Marystown scraps separate election for mayor
There won’t be a separate election for the mayor’s seat in Marystown next September.
Council voted unanimously to hold one election in 2017 on Tuesday evening.
The Municipalities Act states the adjustment can be made with a two- thirds vote of councillors.
Coun. Leonard Pittman, who put forward the motion during general business at the end of the meeting, said the change had been discussed during budget talks this fall as a cost-saving measure.
“It really serves no purpose to have two ( elections),” he said in response to a question from Coun. Mary Beth Farrell.
According to the Municipalities Act, when there is no separate vote for mayor, councillors may elect a mayor and deputy mayor by secret ballot at the first council meeting following the election.
Traditionally, however, the two councillors who poll the most votes are nominated for the positions and have the option of accepting or not.
The mayor’s seat has been mostly acclaimed during current Mayor Sam Synard’s 16year tenure.
Synard, then deputy mayor, moved into the position following the resignation of longtime mayor Jerome Walsh in January 2000. Walsh ran against Synard and lost in the municipal election in 2001. Synard has run unchallenged in the three general elections since – 2005, 2009 and 2013.
Synard was not present for Tuesday’s meeting. Coun. Ruby Hoskins participated by teleconference.
Synard told The Southern Gazette Friday Marystown has held a separate election for mayor for roughly 45 years.
Grand Bank council has come out early with a balanced budget of $ 2.686 million for 2017.
The budget, presented during the regular meeting on Nov. 14, will see all residential and commercial taxes remain the same.
With nearly an additional $200,000 in revenues and expenditures over last year, it is the highest budget in the town’s history.
The mill rate for homeowners, which was dropped from 10.75 mills in 2016 to account for a substantial increase in residential property values, will stick at 9.5. The commercial property rate remains at 10 mills.
The poll tax was kept at $375. Water and sewer taxes are also unchanged at $5 and $28 a month, respectively, for a total of $396 annually.
As the waste collection fee from the Burin Peninsula Regional Service Board will remain at $170 per household for 2017, council agreed to once again charge residents $50.