White out as councillor, Port Hawkesbury to hold special election
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