Council opts for by-election to fill mayoral vacancy

Brock Township voters will be heading to the polls to fill the vacant mayoral seat.

A by-election was one of four options presented to council on Monday (Feb. 22), though the other three would have seen the position filled by appointment — of a qualified applicant, member of council or candidate in the 2018 municipal election.

Members of council unanimously supported holding a by-election, with several noting that it was the most democratic method to fill the seat.

“People overwhelmingly want a by-election,” said Ward 1 Councillor Mike Jubb.

“The residents deserve to pick their mayor – six members of council should not be deciding who our mayor is,” added Ward 2 Councillor Claire Doble.

Prior to the vote, Regional Councillor Ted Smith acknowledged that he planned on running if council opted for a by-election.

The seat was formally declared vacant by council on Feb. 1 following the death of mayor Debbie Bath Hadden nearly two weeks prior.

A STAFF REPORT lays out a rough timeline for a by-election, with nominations opening on March 23 leading to a vote on June 18.

It’s estimated to cost between $40,000 and $50,000 at a minimum.

“We’re not sure what obstacles we may run into given the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Clerk Becky Jamieson.

A formal bylaw will be brought forward at the March 22 meeting.

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