By­elec­tions could cost Car­bon­ear $20,000

Date set for vot­ers to head back to the polls; two by­elec­tions pos­si­ble

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYMELISSA JENK­INS

It looks like Car­bon­ear res­i­dents could head to the polls twice more in the next sev­eral months for both a by­elec­tion to vote for a new mayor and a se­cond to pos­si­bly re­place a coun­cil­lor.

This comes af­ter res­i­dents cast bal­lots in a mu­nic­i­pal gen­eral elec- tion Sept. 24 and pro­vin­cial by­elec­tion Nov. 26, which saw then mayor Sam Slade run for and win the MHA seat for Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace. He re­signed his seat on coun­cil Nov. 2.

Dur­ing the town coun­cil meet­ing Dec. 16, dis­cus­sion about mo­tions from the last meet­ing two weeks prior dom­i­nated con­ver­sa­tion for more than one-quar­ter of the meet­ing.

Sev­eral coun­cil mem­bers ad­mit­ted feel­ing mis­guided over a vote ap­prov­ing a by­elec­tion be held within 90 days, as re­quired in the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act (the Act).

The con­fu­sion was cre­ated when some coun­cil­lors mis­un­der­stood pro­to­col if an­other coun­cil­lor were to run for the mayor’s post.

A sep­a­rate elec­tion

The Act says a coun­cil­lor must re­sign their seat if they de­cide to run for mayor. But it was only clar­i­fied how the town would elect a re­place­ment coun­cil­lor dur­ing the most re­cent meet­ing, when town clerk Cathy Somers ex­plained.

It was as­sumed a by­elec­tion for a re­place­ment coun­cil­lor — if nec­es­sary — could take place dur­ing the mayor’s by­elec­tion at a cost of $7,500 to $10,000. Somers said that was very un­likely.

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