Council must decide format to replacement
Belli, who died suddenly of a heart attack last month, was councillor for Ward 8. According to the Ontario Municipal Act, he must be replaced on city council, even though there's a municipal election slated for Oct. 27.
It's too late in the term to hold a byelection, so councillors will decide Tuesday the best way to appoint someone to fill the seat. The act stipulates the seat be declared vacant at the meeting, giving council until July 8 to fill the spot.
Belli also sat on the planning committee, a key body that makes zoning and other planning decisions before sending them to city council for final approval. That vacancy will be filled at the May 27 city council meeting.
“Other municipalities, when filling a vacancy during the period of a municipal election, have also stipulated that in making the appointment, the council does not wish to be perceived of as providing any advantage to candidates in that election,” the report says.
“Further in selecting a candidate to fill the vacancy in Ward 8, the nominating committee may wish to consider each candidate's qualifications and look for both knowledge of municipalities and municipal operations, as well as related governance experience, either by way of service on a prior council, or on a public or private sector board.”
Before voting, the report recommends allowing each candidate to make a five-minute presentation on why they should be selected for the job. The deadline for applications would be June 13, and a decision would be made at a meeting June 24 or June 25. The decision would be ratified July 8.
Council is currently down two members, with Ward 1 Coun. Joe Cimino on an unpaid leave of absence as he campaigns to become Sudbury MPP for the New Democrats.