Alberton Council by-election set for September 9

Over the course of the month of June, four councillors resigned from Alberton town council, leaving just mayor David Gordon, right and councillors, Kelly Williams, left, and Blair Duggan, centre to manage the community in the short term. A by-election has been set for September 9 to fill the vacancies.   Jillian Trainor photo

Alberton residents will vote September 9th to replace four town councillors who have resigned in the past six weeks.

“Hopefully we can get some councillors to fill the positions,” said Mayor David Gordon.

Monday evening the mayor and two remaining councillors put the wheels in motion for a by-election. Chancey Gaudette, chief administration officer for the town of Tignish, was appointed Municipal Electoral Officer, and Donna Thomson, Alberton’s interim CAO, will act as Deputy Municipal Election Officer.

“We want to make sure we get somebody who’s in that field that does it, and Chancey said she would definitely do it for us with Donna by her side, training Donna as well,” said Mr Gordon.

There are several key dates and times for a municipal by-election.  A Municipal Electoral Officer must be appointed, which is now done. At least two months before the byelection the location for the election office and office hours must be determined.

On the fifth Friday before the by-election, the notice of nominations will be published in newspaper, online, and at the election office location. 

Candidates must complete and file the Municipal Nomination Form with either the Municipal Electoral Officer or the Returning Office at the election office during the hours identified in the Notice of Nomination for the municipality. All nominations must be filed by 2 pm on the third Friday before the by-election.

“We may not even need an election,” said Mr Gordon. If we only have four that put their name in, you don’t have to have an election.”

Mr Gordon was referencing a section of the Municipal Government Act, which states “(if) the number of candidates for the vacant offices in a ward equals the number of vacancies, the Municipal Electoral Officer shall declare each candidate in that ward elected by acclamation.”

Currently, Alberton Town Council is operating with just Mr Gordon and two councillors, Kelly Williams and Blair Duggan. 

When asked what it was like holding a council meeting with such a small number, Councillor Williams joked that it was a little lonely.

Because the by-election date falls on the second Monday of the month, council’s regular meeting will be held on the third Monday of the September instead.

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