s move was dis­cussed and where his coun­cil seat was de­clared va­cant.

“We have four weeks to de­clare a spe­cial elec­tion, so the way that process un­folds is that dur­ing that four-week pe­riod af­ter the va­cancy oc­curs we do ar­range to have a spe­cial elec­tion called and that puts into mo­tion … to have peo­ple have time to put for­ward nom­i­na­tions and 30 days to cam­paign,” Mayor Brenda Chisholm­beaton said.

It looks ten­ta­tively like the spe­cial elec­tion could be set for Dec. 15.

Un­der the prov­ince’s Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment Act, “a mayor or coun­cil­lor who ceases to be or­di­nar­ily res­i­dent in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity ceases to be qual­i­fied to serve as mayor or as coun­cil­lor … When a seat on the coun­cil be­comes va­cant, the clerk shall re­port the facts to the coun­cil.”

White was elected to the fourper­son coun­cil in Oc­to­ber 2016. He tal­lied the fourth high­est num­ber of votes among seven can­di­dates for the at-large seats.

Chisholm-beaton in­vited any­one who may be in­ter­ested in seek­ing the seat who may have ques­tions to ap­proach her. She said she hopes to en­gage peo­ple to en­cour­age in­ter­est in the po­si­tion, to help them com­pre­hend what is in­volved with be­ing a coun­cil­lor and also un­der­stand the process.

“Some peo­ple may be in­ter­ested who may be think­ing, ‘Well, can I re­ally do that?’” Chisholm­beaton said, adding they also may have ques­tions about the level of com­mit­ment that may be re­quired.

While she hopes there is gen­er­ally a healthy amount of in­ter­est in the po­si­tion, Chisholm-beaton said she would par­tic­u­larly like to see women put their names for­ward for con­sid­er­a­tion. She said she is hop­ing the town will host a lo­cal gov­ern­ment cam­paign school for women next fall.

“It does add some di­ver­sity to the coun­cil ta­ble,” she said.

It’s an im­por­tant time for coun­cil, Chisholm-beaton said, not­ing the town has been tack­ling some ma­jor projects in­clud­ing the Pitt-na­pean street com­plete re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion project and the on­go­ing Des­ti­na­tion Reeves Street project.

“We hope that may be en­tic­ing to some folks who may want to put their name for­ward who is in­ter­ested in see­ing and em­brac­ing a lot of the changes that are hap­pen­ing in town,” she said.

The next round of mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions in Nova Sco­tia is to oc­cur in Oc­to­ber 2020

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