Candidate acclaimed in South River
Joyce Petten fills council vacancy
The Town of South River has avoided the cost of a byelection after Joyce Petten was acclaimed as the newest member of council recently.
Initially, two people — Petten and Bertha Taylor — came forward as nominees to replace former councillor Larry Stephan.
However, when Taylor withdrew her name, Petten was automatically declared the candidate.
Petten is the wife of Mayor Arthur Petten, who is one of six candidates in the running this week for the Progressive Conservative nomination in the nearby district of Port de Grave.
Town clerk Terri Lynn Aisien, who served as the returning officer, said Joyce Petten will be sworn in at the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Aug. 3.
She will join the other members of council, including Mayor Petten, deputy mayor Scott Rose, and councillors Melvin Andrews, Pat Curran, Dave McLean and Bev Wells.
It will be Joyce Petten’s first time serving on council.
“I was trying to encourage her not to, but she has her own mind,” Mayor Petten said.
The seat was declared vacant when Stephan failed to attend the requisite number of council meetings, as stipulated by the provincial Municipalities Act.
The Act states a councillor’s office becomes vacant when he or she “does not attend regular public meetings of the council for three successive months.”
According to Mayor Petten, Stephan missed seven out of 13 council meetings.
Attempts to contact Stephan were unsuccessful.