Sundridge accepting applications for vacant council seat

·3 min read

Residents of the Village of Sundridge have until next week to put in their names for the vacant seat on council.

Those interested have until June 24 at 2 p.m. to apply.

An application form – found at www.sundridge.ca/en/village-hall/Council-Vacancy-Application---June-2021.pdf – must be filled out and taken directly to the town hall.

The village is not accepting applications by email or fax.

To be eligible to sit on the village council, an applicant must be a resident of the municipality, a landowner or tenant in the community, or the spouse of either one.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and a Canadian citizen.

When bringing the completed form to the town hall, you must have government-approved identification with you and proof of your address.

In addition to the formal application process, each nominee can submit a one-page personal statement if they wish.

Council plans to hold a special meeting, tentatively set for June 30 at 6 p.m., to interview each of the candidates.

The individual who is eventually chosen to sit on council will be sworn in the same night as the special meeting.

This person will replace Stephen Rawn, who resigned May 12 after announcing he and his wife had sold the family home and were moving to Strong Township.

The last time council dealt with a vacancy was about 10 years ago and Mayor Lyle Hall said at that time, eight people applied to fill the empty council seat.

In naming a replacement, a town council has the option of appointing a person by calling for nominations, which Sundridge council has chosen to do.

Alternatively, it can review the 2018 municipal election results for the name of the next candidate on the list or hold a byelection.

Byelections are rarely used due to the expense. The next municipal elections also are a little more than a year away.

During the candidate interviews, each applicant will wait in an adjacent room. Following the interview, a candidate may return to the waiting room or leave the building.

Each member of council is allowed to ask each candidate three questions, although the chair of this meeting could allow councillors to ask more questions if the need arises.

The candidate will then have two minutes to answer each question.

Following the interviews, council members will go in-camera, or behind closed doors, to discuss the individual candidates.

However, the vote for the successful candidate will be carried out in public.

To be declared the winner, the candidate must have a majority of the votes from council members.

In order to reach a point where one candidate has a majority, the candidate or candidates with the least number of votes will be dropped off the list for consideration.

Before council votes again, each member can ask the remaining candidates one question each.

If the second vote results in a tie, a decision will be made to name a winner through a lot selection process, similar to a random draw.

Questions regarding the vacancy process can be emailed to clerk administrator Nancy Austin at naustin@sundridge.ca

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget

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