The Cariboo Regional District according to the Chair will be putting a motion on the floor for NCLGA for the same latitude municipalities have when it comes to having to have a by-election in the year of a general local election.
“Government acts that cover a municipality, if a councillor or mayor resigns or passes away after January 1 of an election year they do not have to hold a by-election, and I think the premise is that mayor and council are elected to represent the whole municipality; they’re not elected to represent a particular area,” says Margo Wagner.
“Whereas regional district we’re elected to represent a particular area and we do not have that same freedom.”
Wagner says that running an election is expensive at around $10,000 and that all electoral taxpayers pay for a by-election in one electoral area.
She estimates that even if the current Alternate Director for Area E- Melynda Neufeld is acclaimed that there will still be associated costs of around $2,000.
“It’s frankly ridiculous that we have to go through with this considering that I firmly believe my colleague is going to get acclaimed and then we have to do it again in 4 months,” said Area D Director Steve Forseth at the CRD’s Board meeting.
“Hoping we can get the Act corrected so that the rule if someone dies, resigns, or is disqualified from office in the year of a local general election that we can just waiver the requirement at some point.”
CAO John MacLean said that he and Director Al Richmond were on the committee of UBCM.
“In talking the Ministry Staff they do recognize that the June date is wrong, but they went back to Director’s Campsall comment that it then means that you don’t have an elected official in place,” he says.
“I went back to my original argument that that’s fine. We’ve been in situations in other regional districts where they had no elected official for the whole term.”
MacLean says that the one caution he had is the province might say why do regional districts even have alternate directors.
Section 54 of the Local Government Act states that local government may decide that a by-election is not to be held if the vacancy occurs after June 1 in the year of a general local election that will fill the office.
The Cariboo Regional District announced a by-election for the Electoral Area E Director this month.
The nomination period for candidates closes at 4 p.m. on March 2.
The by-election is scheduled for April 7, 2018.